Man ditches his car and buys an old fire engine 'for a laugh'

Man ditches his car and buys an old fire engine 'for a laugh'

08/05/2021

Lawrie Rose wanted a little more space than his Peugeot 106 could offer.

So he did the obvious thing: traded in the car for a full-on fire engine.

Lawrie, 31, from Ipswich, spent £2,000 on the 1981 fire engine ‘for a laugh’.

It still has its water pumps and looks, well, very much like an active fire engine used by firefighters.

This now his primary mode of transportation – he even uses it to do the big food shop.

‘It was the second vehicle I’ve ever purchased,’ said YouTuber Lawrie. ‘The first was a Peugeot 106 so it was quite the step up.

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‘I had to get a HGV driving licence to drive it on the road.’

Lawrie describes his friend’s face as a ‘picture’ as he pulled up in the truck for the very first time.

He’s often mistaken for a fire fighter, for obvious reasons, but he doesn’t mind that too much.

In fact, he’ll often dress the part, too.

Once, this trick landed him a free dinner.

‘People always assume I am a firefighter,’ Lawrie said. ‘I have a couple of outfits that I sometimes just wear for fun.

‘Recently, a chip shop owner said I can have my food on the house as I parked the engine outside.

‘I explained I’m not in the service and the engine is just for fun.

‘It made him laugh and he let me have the food for free anyway.’

The only downside of his new ride is the struggle to find a car parking space.

Lawrie said: ‘When driving, people sometimes other cars get out of the way for me.

‘They are shocked when they see a lad wearing a casual T-shirt and jeans get out.

‘It’s a challenge trying to find a car space in the supermarket as the engine takes up about four spaces, so I have to be super careful.

‘It can take a while to find a space.

‘But it drives well for a large old vehicle – I prefer it to a modern day lorry.

‘There’s five extra seats and six lockers so I could do a food shop for the year and still have space!’

It’s also a little tricky to find spare parts if the engine needs a repair, as there are only around 30 Denis RS models from the eighties left in the world.

So far, he has spent a further £2,000 on parts, including an alternator and a starter motor.

But he has no plans to go back to that smaller car lifestyle.

‘I fell in love with the fire engine from the moment I saw it,’ Lawrie added.

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