I should start by explaining what the hell it is that you are looking at. This giant green thing is called a Green Goddess. Officially known as a ‘Bedford RLHZ Self Propelled Pump’ it’s a sort of attempt at some preparation for nuclear war. An incredibly rugged fire engine.
In terms of Steve Dilworth’s choice in owning a classic car, this is definitely quite a big one. The 1950s Goddess certainly comes across as a bit of an anomaly at first, but Steve’s ownership comes from the same place as many classic owners - the nostalgia, the family connection.
After WW2, the government saw a need to prepare for the worst. The Auxiliary Fire Service was reformed and equipped with a variety of vehicles: Land Rovers, fuel tankers, hose carriers and all of the other vehicles necessary to somewhat mitigate the effects of nuclear war. The centerpiece of this brigade (not military!) was a few thousand of these Green Goddesses.
THERE WAS A BIT OF AN ENIGMA ABOUT THEM. A BIT OF AN X-FILES SORT OF THING.
It was thought the first thing you’d need in an apocalypse would be clean water. The plan was in the event of an attack, hundreds of Green Goddesses would daisy-chain up the UK’s road network, pumping clean water at nearly 5000 litres per minute to any ‘ground zero’.