American LaFrance’s venerable 900/1000 Series customs had now been in production for fifteen years – longer than any other series in the company’s history. Something new was clearly needed. And so it was that the really-redesigned Century Series American LaFrance was unveiled at the Annual IAFC convention in Baltimore, Maryland, in October 1973.
The Century Series pumper’s 84-inch wide (8-inch wider than 900/1000 Series) had 20 per cent more glass area than the previous series. The rear portion of the cab swelled out behind the doors to almost entirely envelope the front fenders. The rear window glass was curved to give firefighters riding in the extra-wide jump seats forward visibility.
The Century also had a redesigned pump control panel. All diamond-plate panels were made of aluminum. Ten Diesel engines – six Detroits and four Cummins – were available. Pump capacity ranged from 750 to 2000 gpm.
A new stainless steel booster tank was also standard. The first Century Series apparatus was delivered in late 1974 and early 1975. In 1976 the company introduced a Century Series rearmount aerial with fixed, piped waterways. The new Water-Chief was, in effect, a combination of aerial ladder and water tower.