Hazel Roberts talks about how a vintage 1972 fire engine was transformed into a food truck that delivers champagne, whilst maintaining its traditional appearance.
So what do you do in a pandemic when you are between jobs and you have a couple of vintage fire engines laying around?
Create a Champagne Fire Truck, of course!
Development Chef, Richard Reynolds, known in the local food scene as the man behind the belistore food truck, has always had a passion for vehicles so when he had the opportunity to buy a 1964 Dennis fire engine in October 2016, he jumped at the chance.
Street food fans will know that it is not uncommon for food vendors to operate from converted old vehicles – vintage campervans, old horse boxes, etc.
So, for a while Richard pondered how he could sympathetically convert a non-running fire engine into a food truck. It was two years before inspiration struck – Champagne!
The fire engine could create the backdrop to a bar, conserving and celebrating its traditional appearance and quirky features.
Amazingly, the next month, Richard was asked if he fancied buying a running, 1972 British Leyland AEC fire engine.
This seemed the perfect chance to realise his dreams and in August 2019 he took ownership. In the months that followed, he sourced materials and parts and towards the end of February 2020, the fire engine headed to a workshop in Newton Longville to begin its transformation.
Then Covid happened. At first the conversion slowed but, with more time available and renewed motivation, Richard was able to dedicate himself to the project and within a few months the Champagne Fire Truck was ready for launch.
In early 2021, the first few champagne deliveries from this impressive vehicle were made. Plans, of course, are for it
to attend events and to be available for private functions just as soon as allowable.
In the meantime, it is entered into the Restaurant and Bar Awards 2021.
“Champagne Fire Truck is a really exciting concept,” said Richard, “and the waves, smiles and conversations it inspires when out on the roads, and the social media attention it has attracted from the start, fills us with excitement to see what 2021 brings.”
For more information visit http://www.champagnefiretruck.com or follow them on Facebook and Instagram.