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1974 Chevrolet C20 Pickup: Municipal Treasure


I love finds like these. It’s not hard to get lost in thought thinking about some small town off the beaten path fire department that bought new vehicles once in a great while still using a classic like this 1974 Chevy C20 with only 9,000 original miles! Listed here on eBay with a Buy-It-Now of $10,000 (though you might be able to get it lower depending on the reserve), this vintage pickup was used as a wildland firefighting vehicle and has seen minimal use while employed by the city of Gregory, Michigan. It’s rare to see an older truck like this in active duty, but I’d imagine rural areas tend to hold onto what they get and take care of it as best they can – in fact, the seller makes a point to say the fire department washed the truck after every use. While some small rust has crept in, I’d preserve the graphics and simply enjoy. Does your town still use a classic vehicle for work duty?


  1. kenzo

    Nice find… interesting that at only 9000 miles that the door would rust like that. Was this a problem in this model?

    • Ken

      A vehicle doesn’t need to move an inch to rust in Michigan.

    • grant

      These were pretty well known for rusting out the bottoms of the doors. More of a time ting than mileage. Nice truck. Still too much damn money for it though.

      • Ed P

        Obviously this truck was parked inside. If parked outside, those doors would be long gone by now.

  2. geomechs geomechs Member

    I was a little surprised to see that kind of rust in the door too although I’ve seen it a time or two in the past. The drains must be clogged up and couldn’t let the water run out. Just the same, door skins are easy to come by for that vintage of truck. I’m sure that it will serve the new owner well. The only drawbacks to this vintage of GM truck are that ’74 had to be the poorest year on record for fuel economy. No real problem, just some tweaking of the carburetor and re-curbing the ignition. The other one is that ’74 vintage had some problems with the chain in the NP203 transfer case; it had a tendency to stretch too soon. The replacement held up much better.

  3. JW

    Nice find, I would fix rust hopefully without disturbing anything than just drive it the way it is to local car shows as was stated gas mileage would be horrible. We have a 78 Ford long bed pickup that was used by a small town’s fire department here in Missouri that comes to a local show. I have to laugh at the name of the town ” CLIMAX” everytime I see it.

  4. cory

    That is just freaking cool. I would touch up the rust and blend in the paint. I have always loved these trucks. Reminds me of when I was a kid

  5. Mike D

    what a find! My hope is that it will be preserved , and mileage kept low . the fire department will probably ask the new owner to take the lettering off the doors, a good opp to check out the condition of the other door, this was probably used in parades too , barely broke in

  6. braktrcr

    I have a 66 Chevy C80 Firetruck with only 33,000 miles. If you are into older trucks, Fire Departments can be a great source. Mine came with original documents, runs like a watch.
    This step side seems like a bargain to me. Most 4×4 trucks that I see are half ton, this is a 3/4 ton. The rust does seem minimal and common for these. Some engine pictures would have been nice. Hopefully it has power steering, I doubt it has A/C. This truck would be a blast, parts are plentiful and cheap, and available at every chain auto parts store in the country.
    Transfer case issues… you could be right Geomechs, but again parts for this thing are a snap.

  7. redwagon

    grew up not far from here. have relatives whose mailing address is gregory. it’s rural but not as rural as it used to be. close to hell, michigan too.

    if this was dedicated for wildland fire it may have just 9K on it as fire season here would be primarily spring grass fires. still, in service 41 years and only 9K? an average of 219 miles/year? do your due diligence.

  8. Keith

    I’m always a little leery of ex-fire rigs. The miles may be low, but the hours (if you can determine) can be ridiculous due to all the idling. Plus, with small-town volunteer departments, I always wonder who’s all been slam-banging the gearbox and floor-boarding the throttle while racing to the fire.

    That said, I did miss my chance at a similar rig 10ish years ago. Late ’70s Chevy K30 with a 350, 4-speed, and PTO driven pumper body… rust-free (rare here in Minnesota) and showing only 30K miles. It was at a little municipal auction that I *thought* no one knew about (seeing as how I’d just discovered it – I was 18 at the time). Showed up with most of my net worth in hand, and was disappointed when my $3K ceiling flew by in seconds.

  9. braktrcr

    The buy it now is gone, and no mention of a reserve anymore. Currently at $3950, I wouldn’t be surprised it goes well over 10K
    Dang I like it, wish it was closer, might sell a car or two for this one

  10. Jim Rowe

    >> Just a few years back, I was on the volunteer FD in Beaverton, Mich …. We had a 1948 Chev Pumper still in service … and 3 miles away in Gladwin, Mich was a 1934 Ford Ladder truck – yes.. still active, but only for parades, etc ……..

    Small towns don’t have big budgets, so you have to make do

  11. braktrcr

    Sold $7700 I think some one got a good deal

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