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Walt McCall to appear at WPC next month

by Bill Cawthon on

Walt McCall, one of North America’s best known and most prolific authors on the subject of motor fire apparatus, will appear at the Walter P. Chrysler Museum, in Auburn Hills, Mich., on Saturday, April 17. Mr. McCall’s presentation is scheduled to run from 9:30 AM to Noon in the second floor theater.

Mr. McCall’s two-part program – How I Got Hooked (and Laddered): Confessions of a Lifelong Fire Engine Buff and The Professional Car: The Rise and Decline of Passenger Car-Based Ambulances and Funeral Cars – will showcase decades of vehicle evolution. McCall’s fascinating retrospective will highlight the vast knowledge he details in the 18 books he has authored starting with his first in 1976, American Fire Engines Since 1900, still considered the “bible” of the old fire engine hobby. McCall has written ten books on fire apparatus, as well as another six on vintage hearses and ambulances, his other area of antique vehicle expertise. Several titles will be available for purchase – and autograph – following McCall’s presentation.

A retired Manager – Corporate Public Affairs for Chrysler Canada Ltd and former award-winning fire and police reporter and automotive editor for The Windsor Star, McCall’s lifelong love affair with fire engines spans more than 50 years. He helped establish and lead several U.S. and Canadian enthusiast organizations, simultaneously serving as editor of multiple association and hobbyist publications while contributing articles to other North American fire service and antique vehicle magazines.

Registration, including refreshments and Museum admission, is $12 in advance and $15 at the door ($10 and $14, respectively, for Museum members).

To register or for additional information about the April 17 presentation, visit Featured Events at Walter P. Chrysler Museum, e-mail or call 248-944-0450.

Bill Cawthon grew up in the auto industry in the 1950s. His Dad worked for Chrysler and Bill spent a number of Saturdays down on the plant floor at Dodge Main in Hamtramck. Bill is also the U.S. market correspondent for, a British auto industry publication, and a member of the Texas Auto Writers Association, which has named the Jeep Grand Cherokee the “SUV of Texas” several times and named the Ram 1500 as the “Truck of Texas” two years running.

Bill has owned five Plymouths (including the only 1962 “Texan”), one Dodge and one Chrysler and is still trying to figure out how to justify a Wrangler. He also has owned at least one of every 1:87 scale model of a Chrysler product. You can reach him directly at (206) 888-7324 or by using the form.

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