2016 Shannons Melbourne Autumn Classic Auction

c1949 Dennis Fire Truck




Engine In-line 8-cylinder, 5700cc
Gearbox 4-speed manual
Body Work Fire Truck
Colour Deep Red
Interior Black
Trim Vinyl
Wheels Steel disc
Brakes Drums


This lot is no longer available

Founded in 1895 by John and Raymond Dennis, Dennis Brothers Ltd originally manufactured and sold bicycles in Guildford, Surrey before moving into motor cars in 1901. From the outset Dennis became synonymous with commercial vehicles, building their first bus in 1903, followed by a fire engine some five years later, with car production discontinuing altogether in 1913. A range of chassis, rated from 5 cwt to five tonnes capacity and powered by a variety of different engines, were fitted with all kinds of bodywork, from single and double-decker buses to fire tenders, ambulances, refuse collectors, vans and trucks. After the First World War, when production flourished thanks to orders from the military, Dennis Bros. continued to expand, with innovations like the low-framed forward control E-type chassis of 1925, featuring pneumatic tyres, a monoblock engine with unit-mounted gearbox and an underslung worm axle. In the years immediately following the Second World War, Dennis introduced a new Light 4 appliance, followed by the long-lived and commercially successful F-series in 1946. Initially known as the ‘Onslow’, the original F1 was a development of the Light 4 chassis and available with two body styles. Launched in 1948, the F2 was built on a 13 ft 6 inch wheelbase and powered by the famous Rolls-Royce B80 straight-eight engine. Dennis also built a number of derivatives, including the F3, using a six-cylinder Meadows engine, and the F4, with all-wheel drive. The early F-series was targeted at Commonwealth countries like Australia, with only a handful of survivors left in the Northern Hemisphere; indeed, the majority of the few remaining examples are mostly held in museums, making the example offered here an extremely rare opportunity for collectors of fire fighting equipment today.