March 6, 2007 > Leapin' Lena
The Milpitas Volunteer Fire Department acquired their first engine, a 1932 GMC, in 1947. Nicknamed Leapin' Lena because of the way she would violently lurch forward when the clutch was released, she remained in service until 1956 and soon dropped out of sight.
In 1992, the Milpitas Historical Society became involved in her restoration after librarian Ed Cavallini found the old fire truck and Bob Keely, current Vice President, worked with the staff at Elmwood Correctional Facility who supervised the inmates in a four year project that brought Leapin' Lena back to her former glory.
Leapin' Lena now makes appearances in the occasional parade and will be on display at the new Milpitas Library.
A special viewing area is being built that will allow the fire truck to be driven in and out when duty calls.
Up next, taking out the "leap" by repairing the clutch.
Leapin' Lena's first home was the Fat Boy Barbeque garage, which was raised and lengthened so the truck would fit.