Lifelong Volunteer: 1952 Chevrolet Fire Truck

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Jeff LaveryBy Jeff Lavery

The Goodway Community Volunteer Fire Protection company is located in Frisco City, Alabama. Those must be some sentimental folks down there, as they’ve held onto their vintage fire apparatus for quite some time. This 1952 Chevrolet pickup here on eBay has been stationed in a firehouse since it was new, and aside from needing a brake job, the seller claims it will fire up and report to duty in any town it serves next. 

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If the truck didn’t have two flat tires in front, I could believe that it was out rescuing kittens and confiscating illegal fireworks just yesterday. The cab remains in fine shape, and the new-for-’52 painted dash and 90 m.p.h. speedo are still intact. The bench seat isn’t even torn up, which could mean the 51,714 miles on the clock are original. The dust on the firefighter’s helmet is either a clue to how long this truck has been idle or an excellent prop.

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As an earlier model, I suspect this Chevrolet gets its power from a 216 CI, 3.5L inline-six, good for about 92 b.h.p. and 176 lb. ft. of torque (later models would benefit from additional power in the 235 CI, 3.9L I6). Not much information is given about the health of the engine, which is needed regardless of how easy a life it led in the firehouse. As a working vehicle, the next owner will likely want to know how frequently it was serviced.

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Regardless, it’s hard to ask serious questions when you’re drooling over all of the vintage firefighting equipment still attached to this fine Chevy pickup. From the sirens to the horns to the hoses and water pumper, this truck is about as authentic as it gets for an original fire equipment vehicle. As it’s been in the same town all of its life, I’m surprised a local hasn’t stepped up to keep it nearby. Bidding is quite active with the reserve unmet and just over three days left in the auction. Have you seen this truck in action?

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Comments

  1. John H

    Wow, I can’ t believe bid price isn’t higher. From the pics it looks very solid. Only thing that could be better is if it were a Deluxe 5-window. From pics I can’t tell if it is a3100 1/2 ton or 3600 3/4 ton, which is not as desireable. Seller doesn’t specify.

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    • geomechs

      I tend to sway toward a 3600, maybe even a 3800. It’s probably a 3600 because most 3800 trucks had a 9 ft. bed and 17 inch rims. Still a nice truck to have.

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  2. Mitch

    My city’s original rescue squad was available for sale once. (1949 Chevy Panel, originally known here as the “Disaster Unit” or “DU” as our squads are still known to oldsters) It was in primer but solid. A friend of mine almost bought it. Whereabouts unknown now. Our former longtime FD Chief told me if he knew about it then he would have bought it no matter what the price.

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  3. Gary
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  4. FightingFireForFree

    “Mini-Pumpers” were/are based on 1 or 1 1/2 ton vehicles due to the amount of mechanicals, such as dual fuel tanks, water tank, pump, hose reels and equipment carried. My Vol. department still uses a 1 ton Ford 4X4 as a Brush/Grass truck carrying 250 gallons of water, a front spray bar in the summer and a plow in the winter as well as ALS medical gear, generator/lighting and numerous hand tools. A 1/2 or 3/4 ton vehicle simply cannot support that kind of weight for drivability, durability and longevity.

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  5. Ron D.

    I would like to restore it, and use it for a show truck, though I may be blind, I did not see a price anywhere.and it’s fairly close.

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