The red L 319 from the fire brigade in Ilvesheim entails a lot of histoy. In 1962 the light fire truck „LF 8“ moved into its new accommodation in the fire station Ilvesheim, near Mannheim. The relocation is solemnly accompanied by a marching band. The past decades and the numerous operations and assignments don’t leave the reliable workhorse unaffected.
1981, about 30 years later, the L 319 is replaced by a new vehicle. Nevertheless, the LF 8 is more than an old machine for the local fire fighter group. They associate a lot of good memories with the L 319 and continue to use the vehicle as “second cast”.
In 1994 the local fire brigade committee decides to take the old vehicle out of service. According to a ballot the majority votes in favour of a restoration of the classic car.
Due to the lack of money the project ceases to process. After three years of hibernation the fire fighters start a new attempt and collect donations in their group. They gain about 1.310 D-mark. In 1997 the planned restoration calls the attention of Ilvesheim’s honorary citizen Heinrich Vetter. “The project is a very nice thing but they will need a lot more money”, he commentes the fire fighters’ plan and donates around 1.500 D-mark.
The total amount of the donation is enough to get a replacement transmission and paint. Finally, the work could start. A young painting expert gives the crew advice concerning the preparatory work and consequently he also makes the lacquering. The crew looses a lot of time and effort for the search of the small parts. But with the support of the community the project proceedes. The local shoemaker reproduces the leather straps. Others weld old parts of the carriage and repair the engine, the gear box and also the brakes.
Meanwhile the vehicle can be seen up to three times a year at different classic car meetings. The car is also in action at different assignments of the veterans or as a wedding coach for the fire fighters. The vehicle and its historical equipment not only offer an interesting insight into the history of the local club for younger fire fighters, it is also a real highlight for classic car and technology fans.