Washington couple convert old fire engine into wood-fired pizza truck

It replaces a 1977 Datsun pickup equipped with a similar oven in the bed

We’ve seen a food truck made out of the front half of a World War II airplane, and another made from a Volkswagen Bus converted into a trailer. In Washington state, a couple is operating a pizzeria from a 1979 Pierce Ford fire engine that’s been converted into a mobile food truck complete with a wood-burning oven.

The truck is Engine 72, which was formerly used to fight fires in North Olympia, Washington, the Walla Walla Union-Bulletin reports. Owner Christopher Murray, who runs the business with his wife, Janene, worked as a firefighter for 16 years and ran the engine’s last call. He bought the rig in 2013 and then put it into storage in Vancouver, according to the paper.

Before launching Murray’s Rustic Pie from the fire truck last summer, Murray peddled wood-fired pizzas at events around Washington and Oregon from the 3-foot oven in the bed of his 1977 Datsun pickup truck. But with help from his father, his brother and fellow wood-fire pizza-maker from Utah, and a friend with a welding torch, they set about converting the old rig to a food truck.

The truck’s various equipment compartments were transformed into firewood storage and refrigerated units for holding ingredients. The Union-Bulletin reports that the truck now features a water pump, a hand-washing sink on the tail board, a prep sink, water heater, fresh- and gray-water tanks, a slide-in refrigerated prep rail and reach-in refrigerator. The collapsible awning is made out of the engine’s original ladders and fire hose. There’s even a TV in the window of the truck that plays videos of the late PBS painter Bob Ross painting happy little mountains.

The couple bring the pizza truck to events and farmers markets and the like, but do business most days from the driveway of their home in College Place. They had their third child last June and keep the business as a family affair, posting videos on the business's Facebook page of their 2- and 4-year-old children stacking firewood in the garage and loading it into a cart to bring out to the truck.

“Christopher Murray wanted to bring back the feel of family dining,” reads a description of the business on the Downtown Walla Walla Foundation website. “We cook together, eat together, and share and create memories together — times we can only dream of nowadays with the world moving at such a fast pace.”

If you're in southeast Washington state and want to drop in, their Facebook page is here.

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