Almost Like New: 1966 Chevrolet C-60 Fire Truck

This fire truck listed on eBay in Lufkin, Texas really does look nice, even up close, in and out. We are naturally very skeptical of low mileage claims but this truck really does seem to have only 1,434 miles. It served the fire department of Kanopolis, Kansas, a city of 600 people, doing mostly parade duty.

It really does look like new in the cab. Because it was often driven very slowly it has spent more time driving than it would have in normal use.

The seat looks like it’s hardly been used. With just a little detail work, this interior could look almost like new!

The engine is not perfectly clean and shiny so some will argue it must have many more miles. I would wonder about the mileage if it was detailed. After 51 years, even if it had never been driven, the engine would still be less than pristine. The decal and chalk number are still on the rocker cover and there’s no sign of oil leaks.

The low mileage doesn’t make this fire engine more valuable, of course and doesn’t really matter except as a curiosity. Fire engines are typically aren’t driven many miles. What might make this truck more attractive to buyers is its relatively small size. It’s only 23′ long. All the equipment works. This would make a great fire engine for a theme park but it’s probably still a bit large for a museum. Readers will no doubt have interesting ideas as to how this truck could be used.

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Comments

  1. Howard A

    Let’s make one thing crystal clear, fire engines are exempt from the questionable mileage thing. This absolutely is correct mileage. Remember the story about our little town where our lake cottage is? They had a 1955 ( or 56) Chevy, very similar to this. We walked past it for years, never seemed to move. One day it was parked outside, it had only a few thousand miles on it, and looked brand new, so this is the real deal. Now, will it perform like a truck with 1,400 miles? Sadly no. Being a “pumper” this truck probably has a ton of hours on the motor idling, and why it looks like that. Again, same thing, it’s good for a fire truck, but not much else.

    • Hank

      Somehow you need to identify and remove the asshats who constantly thumbs down Howard A on everything he posts. He adds a lot to this forum, and I, for one, am sick of it. In fact, get rid of the thumbs down all together. It’s ruining this site.

      • Howard A

        Thank you Hank. Old grudges die hard, I guess. There’s plenty of room here for discussion, some choose not to talk. Pretty boring. I’m here to interact and meet new car folks ( wish more women would chime in, we know you are out there, and have lots of car experiences) and learn something in the process. I don’t learn much from a thumbs down.

      • Jason

        This has nothing to do with Howard, but I for one don’t appreciate your vulgarity, Hank. I enjoy sharing my love for vehicles with my son, but can’t do so here because of you.

  2. Mark

    As Howard said, mileage and firetrucks is not really a good way of measuring how much wear is on them because when they are pumping they are not collecting miles. However, being instructed from a small town in the fact that the markings are still on the engine it’s really doesn’t like it’s been around an awful lot.

    Unfortunately, because of his age, ISO will not recognize it as a fire truck as far as insurance considerations go.

    I see an older truck like this that were in good condition turned into parade vehicles with a tank removed and seeding put in the hose bed area. I’ve also seen a couple that paternity really neat tailgating vehicles. A smoker was put in the bed area and when I saw even head a beer tap where the water discharges are! Really neat project and functional, it certainly drew a lot of people to it.

  3. Ed P

    Mileage is probably correct, but the idling hours are something else. With full water tanks and complete equipment, this truck could not be fast. The Chevy 292 is a fine engine, but this is a big load for it.

  4. Woodie Man

    Still………it looks like 1966 in the cab…….sweet

  5. CJay

    Love it! Great old truck, just not very fast!
    My 1970 F350 only has 15,000 miles.

  6. geomechs geomechs Member

    I’m going to agree with the claims that the mileage itself is low but the engine has a fair bit of pumping hours on it. Over a period of 50 years it could easily log a couple thousand hours. Still those kind of hours aren’t hard hours; the engine’s got a lot of life left in it.

    What to do with a truck like this? I can see unloading the fire body and using the truck as a car hauler. Don’t have to go too fast; just have to get there and back safely and efficiently. I might add that this one will NOT be fast; I don’t see a 2-speed axle control so it would be a single speed stump-puller….

  7. Dave Wright

    I am looking for one like this for my ranch, but I prefer buying directly from the government and it is too far away. This type truck has held its value here in the northwest because loggers are frequently required to keep one on worksites. Great looking truck.

    • Howard A

      Hi Dave, this truck has been flipped anyway ( not that there’s anything wrong with that) A Kansas truck in Texas. It was sold at auction in Dec. and I won’t say for how much.

  8. Glen

    Did/do they keep track of hours on these things?
    My little JD lawn tractor does. ( several hundred so far)

    • Mark

      Some firetrucks have hour meters, some don’t. Many of the newer ones do because that’s the only way you keep track of when you need to do oil change and other maintenance. Many of the older one like this didn’t.

    • Mark-A

      Was wondering exactly the same thing! Great minds & all that.

  9. Bobsmyuncle

    I’m confident this hasn’t seen many fires. Any fire truck that works in anger shows the signs on the exterior and this is one clean truck. I’m confident the concerns on engine wear are overblown.

