Charlie, Glad you like my Seagrave Sedan. I got some reference info from Matt Lee, but then living in the Detroit area, there have been several that over the years have been at local apparatus musters. When I moved to Detroit in the late '70's they were still in use all over the city. A friend of mine used to work for the DFD and we spent a day down at "the shops". There were probably 10-15 of them in various states of repair, or going out of service. The rust really took its toll on most of them after being on the streets for 15-20 years.
I've been building model cars since 1958, trucks since the late '60's and fire apparatus since the early '70's. I don't categorize myself as I build for the fun of it, and depending on the model, I can go all out on detail or just do a build that looks good on the shelf. This is, and always has been, a hobby for me and when I don't find it fun, I take a brief break, but always end up coming back. I must admit that I have always found it hard to build a model just like the one shown on the box, and have always done something to make every model I've built unique in one way or another. I seldom try and duplicate a 1:1 truck, car, or piece of fire apparatus down to the smallest detail as that would be more taxing for me personally than to build something that is a reflection of what I have in my mind.
Here is a similar conversion that I built in 1984 using a modified 1981 issued MPC Cannonball Run 1978 Dodge van. Body and chassis modified to B300 maxi-van specs, with a second set of rear doors installed on right passenger side to provide windowed doors. Paint is Dupont Chrysler W1 with Testors orange.
It was actually common for big medium and heavy duty trucks not to have shock absorbers. I used to work as a tech in a Ford full-line dealership back in the 1960's and early 1970's, and once the truck got above the 500 series, shocks weren't even available. And those trucks were heavy, even when unloaded. They'd ride like a buckboard empty, but put 20,000 pounds on the back end, and they rode pretty well.
I've always loved these '25 Model T kits. I've built quite a few pickups over the year as well. Here are a couple that I still have on my shelf. Here's a stock one I built originally in 1970, then rebuilt it after a household move in 1985.
Here's a fire chief's buggy built back in 1987 and restored in 2010.