9/11 Tribute: 1980 Ford 8000 Pierce Fire Truck

Todd FitchBy Todd Fitch

The September 11 Attacks on the World Trade Center in New York, New York froze time for all Americans. On that horrible day, many citizens and public servants rushed toward the danger to help others when every instinct told them to run away. Among these brave men and women were hundreds of fire fighters. While this 1980 Ford 8000 Pierce Fire Truck did not star in that effort, it seems appropriate to feature it today. Listed here on eBay and located in Beggs, Oklahoma, this former public servant awaits an opening bid of $5000.

Retired only five years ago, Pierce-bodied fire-fighting machine is running and driving, and even pumping. The owner actually served with this truck as a fire fighter and knows it well. The Ford cab and chassis should be relatively easy to keep running.

This dashboard begs the question of whether a Space Shuttle of this vintage had as many knobs, switches, levers, and pedals, though the Space Shuttle probably did not have a 5-speed manual transmission shifter. The original 3208 Caterpillar diesel powers this rig, and different varieties of these motors made between 210 and 435 HP.

A fire department in need may make the ideal buyer; if trucks have a soul I’m sure this one would want to continue helping people fight fires. On the other hand, everyone has that neighbor who marches to the beat of a different drummer. Maybe that’s you! Certainly owning your own fire truck is much cooler than living with 63 cats. I’ve also seen these with DIY flat-beds pressed into service collecting hay bales. What would you do if this pumper ended up in your driveway?

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  1. geomechs

    I’ll never forget 9-11. I was up, getting ready for my day, just listening to the radio when the bulletin came on about a jet crashing into the WTC. I turned on the TV and was watching the coverage of that when the second jet hit. I’ll never forget the shock I felt and how that cowardly act has changed me. May God bless the victims and their families, and may God bless the heroes who raced in to help.

    A 3208 Cat in this rig wasn’t uncommon. Actually the tiny Cat wasn’t all that bad a motor as long as you didn’t lug the hell out of it. 210 hp was the max it could produce naturally aspirated but they were available in 265 with a turbo. Later versions offered aftercooling which pushed the limits upwards of 300. I can’t say that I saw any of them over that. 435 hp? I won’t argue that but I think that would give a short, wild ride before it resulted in a loud, expensive noise in the engine bay, followed by a shower of bent cast iron and aluminum, and hot oil. A good looking fire truck that should remain that way…

    • Howard A Member

      Hi geomechs, spot on. I was delivering pharmaceuticals to drug stores, hospitals,etc. and my 1st delivery was at about 8:30, nothing unusual, by the time I got to my 2nd delivery, around 9:15, they were watching a tv, and it was still too early to know what happened. Trouble a brewin’. I continued on my deliveries, and by the 4th and 5th ( 10am), we all knew we were in big trouble. 9/11 changed EVERYTHING, and we’re still feeling the effects today.
      Now, on to the fire engine. 1st, and this only comes from experience, I drove tandem and tri-axle dump trucks with that worthless 210 hp, 3208 ( non-turbo) which I’m sure this truck has, was, next to the 238 Detroit, THE most worthless ( did I say that already?) POS motor I ever sat behind or above. ( L10 Cummins rounding out the top 3 worst) When you mashed the throttle to the floor, where it remained most of the day, all it did was get louder, but no increase in speed. Couple that to a set of “clubs” ( 5×3) and it was a busy ride. I was getting paid by the hour, so I didn’t care less if 45 was as fast as it would go with a load. With fire engines cost half a million dollars now, rather than take it apart, I’d have to think some cash strapped community would want this, especially out west. Maybe just donate it, why does everything have to revolve around money?

  2. Jay E.

    Where I live, these are still what show up at fires. Too bad its so far away, I’d make an offer.

  3. angliagt

    OTOH – this truck’s 37 (almost 38) years old.
    Repairing & maintaining an old fire engine can get
    pricey in a hurry,plus some parts are no longer available.


    This truck has nothing to do with 9-11.


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