The Elegance at Hershey Saturday, June 11th, 2016
Automobiles
LOT145
1991 Subaru Sambar 4X4 Fire Truck PHOTOGRAPHY BY Bill Pack
No Reserve
  • 1991
  • Subaru
  • Sambar 4x4 Fire Truck
  • KS4-095762
  • Red
  • Tan
  • Historical Documentation
  • Service History Included
  • Original Colors
  • Running Condition
  • Books / Manuals

LITTLE GIANT, GUARDIAN OF THE CITY

Manufactured by Subaru, this fire truck served the Japanese village of Sakae-mura in Nagano during the Great Sakae Mura Earthquake in March 2011. After the 6.7 magnitude earthquake cut off the city, it was up to service vehicles like this one to save the villagers. Answering the call, this Subaru Sambar 4x4 fire truck lived up to its nickname, Little Giant, Guardian of the City (Machi no chīsana Kyojin gādian).

This Car's Past

The local government in Nagano prefecture in 1991, using an aid grant, purchased this fire truck. While the Japanese Self Defense Forces attended to the 2011 earthquake catastrophes in larger cities, this Little Giant pitched in to serve its village. Compact, but durable and strong, she rose to the occasion. According to the Japanese export documents, the fire truck was brought to the US on May 20, 2014. She has been lovingly maintained and curated into a larger motorcar collection. Now offered to make room for even more exotic vehicles, the Little Giant is ready to serve again.

History of the Model

The Subaru Sambar is manufactured by Fuji Heavy Industries’ subsidiary, Subaru, in Japan. Specifically designed for the Japanese market, it is Japan's first Keitora (軽トラ), or "kei class truck" and is still in production. Available in several configurations to fulfill various roles, it remains popular in the domestic Japanese market and around the world. Introduced in 1961, this Sambar is a rear engine 4x4, with the first two generations using air cooled engines from the Subaru 360, and later generations using the water-cooled engine from the Subaru Rex, Vivio and the Pleo. Adorned with details not ordinarily found on Sambars, this fire truck distinguishes it with chrysanthemum details, representing the former Japanese Emperor.

Preservation

Lovingly maintained and regularly cared for, this Little Giant is museum quality and will make an excellent addition to any collection and will spark many conversations.

Summary

This fire truck is one of the most desirable service vehicles we have ever offered. Fully capable of pumping thousands of gallons of water, it’s only ten feet long, four and a half feet wide and six feet tall. Although small, it is built like a tank and is extremely durable. The fire pump on the rear of the truck is just as remarkable. Between 600-800 ccs, the twin cylinder two-stroke unit puts out about 40-50 horsepower. It served its town valiantly during one of Japan’s worst crises. Adorned with details not generally seen, this unique and rare fire truck is fully functional and ready to brighten your collection.

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