After blowing a piston that shot through the side of the block, Jay is ready to take this 9-ton 1911 Christie Fire Engine back on the road and give it a send-off it well deserves.It’s called a Christie Fire Engine, and it features a unique front-wheel-drive system.
image credit: Jay Leno’s Garage
In fact, as the 9-ton behemoth rolls down the road, you can see that the center of the front wheel remains still while the outer rim and tire rotate around it.This fire engine is quite an amazing piece of engineering.
It’s got exposed gears, those unique front-wheel-drive hubs, and a center-mounted driving position that puts the occupant many feet above the ground. Leno dives into how the whole thing works, but also highlights those who helped bring this particular vehicle back to life.
In 1912 Christie began manufacturing a line of wheeled fire engine tractors which also utilized a front-wheel-drive system, and subsequently sold scores of them to fire departments around the country, most notably the New York City Fire Department. The tractors allowed the departments to keep their steam-powered pumps while ending the use of horses to pull them to the scene of the fire.(wikipedia)