14K Mile Firetruck: 1989 Chevy 3500

Former municipal vehicles like this 1989 Chevrolet 3500 Sierra SLE Crew Cab are seemingly always loaded and always low mileage. It makes for an ideal combination, plus they typically retain added lights, sirens and radio systems not found on pedestrian vehicles. The seller of this example here on eBay talks up the truck’s low mileage and overall condition as justification for a heady $18,750 Buy-It-Now. 

The seller claims this Chevy used to wear fluorescent yellow paint, which seems similar to another municipality-owned Chevrolet we featured a few months ago. It was also from an Ohio township like this one, which has been somewhat crudely repainted after the truck transferred from the town of Unity to East Palestine. Evidence of overspray is apparent, and there is rust in the lower quarters behind the rear wheels. It retains the graphics of the latest department it served, but it no longer has the cool lightbar that once graced the roof.

The repaint did extend to the door jambs and underhood, but here you can see the respray evidence on the door latch mechanism. The seller notes that the truck features a four-speed manual with one of them a granny gear, paired to the venerable 454. The interior presents nicely, and there’s a ton of space inside but no air conditioning. Despite losing the lightbar, the truck retains dual H1 spotlights and a “Traffic Buster” siren and PA system. The listing includes photos of the truck in action, but with just over 14,000 original miles, it didn’t go very far.

The seller notes he purchased the truck from East Palestine via auction, and you can almost guarantee he didn’t pay the current asking price for it. That’s fine, but the question of whether low-mileage vehicles owned by small towns are worth more than their non-municipal counterparts is always a question. This Chevy is a model not often seen anymore with its four full doors and long bed. However, nearly $20K is a big bite for a non-original truck that’s been repainted and has rust, so we’ll be watching to see whether bidders agree that the price is a bit ambitious.

Fast Finds


  1. jwinters

    looks like they ordered the wrong toolboxes. those are low side boxes meant to sit over the rails. high side boxes with drop down doors are supposed to be mounted like that.

    • jw454

      Yes, whoever uses those tool boxes better be pretty tall if you’re standing on the ground.

      • jwinters

        well I guess since they are firemen they probably have a ladder laying around hehe

    • Bobsmyuncle

      However it maximizes bed space.

      I’ve been shopping for Squarebodies. This isn’t an unreasonable ask unfortunately.

      • OLDSTUFF

        The Truck, by the way looks to be a 4×4, and like you,Bob, I have been watching these ‘Squarebody’ GMC and Chevy’s in nice condition bring some premium prices for the crew and other oddball cab and bed configurations…even some of the rougher 4×4’s are bringing good (what I think is ‘good’) money… However, this is a little steep for one that many would eventually want to most likely at least remove the decals if not a complete repaint to have a nice daily driver… Just saying..

  2. Tom

    I have an 87 3/4 ton Chevy and as far as I know that was the last year for the “square body”, so what’s up with this 1989?

    • Bobsmyuncle

      Double cabs, Blazers and Suburbans went to 91.

    • CJay

      Square body, 4 door 2500 and 3500 Chevrolets stayed until restyled in 1992.

      • Bobsmyuncle

        91 model year.

    • NMCarNut

      While the restyled Silverado/Sierra trucks came out in 1988 the “square body” as you call it continued along side the new trucks in Blazer, Suburban, and crew cab forms until 1991.

      Barn Finds should know better, this is a GMC V-Series, not a Chevrolet.

    • GP Member

      I have a 1989 GMC Jimmy( full size), Same front end and doors. Tail lights.

  3. Joe Cook

    Lets see now the TAX payer paid for that truck , so its not theirs to sale so i would think their towns people have the first crack at it and in 91 that $18,700. I would bet it cost new . I wood pas any ways.
    Like we paid for it once. Good Day.

    • Dave Wright

      The tax payer sold the truck….. I too think his asking price is crazy but he has the right to do as he wants with it after he bought it. I hope he likes the truck, he will be looking at it a long time.

  4. King Al

    In the actual ad, the seller states: “Used with scratches, chips, dents, minor overspray, ripped seats, and light rust.” And for that old mess, he wants $19K. 😆😆😆😆😆😆😆

    • Dave Wright

      That description is straight out of the auction description when he bought it.

  5. CMARV

    Post say’s bought at auction locally , I think he may be trying to triple his investment .
    Only in “Merica” , I hope he gets it . But I have my doubts .

  6. tje

    Probably only used in parades.

  7. David C Pyatt

    Notice that the current paint indicates STREET DEPARTMENT not FIRE DEPARTMENT…

  8. Troy

    454 and a 4 speed transmission in a barge like this. Drive it sparingly with today’s gas prices

  9. Mark

    This is a 20 footer, then walk away, 5000.00 will be rotted away in a couple years and bonds will fall off, no air. Forget it.

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