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1951 Van Pelt Pumper Fire Truck, seats 12?

left front

This old firetruck is listed on OnlineAuction where bidding is at only about $3,400 with one day left. It’s in Fowler, California and has been a part of their history for 40 years. It’s been used for parades and football games. It started life with the Fresno Fire Department and then was used by the Big Creek fire department. Van Pelt was located in Oakdale, California. Thanks to Dave W for finding this for us!

1951 Van Pelt Pumper Truck

It has a 6 cylinder engine and a 4 speed transmission and runs and drives. It seems like the most important feature to most buyers is the siren. They have installed benches for seating for perhaps 12. It looks like this could be used for tours of some sort or parades. What other uses can you think of for this fire truck?


  1. HoA Howard A Member

    Actually, this is a pretty cool truck. It’s based off an early 50’s Peterbilt. I love the 4 spoke steering wheel. Again, just the same old thing. What to do with it? Old Pete’s are hard to find, and it might be worth cutting off the back and make a ramp or rollback out of it. Cabs are pretty easy to find. Be a lot of work.

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  2. dave57210

    Step one – pull off the pump and associated gear
    Step two: Pull off th rear bodywork (south of the firewall
    Step three install motorhome bodywork
    Step for – enjoy the heck out of it!

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  3. 1969Deuce

    Around here there’s no shortage of events where you could display it as what it is and get lots of compliments. Hope someone polishes it up and does just that.

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  4. Ed Hass

    Just buy an existing motor home and don’t destroy a rare piece of history. This is a hand-crafted vehicle made by true craftsmen, and there is a whole organization called Society for the Preservation and Appreciation of Antique Motor Fire Apparatus in America (SPAAMFAA) that for 60 years has been dedicated to preserving these vehicles and the history behind them; it has 17,000 online followers. Converting a fire engine from its original design is kind of like handing a 4-year-old a box of crayons and telling him/her to go “improve” the original of the Mona Lisa.

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