Custom Deluxe Fire Truck: 1984 Chevy C30 Pickup

This 1984 Chevrolet C30 Crew Cab pickup is a recent retiree from fire department use, and in the classic municipal vehicle tradition, has been well maintained and shows mileage of just over 10,000. The truck is equipped with a 350 V8 and SM465 4-speed manual transmission with granny gear. The condition does appear to be quite tidy, and while the seller suggests it’s a good Duramax-swap candidate, I hope that never happens. Find it here on eBay with a $7,850 Buy-It-Now.

Ex-municipal vehicles always seem like such a screaming bargain to me. Sure, they’re usually pretty spartan, but the mileage is low and the cosmetics typically excellent. Of course, I spent summers working for the highway department in New York, and let me tell you: those guys may have washed the trucks every day, but they beat the living crap out of them on local highways.

Now, a fire department vehicle is a slightly different story, mainly because if you’re not out fighting fires or aiding in emergency operations, the trucks should be parked. Highway guys had a bit more freedom when it came to excuses and why the trucks were used on a daily basis. Check out that 3+3 interior – absolutely spotless, with a crack-free dash to boot.

The seller notes its mechanical issues as being fairly minor, with an exhaust leak and pull in the steering that could be tire or alignment-related. Tires are old and while not cracked, should probably be replaced before a long drive home. While I wish it had a big, 1980s light bar on the roof, the core of this truck is a perfect platform for continued preservation.


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  1. Vegaman Dan

    I’m looking for a crew cab 1 ton long bed. This would be ideal if it were closer.

    Like 4
  2. dirtyharry

    I will go with door number 2 and say 110k instead of 10k. I find it rather old, tiresome and frankly fraudulent, that every whack with a 5 digit odometer will proudly tell you about the low miles. It is almost always BS.

    I looked at a Cadillac the other day, claimed to be 30k miles. Under the hood, someone wrote in marker on the coil, 42k and a date from 5 years prior. The seller was the original owner. I made him pay for my gas for the hour drive each way.

    Like 16
    • AnlogMan

      …. and this is one of the many reasons why it’s hard to buy any used car, classic or otherwise. There is just so much fraud, and so many scammers out there.

      It’s also yet another example of why it’s a HUGE risk to buy a car sight unseen. Almost anything can be made to look great in internet photos. In person, it can be a completely different story. A lot of fright pigs out there, full of bondo that looks like metal in photos, all sorts creative of hack jobs.

      I’ve only bought one car sight unseen, a classic British roadster from a supposedly reputable dealer on the opposite coast. Of course, it looked fantastic in photos. But despite the dealer’s representations, it was a mess in real life when it arrived. That was a very expensive lesson I don’t want to repeat.

      I’ve had well over 100 cars in my life, most of them older and something ‘interesting’ (if not truly ‘classic’ or ‘collectible’), and most bought used. But the scams seem to be increasing over the past few years. It’s making me leery of any used car anymore. I’ve seen so many tempting things on line, but at the last minute, it’s hard to get my finger to push the ‘bid’ button. It’s putting a major crimp in my old car obsession…

    • JOHN Member

      The seller clearly stated the odometer SHOWS 10k miles, I didn’t read anything to lead one to believe it was a 10k mile truck, but I suppose he could have said it likely rolled over once. I think that anyone in this hobby could tell the difference between 10k and 110k miles… but still, nice truck!

      Like 4
      • Gnrdude

        Hey I have Seen some of these Fire-Dept. trucks in small towns they Literally got Driven a Few hundred or LESS miles per yr. allot of times they had to be gotten Rid of due to AGE More than anything. So it is Possible it’s a Legit 10k mile Truck. I mean look at those seats if a bunch of guys were getting in there In Bunker Gear all the Time for 110k Miles it’d be BEAT to CRAP!

        Like 11
      • Dave

        At the end of the day, if the price is right and you’ve looked it over and are happy with it those six little numbers only tell you when to change the oil. Every fire department truck I’ve ever seen usually has low miles and has been well taken care of.

        Like 4
    • Mark

      I think that your way often this. Very very seldom do you ever see a fire department vehicle with 110K miles on it, especially for a small department like this. Combining that fact with the condition of the vehicle I truly believe the 10K miles is correct.

      Like 5
      • canadainmarkseh Member

        I have to agree 10k on the truck 110k on the motor. These weren’t driven far but when they got on scene they could sit and idle for hours. Still a really nice truck that would be worth an engine rebuild if needed and new bearings in the trans too.

        Like 4
      • Mark

        canadainmarkseh: your statement is correct if this was a pumper, however it’s not. It was either just a utility vehicle or possibly a brush truck. Even if it was a brush truck they have a skidmounted unit that goes in the back that has a separate gasoline powered motor to run the pump. I don’t use the vehicle’s engine to run the pump.

        Like 1
    • ace10

      Felton Minnesota covers an area of 1.01 square miles. It is entirely reasonable for a 36 year old truck to have covered only 10000 miles when constrained by that tiny municipality.

