In search of the GMC fire engine with elongated cab made by MMT
In January 2001 I published a paper on GMC
models in the NAMAC journal ‘Auto in Miniatuur’.
Hans Stoovelaar, a Dutch writer of truck books, responded to it by sending me a
few photo copies of related papers in the French journal 'Charge Utile'. The
1995 volume 27 announced a 1/50 scale GMC fire engine 'Ville de
Meaux' with an elongated 'Froger-Merceron' cabine. The producer of the model was MMT from the French village Gouaix. Dutch model shops had
unfortunately never heard
of MMT, however.
The picture of this marvelous fire engine was etched in my mind. Through the Yellow Pages on the internet I managed to find an adress of the major of Gouaix. I wrote him or her a letter in August, supposing that any major of a small village is familiar with all the local enterprises. Note the major's adress: Avenue de la Gare ('Station street') 12, Gouaix. I never received an answer to my letter.
In September 2004 Wil 'CCKW' Hoyer got hold of the meaning of the abbreviation MMT and their adress: Modelles, Maquettes et Transformations: Avenue de la Gare ('Station street' !) 25, Gouaix, so that innocent major was living almost next to MMT! On October 6 I wrote a letter to MMT asking whether the GMC was still available, 9 years after its introduction. In November I got their disappointing answer: sold out!
In the next few months I put advertisements on French and Dutch sites of miniature fire engine collectors. All these efforts were in vain, however. On March 10 2005 a similar advertisment was put on the site of the Dutch model collectors association NAMAC. I got a reply on March 11 from a guy called Frits. He stated to have seen the requested model in a toy shop in the Bahnhofstrasse ('Station street'!) in Interlaken, Switserland. On March 12. I contacted a former colleague, now living in Bern, Switserland. Just by chance he had to go to Interlaken the next day for his job. I sent him a picture of my favourite GMC. He promised that he would visit the toy shop during his lunch break. A bizarre finale followed at the end of that day: the model had been sold the previous day!
In September 2005 I was warned by my
automated search engine: the requested model was to be offered in an eBay auction.
After a breathtaking week, I finally became the owner of the MMT model on September 20
2005, ten years after its initial announcement in Charge Utile. My other 'elongated
cab' GMC fire engines cannot beat this one, due to its remarkable acquisition!
In 2010 I had the opportunity to buy an old picture of the fire engine
from Meaux (F) that inspired the MMT modellers. The picture nicely shows that in
this case the back seats have been made accessible through ordinary GMC doors: an
additional left-side door on the right and a right-side door on the left. Why
going through all the fuzz of constructing doors, when there are plenty of
doors to be found in the dump?
webmaster: J. Schröder
Gelanceerd / first launched: 7 January 2005
Laatst herzien / last revised: 24 December 2010