Denver has the Mercedes-Benz Feuerwagen, but San Francisco can hold its head up high when it comes to German Emergency Vehicle bragging rights, with this 60s Opel Blitz that Akier photographed in the Sunset District. Make the jump to see the entire gallery and read Akier's description.
I live right down the street from this beaut. I tried to get ahold of the owner to get some background information, but no dice.This one seems to have been converted into a camper of some sort - looks like cabinets inside in the back. Check out that medieval-looking tow hitch! I think the grille is a replacement, because all the photos I've found (about 4) show a big "blitz" Opel lightning logo in the middle. Anyways, this thing does move at least, because it disappears come street cleaning time, and makes its way back.
Trying to find information on these things is like pulling teeth - here is what I know. This is a mid-60's Opel Blitz firetruck, with livery for the volunteer firefighting brigade of Viechtach. Viechtach is a Bavarian town on the Czech border, northeast of Munich. It seems to be later than '61 because it has a one-piece window, but earlier than 1971. Around 1971, Opel Blitzes became rebadged Bedford vans. I couldn't find a damn thing about engines, except that the 30's and WWII era Blitz trucks were powered by 3.6L inline jobs making roughly 75hp. It wouldn't surprise me if some variation of this engine, rather than the OHV I6s in Opel large cars, found its way into this old girl. It seems like most of these things were used as pumper trucks, and would have a pump fitted up front a la a Warn winch. If anyone has stumbled across a magic resource for information on these things, let me know.
It's literally on my block, out in the beautiful, not sunny Sunset. I walked by it every day for a couple of weeks, always trying to remind myself to borrow a camera and go out and shoot it. I keep cursing the fact that I don't actually own a nice digital camera because I see amazing things like this all the time here in the city. I saw a Fiat 850 Spyder the other day and rued the pitiful, 0.000000000002 megapixel camera on my ancient Motorola Razor. Anyhow, I'll keep my eyes open and a borrowed camera in my pocket, and keep 'em coming.