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Ford 1947 Truck, Bristol Plymouth Students Restored, June 10, 2015.jpgMassDOT officials joined high school students of the Bristol/ Plymouth Regional Technical School in Taunton to recognize them for helping to complete the restoration of the oldest Highway Division truck.

Since 2012, volunteers from the District 5 Office of the MassDOT highway division have been using their lunch hours to help in the mechanical restoration of the 1947 Ford dump truck. In the Fall of 2014, MassDOT, MassDOT partnered with the Bristol/Plymouth Regional Technical School in Taunton to give the students the opportunity to work on this piece of transportation history.

“The way that the employees of District Five Office came together to restore this antique truck over the last three years is impressive,” said MassDOT Acting Highway Administrator Thomas J. Tinlin. “It is also great that MassDOT could collaborate with the talented students of the Bristol/Plymouth Regional Technical School to bring the project to completion. It is not every day that future mechanics have the opportunity to bring a vehicle from 1947 back to life.”

The Massachusetts Department of Public Works acquired this antique Ford dump truck from the Endicott Estate in Dedham in the 1980’s, and began using it as a maintenance vehicle on the estate for about 30 years. After the truck was sent to the garage at the estate, MassDPW staff from the Wellesley Depot agreed to take the 1 ½ ton truck with only 14,000 miles to the Wellesley Depot for restoration and paint.

When the Wellesley Depot was closed in the early 1990’s, the truck was transferred to the MassDOT Bridgewater Facility for storage, where it was parked outside due to limited space. It was in February of 2011 that Kevin Cassidy, MassDOT District 5 Construction Engineer, a 36 year veteran who owns five antique cars and trucks of his own, heard about the truck and visited the facility.

At that time, Cassidy began a year long quest to get the truck transferred to District 5 in an effort to save it. With the help of fellow District 5 Employee Larry Piazza, the two were able to over-haul the engine, brakes,transmission and get the old truck running. Cassidy even used parts from his personal collection to ensure that the group could continue working.

The MassDOT District Highway Director, Mary-Joe Perry was encouraged by the restoration and visited the Bristol/Plymouth Technical School to propose the idea of having the students help to complete the restoration of the vehicle. When the truck was mechanically complete in September of 2014, the students of Bristol/Plymouth Regional Technical School spent eight months painting the 1947 Ford, and completing the restoration. This unique opportunity allowed for students to practice their skills while also preserving a piece of transportation history for MassDOT.

Please view a video of the restoration of the truck:

 

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