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.
- Megan’s Law offender charged in sex assaults in Greensburg
- Jeannette council rejects referendum on switch to volunteer fire department
- Greensburg state trooper’s heroism honored
- Donora man acquitted of trying to kill rival
- Westmoreland Democrat chairman rips commissioner Courtney over golf event
- Franklin Regional wants firing of music instructor Wonderling to be upheld
- Game commission officer: Deer in East Huntingdon possibly had ‘severe infection’
- Impact on Route 30 traffic at Mountain Inn cited in gas station rejection
- Firing into Fayette bar could get man 10 years; 2 were hit
- Stormwater runoff issues getting worse in Hempfield
- Latrobe council might reconsider pharmacy owner’s request to remove tree