Fiery Hot Rod: 1947 Diamond T

1947 Diamond T Fire Engine

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There are tons of neat of fire trucks out there that need good homes, but what do you do with something like that once you get it home? Besides driving them in the parade and parking them in the barn as a show piece, I really don’t know what you do with something so large, slow and difficult to maneuver, but I think the seller of this Diamond T fire truck hot rod had a good idea! They took the old body and mounted it to a modern Dodge D350 dump truck chassis. It has a modern Cummins turbo diesel, a Getrag 5 speed, new brakes and all kinds of trick features. I’m not recommending this kind of customization for every old fire truck, but if you have one that you just don’t know what to do with, this could be a good route. And if you don’t have a fire truck, but love the idea, you can find this one here on eBay in Pleasant Valley, New York with a current bid of $14k.

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  1. boxdin

    Wow this is a nice truck! Shame on dodge for still using plastic lines for clutch hydraulics, but this would be a blast to drive, and great use of another low mile fire truck.

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  2. Van

    Bad ass

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  3. dirtyharry

    Wow, somebody is “out there” and I love it. Looks like it would be a blast on the highway, maybe with a vintage race car or dragster in tow.

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  4. Howard A. Howard AMember

    NOOOOO!!! (operator) “911, state your emergency”. (me)”Um, Hi, I just saw a Diamond T that was turned into a ratrod, and now I don’t feel so good”. (operator)”Please hold”.
    I suppose I should look at it 1st,,,,ok,,,this is really cool. I see what they did, as that Cummins would never fit normally. This appears to be a model 509S, which I think was a 4 ton. I’d have preferred it stock, but no doubt this is great. I had a 1949 Diamond T 201 pickup, that was stock, but quite frankly, was useless in today’s driving. 45 mph was it, and even that was a little tense. I’ve said it over and over, if you are going to restore one of these to use, this is the way to go. Interior is nice, stock dash, except top portion, and that’s the original hand brake handle, but another by the left kick pad. This is one resto-mod rat rod this old fart likes. What do you say, geomechs?

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    • geomechs geomechsMember

      Hi Howard. I can’t figure out how the devil I missed this one. Could be that I was out on the road with the old ‘green jellybean,’ as my wife would call it. All I had was my I-phone and camera (as if I really needed anything else). This guy had a vision and ran with it. Despite being reasonably reliable and having good torque, he sure won’t win any horsepower contests with that version of the 5.9 Cummins. About 180 is the max you can go with one of those before the injection pump self-destructs. Like you, I prefer them being left stock. I sure don’t mind seeing the original plodding beasts going down the road and it sure irks me when I see people with zero patience/respect for something historical. However this guy decided to build the truck into a resto-rat rod and did fine with it. Going that way I’d have dispensed with that ‘P-word’ look and fixed everything up, and painted it in a stock scheme. I was talking with Alvin Shier (remember him from the Hemmings blog?) last Saturday. He’s a retired body shop guy and he echoed my comments about the ‘P-word.’ Incidently, Alvin says ‘Hi!’

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  5. Rick R

    This is one of the coolest big trucks I’ve ever seen, and with the modern running gear I bet it’s a reliable hi way runner – great concept and execution!

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  6. GOPAR

    Okay, now THAT’S cool. Not usually my cup of tea, but I’m diggin’ it.

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  7. HoosMember

    I’m usually on the “original restoration” side of things, but this is great.

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  8. Howard A. Howard AMember

    Hmm, I’m seeing a few “thumbs down”, what’s the deal? What don’t you like about this truck? This is as good as it gets. Let me tell you, again, if you want to drive a vehicle like this on the street, THIS is the way to go. Unless you’ve actually spent any time behind a 90 hp. flathead 6 Hercules motor, and 5:13 gears, you may as well trailer it, and to me, defeats the purpose. Thumbs be darned, this is a cool truck!

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  9. Keruth

    Yes, nicely done, interior is great, except that seat, ouch.
    My back/butt couldn’t take the stiff bumping on that size chassis for very long without some better padding!
    Wonder where the Dodge seats went?

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