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German for Firetruck: 1976 Magirus Deutz


When we think air-cooled, most of us would picture a Porsche 911 or a vintage Beetle. But some heavy-equipment fans would likely think of a different make and model, such as this 1976 Magirus Deutz fire apparatus here on eBay. Distinctly different from the fire engines we see in the U.S., this example is an artifact from one of the largest manufacturers of fire vehicles in Germany and throughout Europe. 


This unusual Magirus Deutz is in Canada, which makes sense given we certainly don’t see these European-market trucks on our roads. It doesn’t surprise me one bit to see the smaller cockpit confines and more car-like driving position compared to our fire engines, which definitely take up a bit more room on the roadways. There’s also usually a large center console with multiple controls and levers; this looks much simpler in execution.


The seller doesn’t give us much information to go on (and English may not be his first language), so the mention of rust in the front wings and the fact that it hasn’t run in five years are concerning. The engine – said to be a Deutz 6-cylinder – features the aforementioned air-cooling and is a diesel that appears to be turbocharged, according the listing. A horsepower rating of 232 b.h.p. is also mentioned, but that’s all I can put together. If you Google “Deutz motor”, there’s a fair amount of love for the reliable air-cooled configuration in heavy equipment forums.


Quite a different front-end from our fire trucks, eh? I personally like it, and this is actually one of the first apparatus’ we’ve featured that I’d consider a fun project (sorry, my affinity for European-based machinery is hard to hide). While I wouldn’t use it for its intended purpose, I could see this being converted to a wicked flat-bed hauler for track duties. I’d keep the paint scheme intact and ensure the HPDE car matched accordingly! Have any of you ever operated machinery made by Magirus Deutz?


  1. Tirefriar

    What, another German diesel with a slush box? No stick, no dice ;-))

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  2. Van

    How does the performance compare to an M3
    Wouldn’t want to get beat on track day.

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  3. Bobsmyuncle

    “It doesn’t surprise me one bit to see the smaller cockpit confines and more car-like driving position compared to our fire engines”

    The cabin and positioning are really no different from any other rig. It is an unually short aerial (Ladder) however, but that can be a big advantage sometimes, especially in older areas with tight streets. This is in Quebec so we’ll loosely say Canada LOL.

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  4. Matt Tritt

    Magirus and Deutz go way back and are excellent vehicles. Deutz engines are still considered the best $ can buy in the air-cooled genre and are highly sought after in the industrial world. Only issue with them now is in meeting emissions standards for the older models. The new generation Deutz engines are availbable up to 500 kW V-12

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  5. geomechs geomechs Member

    This is something that could only go to a collector. Like what do you do with it other than fight fires? Reliable, I’ve no doubt. That Deutz engine has a stellar reputation but it can sure be expensive to overhaul. I would bet that the transmission/driveline would be a ZF: solid, reliable, expensive…

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