1950 Seagrave 900T: Hook and Ladder!

1950 Seagrave Fire Engine

I will be the first one to tell you I have no idea what you’d do with this hook and ladder open cab fire truck, located in Ottertail, Minnesota and for sale here on eBay where bidding is currently at just over $2,000 but has not met the reserve. This truck has a V12 engine of undetermined displacement, but I did find out that some Seagrave engines were as large as 900 cubic inches! One really odd thought I had was to turn the cab portion into a really unusual huge roadster…but I don’t think I’d actually do that. Seagrave is still in business, maybe they should consider buying this truck and restoring it? What would you do if you had it?


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  1. jim s

    this seller has a lot of other old vehicles for sale on ebay right now plus interesting vehicles in background of photos.

  2. jim s

    as for this i would resell all the fire fighting related items and the trailer. because if it is kept together you need 2 very skilled drivers to run the vehicle which greatly limits it use. also the cost to restore and maintain would be high. i would put a pickup or flat bed behind the cab and keep the truck working. the motor has a double plug head which might help identify it. great find

  3. Mike d

    it would have to be a real labor of love for the machine , will admit it would look super brought back to new.. but, not I …

  4. cory

    Would be a great advertising gimmick. I would make a food truck out of it. Lots of room in the back for storage/oven space. Im thinking pizza wagon. Beer taps on the side.Hang a banner from the ladder way above the competitions signs.. Sirens and lights tend to draw a crowd. Roll up to any sporting events with cold beer and hot pizza and you will have more friends than you could ever imagine

    • Al Savoy

      It could be used for parking lot lighting maintainance

  5. Brad

    I might go on tour, renting myself out as the Grand Marshall for every parade in sight.

    In actuality… I’d want to put a Cummins diesel up front… leave the ladder at home… and adapt a polished, 1950s Spartan trailer into a 5th wheel. Neatest long-distance RV rig ever. You’d just have to figure out a removable roof for that cab, first. : )

  6. Brad

    Jamie, here’s your hot rod – a Seagrave turned into the world’s biggest boattail speedster.


    • Jamie Palmer Jamie Staff

      That is seriously cool! Thanks, Brad!

  7. MH

    I think it’s very cool. But the cost to have this shipped to you would run your wallet empty. I live in MN so it wouldn’t be that bad but I have no place to park it.

  8. fred

    Local fire dept has a smaller version, restored. Looks great!

    • Brad

      Fred, this is a far better option for someone wanting to return it to the road as some of us been discussing. From the quad cab, to the roof, to the ability for one person to operate it… this would be the one to make into a fantastic RV. As others have said… the one on eBay is, sadly, too impractical to be anything beyond a curiosity for most.

  9. Cameron Bater UK

    I’d buy this and import it to the UK where I’d restore it and showed it off at events like the Great Dorset Steam Fair (www.gdsf.co.UK)

  10. Ross W. Lovell

    Greetings All,

    I could be wrong but I thought the Seagrave units were Packard engines?

    I agree with getting 2 competent drivers, I’d probably do it up as a grand tourer. Have seen many of these turned into retro-racers. The scale is what gives them away being so large. A chain driven one was particularly sharp.

  11. That Guy

    The Seagrave V12 engines were actually derived from the Pierce-Arrow V12.

    Unfortunately most potential buyers for this thing will just be interested in the engine and transmission. It would be wonderful to see it preserved and even restored, but it’s just such a huge, complicated machine that only a very wealthy and eccentric fire apparatus collector would even contemplate such a task.

    And unlike an old truck or bus, even when it’s gleaming and shiny and fully functional, it will still be useless for its intended purpose, or for pretty much anything else. Even just driving it down the street will be a major undertaking. Alas, it will never be anything more than a curiosity, and maybe an attractive accessory in period-piece movies.

  12. dj

    You could take just the truck and make a cool 5th wheel hauler.

  13. artinoz

    That Seagrave engine must do 5 gallons to the mile hauling this trailer and gear around.
    I guess it didn’t matter to the local fire department back then.
    I would do something like this winner from 2011 SEMA http://www.shineaward.com/04_community_03_shine_2011/04_community_03_shine_2011_08.html
    An awesome custom ladder truck now powered by a Viper V10.
    I love the Seagrave boattail that must be a sight to be seen on cruising nights.

  14. JimmyinTEXAS

    The flea-bay ad states the truck is on a salvage title. How would that complicate things getting it back on the road?

  15. gunningbar

    This can be driven with one driver…the rear steering was for narrow roads/streets and fast driving…its no longer than most 18 wheelers. BUT what do you do with it?! Sadly… its too impractical… maybe challenge Jay Leno to a match race…

  16. Jason

    link broken?

  17. Woodie Man

    That Ottertail is a happening place. Guy has lots of great old iron. Much of it somewhat overpriced for rusted non ops. But fun to look at

  18. Phildozer

    Here’s what I would do, and before agreeing to buy this monstrosity: remove the center valley cover to expose the camshaft and valve train, determine if water had gotten into the engine and if valve lifters were rusted stuck, attempt to gently coax the crank back and forth to determine if the engine is frozen, which it probably is, thank my lucky stars that I didn’t buy the truck, since that magnificent engine is the solitary item that has any worth, and only if it can be rehabilitated without having to find a serviceable cam, lifters, distributor gear, etc.

    • Ross W. Lovell

      Greeting All,

      Phil, you have my eternal thanks as that info might come in handy.

      Have had several offered over the last 10 years and I usually pass the info on to a variety of firefighters to give them first refusal. Plan was to only pull the trigger if the FD’s weren’t interested.

      Love that era engine but didn’t want to butcher the vehicle my making it into a large scale touring car if someone wanted it. Don’t mind doing it if it’s saved from the scrapper though.

  19. Billy Sargent

    Brilliant beast though, ain’t it? Is it my imagination, or does this look like the letter that popped up occasionally on emergency! 82 I think it was…

  20. John

    This one is sitting in a abandoned building in west Virginia. Always been inside along with a 52 American LA france

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