• Aug 22nd 2008 at 10:29AM
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Click to view more of the classic Maserati fire truck

In case there were ever any doubt that the Italians have more style than the rest of us, just look at their emergency vehicles. While over here, public services use the most basic of vehicles, the polizia have cars like the Alfa Romeo 159 and Lamborghini Gallardo. But what about their fire trucks? Their function usually dictates their form, but in this case, the Italians have got us beat.

Back in 1967, Constuzione Estintori Anticendio (CEA) of Bologna, Italy, took five Maserati Quattroportes and converted them for use as fire trucks at racing circuits. Labeled as "the fastest fire tenders in the world", they could top out at 225 kph thanks to their 4.2-liter V8s driving 260 hp through a five-speed ZF manual gearbox while riding on Borrani steel wheels with Girling disc brakes. All five examples were bought in 1987 by a collector in Austria, who eventually sold them all off except for the finest example, which he is now putting up for sale. Contact Christoph Grohe if you're interested.

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