      Like 10
    • Corey

      I can tell you that the odometer is correct and that the engine actually has only 600 miles on it. We lost a frost plug on a way to a fire and had to replace the motor. I’ve been on this department for over 20 years and can tel this pickup is great to drive.
      This vehicle was only used as a rescue truck we had a propane generator mounted in the back. (It had a red topper on it when we sold it this spring). We had cribbing, jacks, and other equipment in the back for car accidents. It never left the highway. It was waxed every spring. Only reason that it has as many miles on is that we would use it to drive to meetings because you could get more people in it than our regular cab trucks.

      Like 3
    • SeberHusky

      dirtyharry, You clearly have no knowledge or understanding of VFD vehicles and service trucks so I suggest you call the fire department and ask them to confirm it and they will. It is very rare a volunteer department vehicle owned since new will ever see 20k miles. These are not daily drivers so try and expand your knowledge a little more.

  3. Matt steele

    The only swap this needs is to swap my hind end in the driver saet

    Like 10
  4. Bear

    The history report shows 101322 miles in both 1988 & 2006, SO it is certainly NOT a 10K mile truck. 110K miles seems to better match the truck’s condition, but it IS still in remarkable overall condition & has obviously been well cared for.
    (But it SO ANNOYS ME that the seller is attempting to suggest only 10K miles in total. It is completely unnecessary to be dishonest about the true mileage. The truck’s condition should stand on its own merits.) :-(
    Is it worth $7.8K?? Probably not.
    But I’d be a very interested buyer at something closer to $5K.
    …& I’m BETTING that the seller paid something south of that & is just attempting to turn a tidy profit. No foul there. But he should be realistic. It IS just a 35-year-old square-body work truck. It is NOT (& never will be) a “collectible”.

    Like 3
    • Mark

      Based on the fact that the report showed the same mileage in 88 and 06 and the fact that it would have to be run continuously to get that many miles in its 1st 2 years of life I truly think that the report that you got (you didn’t state where) is what’s incorrect in this case.

      Like 6
    • David G

      The report can’t be correct. Most fire departments, especially small ones like this 1.1 square mile town, would take over 750 years to put 100,000 miles on a truck. Many fire trucks in California from the 1950s and 60s still have under 30 to 40K miles on them today. Sucks that this one does not have A/C, but it will make a great truck for it’s new owner.

      Like 2
    • Glenn Schwass Member

      Just the clean rockers are amazing along with the underside in general. I’d put in a cloth front seat since I hate vinyl and decent wheels and drive the crap out of it.

  5. local_sheriff

    That is a L-O-N-G squarebody! The 4spd and Hydroboost are great features to have in what I think would make a stout truck for trailer towing. Not sure about price and definately not milage but it still seems like a solid truck.

    Hate any 81up square headlights faces, so that would have to make way for a 73-80 face. Add a Twin Beacon Ray or Aerodynic candy cane lightbar and it’s done!

  6. leiniedude leiniedude Member

    Hi all, for some reason I do not get the new comments via email any more. I still get the Barn Finds today email once a day. Any one else having this problem? Any advice Jeff? Thanks, Mike.

    • Jesse Mortensen Jesse Mortensen Staff

      Your email provider marked us as spam so our system stopped sending them. I’ve cleared the filter so you should start receiving them. Let me know if you have any other problems. Thanks.

      Like 1
      • leiniedude leiniedude Member

        Thanks Jesse! Josh has been helping me also. I am getting a couple of updates so I hope it is fixed. Thanks again, Mike.

  7. Terry Bowman

    I had a new 73′ C-30 crew cab(3+3) they called it, with a 350 and I just sold it in 2008, after a lifetime of tile setting. Also had a 76′ same, but had a 454. The 350 was a much better running truck. Maybe as a hauler only, the 454 may of been better, being a dually. Not good in parking lots.

  8. Dave

    Put a traditional cab-over camper topper on it and the family is on the road with plenty of room. They still make great reasonable priced aluminum clad , inside paneling, with full size back door camper shells. The memory maker! PS. It’s already off ebay

    Like 2
  9. Stevieg Member

    You really can’t trust these carfax type systems. And I really don’t think carfax existed in 1988. So if it didn’t exist, how could it record anything?
    My Mom had a car she bought new. Every panel on it had been replaced @ 1 time or another (except the roof & the grill lol) between purchase in 1999 & 2003 when it was sold. Had a clean carfax report.
    I purchased a car from an elderly neighbor. I knew the car from the time it was new until I bought it. It had a minor fender bender where it needed a new bumper cover due to a scratch. It was literally at the body shop 1 day. They ordered & painted the part while the car was in her possession. They then installed it & detailed the car in 1 day, dropped off in the morning & picked up in the evening. It was listed by carfax as having had severe accident damage. So, why trust an organization that makes so many mistakes?
    Don’t get me started on Kelly Blue Book lol.

    Like 2
    • SeberHusky

      Carfax does not do anything, they pull the records from the DMV registration and service history tied to that vin number. Any car older than 1983 will not be traceable in carfax because that was before vin numbers.

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