Playing with Fire

Fun with Numbers

By Michael J. Legeros


This month, some fun with numbers. By my count, Code 3 will have produced 396 emergency vehicles in 1/64 scale by the end of the year. Four short of 400 since those first Seagrave pumpers produced in early 1997.  And I'm counting individual models, mind you, no matter if sold separately or as part of a set. Buildings are not included, nor are the differently scaled marine, police, Diamond Plate, or Franklin Mint releases.

That's 207 pumpers, 44 ladders (including 22 tractor-drawn aerials), 36 command cars, 34 towers, 26 ambulances, 20 heavy rescues, 14 crash trucks, 5 helicopters, 3 command vans, 2 tankers, 2 telesquirts, 1 ESV unit, 1 REP unit, and 1 little ol' Squad 51. Or, enough to fill approximately 20 free-standing display cases.

The most popular make? Seagrave, hands down, with 110 releases, followed by Pierce (50), GMC (36), Mack (34), Saulsbury (32), Ford (24), and E-One (22). I count at least 28 different ingredients in the stew, though there are probably more: American LaFrance, Baker, Bell, Crown, Dodge, Duplex, E-One, Ferrara, Ford, Freightliner, FWD, GMC, HME, International, LDV, LTI, Luverne, Mack, Oshkosh, Pierce, Pirsch, Ranger, Reading, Saulsbury, Seagrave, Simon, Sutphen, and Ward LaFrance.

The most popular model? Again, Seagrave, with 94 custom cabs produced for four early models-- two pumpers, a tractor-drawn aerial, and a rear-mount ladder. After Seagrave, the next most popular are GMC Suburban (36), Mack CF (21), Pierce Quantum (21), Pierce Dash (15), American LaFrance Eagle (14), and Pierce Lance (14).

Of those 396 releases, there are 57 special editions, ranging from Chief's Editions to Christmas releases to assorted "show pieces." Of the remaining 339, the models replicate 96 departments in 25 states and 3 provinces. The most popular? FDNY, with 90 releases, followed by LA City Fire Department (28), Chicago Fire Department (21), Boston Fire Department (11), and a three-way tie between the fire departments of Honolulu, LA County, and Philadelphia (9 each).

Which states and provinces are the most popular? New York, with 111 releases, followed by California (41), Illinois (30), Florida (26), Pennsylvania (16), and Massachusetts (14). Which are the least popular? So far, we've seen only single releases from Louisiana, Missouri, Oregon, Tennessee, Wisconsin, and British Columbia.  Not to mention my home state of Minnesota, which hasn't appeared at all.

Total number of axles?  901.  Percentage of airport or space center apparatus?  5.56.  Number of police or corrections vehicles?  7.   Most popular color for fire apparatus?  Take a guess.

Finally, for distinct toolings, I place the number at 50. Here's my list, subject to correction by readers undoubtedly more knowledgeable than myself:


First Released
American LaFrance Eagle ladder Oct 2002
American LaFrance Eagle pumper Feb 2002
American LaFrance Eagle tower Dec 2002
Bell 412 helicopter Mar 2001
Crown Firecoach pumper Feb 2000
Dodge D300 rescue, Squad 51 May 2001
E-One Cyclone II pumper Nov 2000
E-One Hurricane ladder May 2004
E-One Hurricane tower Nov 2001
E-One Titan crash truck Nov 2000
E-One Cyclone II / Saulsbury heavy rescue Aug 2004
Ferrara Inferno pumper Oct 1999
Ford E-350 Ambulance Feb 1999
Ford F-350 Ambulance Apr 1999
Ford F-550 / Reading REP Sep 2003
Freightliner FL80 ambulance Nov 2003
Freightliner FL80 pumper Jul 2002
Freightliner FL80 tanker Sep 2004
FWD / Baker / Saulsbury tower May 2000
GMC Suburban command vehicle Feb 1998
HME / Luverne pumper Mar 1999
HME / Saulsbury heavy rescue Jun 1998
International / LDV command post Aug 2003
International / Saulsbury ESV Sep 2003
Mack C pumper Mar 2001
Mack CF pumper Jul 2001
Mack CF / Baker / Saulsbury tower Jun 2003
Mack CF / Pirsch ladder Oct 2002
Mack MC / Saulsbury heavy rescue Sep 2003
Oshkosh T-3000 crash truck May 1999
Pierce Dash ladder, "Chicago style" Aug 2004
Pierce Dash ladder, "Detroit style" Dec 2004
Pierce Dash pumper, side-mount Oct 2000
Pierce Dash pumper, top-mount Aug 2000
Pierce Lance heavy rescue Jul 1999
Pierce Lance tower Aug 1999
Pierce Quantum pumper Sep 1998
Pierce Quantum telesquirt Mar 2001
Ranger / E-One / Ward LaFrance pumper Oct 2002
Seagrave Commander II rescue pumper May 2003
Seagrave Custom ladder, rear-mount Dec 1998
Seagrave Custom ladder, rear-mount, newer Jul 2003
Seagrave Custom pumper 1 Apr 1997
Seagrave Custom pumper 2 Nov 1997
Seagrave Custom pumper, newer Nov 2003
Seagrave Custom tractor-drawn aerial Feb 1998
Simon / Duplex / LTI tractor-drawn aerial Feb 1999
Sutphen Monarch pumper Jul 2001
Sutphen Monarch tower Jul 2001
Ward LaFrance Ambassador pumper Jul 2002

A version of this column originally appeared at Code 3 Collectibles.


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Copyright 2017 by Michael J. Legeros