1974 Volkswagen Type 2 Double-Cab Fire Engine by Branbridge
- Year : 1974
- Make : Volkswagen
- Model : Type 2 Double-Cab Fire Engine by Branbridge
- Registration : GKL 694N
- Chassis : 2632121093
- Engine No : TBA
- Coachbuilder : Branbridge
- Body Type : Fire Engine
- Colour : Red
- Trim : Black
- Technical Data : Viewing by Appointment
In late 1967, the second generation of the Volkswagen Type 2 was introduced. It was built in Germany until 1979 and in Mexico, the Volkswagen Kombi and Panel were produced from 1970 to 1994. Models before 1971 are often called the T2a (or ‘Early Bay’), while models after 1972 are called the T2b (or ‘Late Bay’). This second-generation Type 2 lost its distinctive split-front windscreen and was slightly larger and considerably heavier than its predecessor. At 1.6 litres and developing 47bhp, the engine was also slightly larger. As readily recognisable as the immortal ‘Beetle’ itself and a cult vehicle in its own right, the Volkswagen T2 and its derivatives enjoyed an even longer period in production than their saloon progenitor. By 1968, when the first major revision of this outstandingly successful design occurred, almost two million had been sold worldwide.
This rare Type 2 fire engine was built by Branbridge Fire and Security Equipment Ltd. of Frant, near Tunbridge Wells in Kent. This was the first of three conversions built and trialled by the Kent Fire Brigade; it then went to Merseyside and was trialled as a ‘first strike’ appliance for a large shopping centre in Liverpool. It was subsequently bought by the Central Electricity Generating Board as a works appliance at the Bradewell Plant before being transferred to the CEGB at Liverpool’s Herculaneum dock where it was disposed of when the plant closed in the late 1970’s. In March 2005, the vehicle was acquired by one D. P. Murphy and restored that same year. It was gifted by Mr. Murphy to the Merseyside Fire& Rescue Heritage & Education Centre in 2012. We are advised by the vendor that it is in generally good condition, benefiting from a replacement 1600cc engine and recently refurbished electrics. Finished in the traditional fire engine red, it is also fitted with blue lights and working water pump and comes supplied with a V5C registration document, an MoT test certificate which expires in February 2016 and a file containing information about all three fire appliances.