Luverne Automobile Company 1904-present - Luverne, Minnesota - later Luverne Motor Truck, Luverne Fire Apparatus, now Crimson Fire Apparatus
Brothers Al and Ed Leicher were former coachbuilders who manufactured Minnesota's finest luxury automobile through the middle teens. Later devoted the factory to heavy trucks and fire apparatus.
Offered a motor hearse in their catalog starting in 1915. Since total Luverne auto production through 1917 was only 300 vehicles, hearse output was fairly small, probably less than ten funeral vehicles built in total.
A history of Luverne states that soon after the Leichers built their first car in 1904, they began building a variety of special-order vehicles: sleeper cars, an aluminum-bodied race car and automobile hearses.
Most of Luverne's bodies were 100% wood and their beautiful 8-columned carved-sided hearses were no exception.
Changed name from Luverne Motor Truck to Luverne Fire Apparatus in the mid twenties.
"Wisconsin" truck built by Leicher Brothers.
LUVERNE (US) 1912-1923
Luveme Motor Truck Co., Luveme, Minn.
The Leicher brothers began to make passenger cars in 1903 and were particularly known for the 'Big Brown Luverne' of the 1914-1917 era. In 1912 they produced their first hearse and fire engine, both using 6-cylinder Rutenber engines, and truck production began shortly afterwards. Passenger cars were dropped in 1917 because trucks were more in demand, but by 1923 they found that there was too much competition from bigger manufacturers in this field too, and they concentrated on making fire engines on other people's chassis, in which business they are still active today. The last truck was a 3-tonner powered by a Continental 7N 4-cylinder engine.
Crimson Fire began manufacturing fire apparatus
in 1912 as Luverne Auto Company in Luverne, MN. Although the company's
earlier origin is difficult to trace, documents indicate that in 1896 the
Leicher Brothers purchased what was then identified as Luverne Wagon Works.
For the next six years, the company continued to manufacture quality
horse-drawn wagons and buggies.
Since their beginnings, Luverne and Quality have shown their ability to innovate and their willingness to change. In 1997, Spartan Motors, Inc. purchased Luverne Fire Apparatus and Quality Manufacturing. Now in 2003, these two companies with over 130 years of combined experience have merged, forming a new, greater company - Crimson Fire.
In the 1990s, Spartan entered the fire apparatus and ambulance markets by acquiring three well-known manufacturers: Luverne Fire Apparatus, Quality Manufacturing and Road Rescue. In 2003, Spartan consolidated Luverne and Quality under the Crimson Fire name in order to leverage its engineering, design and manufacturing expertise in the fire apparatus market.
Spartan Motors, Inc is a world leader in the design
and manufacturing of custom chassis that serve as the foundation for premium
motorhomes, fire trucks, transit buses, step vans and other specialty
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