There has always been a special place in David Foley’s heart for FWD trucks.
“As a kid I used to play around on the trucks,” Foley said. “I have no idea what’s under the hood.”
Foley said when he was a child his dad was a salesman for FWD at the branch office in Massachusetts.
When Foley became an adult, he moved to the southern part of the United States, but returned to New England when he retired about 10 years ago.
“I saw snow again and I saw snowplows. This was like my second childhood,” Foley said.
Being reintroduced to snowplows eventually led to Foley purchasing a 1972 FWD snowplow truck that was located in Limerick, Maine.
“The tractor was originally purchased from FWD here and worked in Baldwin, New York,” Foley said. “When they got through with it a truck company bought it and took it to Maine.”
When Foley found it, it was just the cab and chassis, and it was sitting outside. He said the paint was faded and there was some rust on it.
“I fell in love with it,” he said.
The engine was also still in the truck.
“They told me it would crank up so I bought it,” Foley said.
When he bought the truck in 2003, he was in the midst of moving to Florida to enjoy his retirement. He said he paid $50 per month to pay the truck off. During that time it stayed in Maine where he found it, sitting outside.
“I’d call up every year and ask if the truck was still there,” Foley said.
When he purchased the truck, Foley didn’t have any definite plans for it. He eventually located a restorer in Connecticut. The truck was hauled there to be restored. Two years later it was finished.
He said the whole truck was taken apart during the restoration.
“They sandblasted all of the parts and put it all back together again,” Foley said.
Foley said the truck is all original but some of the accessories are not. The plow blades were used in Maine. The sander box was taken off another International truck in Connecticut. The wing box that operates the right wing came from a town in the state of New York, he said.
Foley said he knew he wanted the truck restored, but just like when he bought it, he had no definite plans for it once it was restored. He offered it to two museums but that didn’t work out. One was located in Connecticut, while the other was located in Maine.
“One museum went bankrupt. Another museum came down and looked at it but their board decided they didn’t want to go with it,” Foley said.
While searching online he came across the FWD in Clintonville and the FWD Museum. He called the Clintonville Chamber of Commerce which got him in contact with the FWD Museum.
“One thing led to another and the truck came here,” Foley said.
He said the snowplow truck came back home to Clintonville in September 2011.
“It’s made a round trip,” Foley said. “It’s gone from here (Clintonville) to Baldwin, New York to Limerick, Maine, to Bethlehem, Connecticut for restoration, and back home. I think it’s great.”
The restored snowplow truck was in the Firemen’s Festival parade, Saturday, Aug. 9, as was Foley. This was the first time Foley had ever been to Clintonville for the Firemen’s Festival parade.
“They wanted me to come to this parade, and I had a little window of opportunity to drive up here. It’s been a fun trip,” Foley said.
When asked what it was like to be in the parade, Foley responded, “It was awesome.”