Last of firetrucks up for auction
Frank Tremel, of Owensville, Md., looks over a collection of firetrucks up for auction that were purchased by Sullivan F. "Sully" D'Amico, founder of Pechin's Shopping Village. D'Amico died in February 2005 at age 87. Dunbar-based Higinbotham-Butchko Auction Services Inc. will conduct the sale at 10 a.m. Saturday.
The last of more than 125 vintage firetrucks belonging to the estate of Pechin's Shopping Village founder Sullivan F. "Sully" D'Amico will be auctioned off at 10 a.m. Saturday in Denbo, liquidating a collection that took more than three decades to build.
"This is the last auction and the last of the trucks. There will be no more auctions," said auctioneer Ray Butchko, co-owner of Higinbotham-Butchko Auction Services Inc., which is overseeing the sale.
Before D'Amico died in February 2005 at age 87, he collected more than 760 vehicles, including firetrucks, classic cars and construction vehicles.
"After he died, the lawyers were estimating that he had approximately 150 vehicles. When we did the original appraisal of the estate, we found 763 vehicles stored throughout seven counties," Butchko said.
In March, about 60 of the firetrucks were sold in the first of a series of auctions to liquidate the collection. Since then, three auctions have taken place to sell some of the classic cars and all the heavy equipment.
D'Amico purchased the firetrucks and classic cars in hopes of one day opening a museum but died before he could see his dream fulfilled.
Now, the family has decided to liquidate the trucks, with the exception of four or five they will keep.
"There were so many. It was so unmanageable. They just decided they had to liquidate the trucks. Keeping a classic car is a lot different than keeping a 40-foot fire truck," Butchko said.
The upcoming auction in Washington County has generated interest among firetruck collectors across the country.
"We had a guy drive up here just today from Baltimore, and we've been getting lots of calls about the trucks. I wasn't aware that the firetruck collecting community was so extensive. There are collectors clubs for all different kinds of trucks," Butchko said.
Representatives from the Pennsylvania National Fire Museum in Harrisburg have made the trip to Washington County to check out the trucks up for sale.
Some of the trucks on the block will include models from Mack, Seagrave, LaFrance and Pirsch. Butchko noted he had never heard of some makes of trucks until he came across D'Amico's collection.
Butchko said many individuals who purchase the vintage firetrucks hope to restore them to drive them in parades.
Saturday's auction, as opposed to previous auctions, will be live because there will be a smaller number of firetrucks in one place.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Hempfield bicyclist gets one last chance from Westmoreland County judge
- Former Jeannette High wrestling coach held for trial on charges of assault on teen girls
- Purple Heart recipient Krinock to lead July Fourth parade in Latrobe
- State Supreme Court rejects latest Foxley Farm appeal in Ligonier Township dispute
- Smithton man gets 6-12 years for robbery in Jeannette
- Independence Day events for Westmoreland County
- Urgent care center planned in Donegal Township
- Group takes veterans, seniors in WWII-era planes at Unity airport
- Greensburg senior care center salutes veterans
- Greensburg’s Trinity United Church of Christ sprucing up
- Three teens injured in one-vehicle crash in Hempfield