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View Full Version : Federal model "O" siren on '57 DeSoto?


Brad Winder
05-05-2015, 12:27 AM
Hi All,

I was at the large Red Deer spring swap meet on Friday, and I found a Federal model "O" siren. Something told me that it would be correct for my DeSoto ambulance. The guy selling it said that he had removed it from a fire truck. I decided to take a risk. He wanted $195, I offered $165 and he took it.

Tonight, I set it on the Ambulance fender, to see if the holes line up. And...they do! Perfectly!! So, would this siren have a high probability of being the correct type for my rig?

Paul Steinberg
05-05-2015, 10:14 AM
I am assuming that the base is the "standard" 4 hole base that Federal used for all their sirens, and that the "puck" on the bottom of the siren is held to the base with a single bolt. If this is the case, then there are a wide variety of sirens that mount to that base, and the only way to guess what class of siren was mounted to the fender, is to find the original wire, and to check its gauge. The smaller sirens, such as the "O", "WL", "WRL", etc. used a 14 or 12 gauge wire, and a larger motor siren, would have used a 6 or 4 gauge wire. Below is a picture of the base that I am referencing. Picture by Nicholas Studer.

http://www.professionalcarsociety.org/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=27879&stc=1&d=1430620633

Paul Steinberg
05-05-2015, 10:28 AM
I just checked www.sirenman.com (http://www.sirenman.com) website for a Model O siren picture, which is posted below. What I said in the above post doesn't apply to the Model O siren, however, there are a few sirens that also use the same 2 hole base as the Model O siren, but I don't know enough about this class of siren to describe all the variations. This class of siren uses either a 14 or 12 gauge wire, and I have seen them either painted or chrome.

http://www.sirenman.com/complete/S7300854.jpg

John ED Renstrom
05-05-2015, 11:26 AM
70 series used the 2 hole mount also. so unless you can find pictures of your car at an earlier date or maybe the man that took the stuff off. It's a wide open field as to what they had on it or when it got put on. When re-doign one the key to being period correct is to stay within ten years of the car.

A number of times the buyer would save money by reusing stuff off his older car and then during the life cycle of the car it would have some upgrades.

Were not all of us can gather the information to make the car as it was day of delivery, making it period correct makes it look right.

that siren would fit that bill, normally if they were fender mounted they were chrome. but a CD rige might be anythig.

Nicholas Studer
05-05-2015, 05:12 PM
70 series used the 2 hole mount also. so unless you can find pictures of your car at an earlier date or maybe the man that took the stuff off. It's a wide open field as to what they had on it or when it got put on. When re-doign one the key to being period correct is to stay within ten years of the car.

A number of times the buyer would save money by reusing stuff off his older car and then during the life cycle of the car it would have some upgrades.

Were not all of us can gather the information to make the car as it was day of delivery, making it period correct makes it look right.

that siren would fit that bill, normally if they were fender mounted they were chrome. but a CD rige might be anythig.

Can't agree more. The big question that I needed to ask myself is not only WHAT are you restoring, but also WHEN you're restoring it to. In the case of the Pinner-Chrysler that Paul shows the photo from, similar story. Came with a mechanical siren of some kind (best guess now is C4B) but somewhere along the line in the late 1960s or 1970s it got an FS Interceptor electronic siren. The Rescue Squad decided additionally it shouldn't be a rescue car anymore and just a straight ambulance. They thus pulled out the hand lights, fire extinguishers, water rescue gear, etc. out along the same unknown timeframe.

Brad Winder
05-06-2015, 10:01 AM
Well, I plan on restoring it back to as close as possible to the way it would have been, when it was converted. But, as mentioned, there are limitations. Unless I can find original pictures of it in action, I will have to do an educated guess, based on period equipment, and evidence I find during the rebuilding process.

What time period was the model "O" siren produced?