    Regardless, we’re back to the same old conundrum; what do you do with an old fire truck? With some modifications I think the right truck (this would work) would be a great way to give tours of big city fire halls for fire buffs (yes they are a thing).

  10. Tyler

    These old rural fire trucks are cool. I really want one. I have no idea what I would do with it, but I still want one. Unfortunately this one is already too rich for my blood.

  11. Lee Jensen

    An old rule of thumb for converting hours of operating time to miles traveled for stationary engines was 40 miles per hour times the number of hours run . This would give some idea if hours were known . An hour meter installed on these type of equipment is helpful. Nice looking rig.

    • rando

      Lee, that’s one we tried to estimate how MSF training motorcycles were used. Because we would havae bikes with 3000 miles that were pretty used up. But that would be approximately 150 classes at 20 miles per class. However, the bikes were running for 8 – 10 hours of that time, either doing the exercise or idling in line. So if you have 150 classes x 10 hours= 1500 hours x 40 mph = 60K miles equivalent. On a 250 cc motorcycle. Yeah those can be pretty worn out. But with some love after class… I have a “rescue bike”. Got mine with 5800 miles on it and with a little love, I have a fun little motorcycle for next to nothing.

      Now back to the fire engine. Sorry for hijacking.

  12. Mark S

    What to do with it lose the Fire eguipment shorten the wheel base up grade the drive line ( I would put a cumins diesel in it with 5 speed od transmission) regear the back axle. Then I’d put a period step side box on it ( 8′ ) and a 5th wheel hitch. Lastly upgrade the front brakes to disc. I’d leave the door badging to show its roots I would not repaint the cab and front clip just the box to match it up. Now you can pull the trailer of choice.

  13. BRAKTRCR

    I have the “sorta kinda” twin to this truck. Mine is the C80, and has the big block 366 motor, with 33,000 miles on it. It’s rust free, runs like a top, and is nowhere near as nice as the one in this post. Mine was outside for most of it’s life I think. The red paint is oxydized, but probably will truly “buff out” I got it from a volunteer fire department, and have original paperwork for the American La France body on the back.
    Some of the fun things I like about it: The passenger side doesn’t have a key lock on the door handle, you just lock it from the inside. There are no lock buttons, you push down on the handle to lock the doors. How do I know the mileage is accurate on mine? The doors don’t sag. I don’t have to slam them shut. It just has 1 visor. It cracks me up. I guess passengers didn’t rate blocking the sun from their eyes. It’s got studded snow tires. Do they still make those? Shrug, who knows, but they are in great shape and hold air.
    Much of the “Firetruck” stuff was removed from mine, I have a big water tank on the back to haul water for my off grid place. I’m going to hook up a gravity feed supply to a centrifugal pump, to make it work as a Firetruck for myself, and neighboring property.
    The subject truck is at $7700 when I looked. Guess I stole mine at $2000.
    Hank, I agree wholeheartedly about your comments about Howard. Thanks for saying, what most of us were thinking

  14. gardener

    I would love this truck in my area people use these to fill swimming pools.You would not beleave what people pay to get there pool filled.The fire house here changes the oil by the calender not the mileage so the upkeep is probably good.Besides it is a beautiful truck even the idea of cutting it to make a tow rig would be fun to do you could make a lot of vary cool rig from this the sky is the limit.About the comment voting I like it you can let haters know you don’t like what they say with no fight some people love that sort of thing,and Howard is a gem who I enjoy reading what he says even if I don’t always agree.His voice is worth listening to.Well that’s my say talk at you all later.

    • Bobsmyuncle

      That’s an odd use. For one, all water from a firetruck has oil in it. Add to that the tank is nowhere large enough to fill a pool.

      Some communities will charge home owners to fill the pool via the hydrants and this is facilitated by the fire department but bypasses the truck’s pump.

      • Mark

        No, all water from fire trucks does not have oil in it! I spent many years in the fire service and unless you have of leaking single someplace in the system you do not have oil in the your tank water! I don’t know where you got that information but it’s completely false.

      • Bobsmyuncle

        Hey Mark, it’s been so long its really hardly worth responding but…priming oil. If you check the truck daily for prime like you should you will always end up with some in the tank.

  15. BRAKTRCR

    If I can make this work, here is mine

    • BRAKTRCR

      1966 C80 bbc 366 cu in.

  16. gardener

    The guy that I know has a larger tank put on not the same tank sorry if I didn’t say enough about a idea thought you would take it as was intended a idea.But he also pumps out of the creak at his house he has water rights and a large filter system to clean water and set first chemicals.his is now blue with ss tank bought it for heavy duty rear and long frame was cheap to.Yes it is unlawful to hookup to fire plug if not fire man he doesn’t and wouldn’t.Like I said it was a idea try one yourself you might like it instead of talking crap about others

  17. Jay E.

    I’ve got one that continues to soldier on as a farm truck. Still starts and functions as a mobile shop. Hard to believe it was that pretty once.

    1
  18. Mike

    C 60 does the 292 pull pretty good, I have the same truck with a 327. Does yours have a Two speed rear end , mine dont. Yours looks a lot better great looking truck.

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