From trusty steed to rusty steed: St. Paul Vulcans need $30k to save Luverne


It's been the 'chariot' of the St. Paul Vulcans for 83 years, but Luverne the firetruck faces retirement unless $30,000 can be found to save it.

The iconic red truck, named after the Minnesota town in which it was built, is a popular sight on the streets of St. Paul carrying red and black-clad members of the Imperial Order of Fire and Brimstone during the annual Winter Carnival.

But the Vulcans' trusty steed has turned into a rusty steed and urgent repairs are now needed, the Pioneer Press reports, with $30,000 needed to pay for the specialist repairs and parts required for the ancient vehicle.

The Vulcan Community Charities is hoping to raise some of this tomorrow when it takes part in Give to the Max Day for Minnesota's nonprofits and schools.

"Our classic 1932 Luverne that helps us bring the fun to so many community events, fundraisers and parades is in need of a great deal of work by a qualified restoration professional," a posting on the Save Luverne Facebook page says.

"Luverne is the life blood of our organization. She is the 9th member of the krewe," it adds.

The truck is not confined to appearances at the Winter Carnival, with KEYC reporting that it makes appearances at almost 60 parades across Minnesota each year.

It has been the mainstay of the Vulcans since 1940, having spent its first 8 years of existence as a firetruck in St. Paul, the Pioneer Press notes.

David Breen, Luverne's chief mechanic, told the newspaper that the repairs would extend its life and improve safety on the road.

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