Hot Rod Fire Truck! 1946 Seagrave Custom

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With competition heating up in your local car club’s Hot Rod Fire Truck category, this 1946 Seagrave represents a definitive “mic drop.” The Gloucester City, New Jersey custom features a Cummins turbodiesel, 28 inch wheels with low-profile rubber, and a full air ride suspension. Function definitely follows form on this highly modified ride, but one thing’s for sure; this fire truck is hot. The rolling post-war monument can be yours with one click of Buy It Now and $64,900 here on eBay. I’d wager you couldn’t have this rig built for less than double that price. Thanks to reader Sisuman for flipping us this tip.

Seagrave fans hoping to see a turbocharged version of the company’s monster V12 engines, with displacements ranging from 462 (7.6L) to 906 cid (14.8L), may heave a sigh at this point. Though more of a commodity, it’s hard to beat a Cummins I6 for a modern aftermarket truck motor. The practical limitations of building a hot rod using a giant V12 may explain why this Seagrave V12-powered 1951 Plymouth circulated several sales sites in recent years, never in fully operational form. This nondescript 5.9L Cummins came to market in 1989, according to TruckTrend, and they enjoy a rabid following in the aftermarket world, with options into the 1000 HP range if your budget allows. This looks like a fairly stock unit, though I’ll defer to our truck experts to comment below. The hood-mounted turbocharger and roof-exiting exhaust may draw stares in traffic and furrowed brows in states with safety inspections. Many states require that exhaust exit behind the passenger compartment, but such details are minor to anyone falling in love with a rolling masterpiece of this magnitude.

A few “before” pictures would help tell the history of this radical build, but save your questions about trailering capabilities for another listing. Maybe it could pull a parade float!

Though not mentioned, the under-dash vents suggest air conditioning may be present or at least planned for the future. Details on the “automatic transmission” escape the listing, but the truck is said to run and drive “excellent.” The shiny custom steering wheel seems like a misplaced afterthought for an industrial steam-punk inspired service vehicle, but that could be easily swapped out… or not! At least the builder resisted the urge to fit a four-foot tall shifter with a skull on top.

Clear-coated “patina,” real or fake, polarizes viewers of many classics. I’d favor more stock and weathered-looking wheels, even if they were completely custom with low-profile tires. How does it drive in the real world? Only a test-drive will tell. I can’t imagine a better parade vehicle, though. This Seagrave calls out to the 10 year-old in all of us, an outrageous transformation from service truck to gloriously impractical low-rider. Does this king-sized custom light your fire?

Auctions Ending Soon


  1. Bob_in_TN Bob_in_TNMember

    FYI This is the same seller as the ultra low mileage Dodge pickup featured in a nearby post. I looked at his inventory on ebay: lots and lots of trucks, new and not-so-new; cool, high end stuff; mostly modified, often highly so; and…. very very expensive— plenty of six figure trucks… overpriced??

    Like 8
  2. HoA Howard A ( since 2014)Member

    Sigh, yep, yet another of my Crusty Ramblings. 1st, it’s extremely cool. I love rat rods for the sheer imagination. Something all but lost today. Maybe that’s why these make such a statement. 2nd, my old mans business partner, had a hankerin’ for fire engines, and picked up a late 40s Seagrave hook and ladder, WITH the V12. To say it was a monster would be an understatement. There’s no question, it took Jethro Bodine to operate it. The V12, I believe, was a Pierce-Arrow design, and a marvel in it’s own right. For oohs and ahhs, I’d have left it in there. Way more zing than some Cummins diesel, but here we are. Cummins is the buzz word that gets all the thunder. A Pierce-Arrow, the absolute zenith of the past, not so much. The hitch is for a goose neck wagon, again, no air filter and I agree, those tall shifters are the industries version of droopy pants.

    Like 14
  3. Harvey HarveyMember

    It’s hard enough to look around fuzzy dice hanging from a rearview mirror. Looking around the turbo and exhaust is a lot harder.

    Like 7
  4. BlondeUXBMember

    Those sidewalls have their work cut out for them…

    Like 6
    • HoA Howard A ( since 2014)Member

      Funny you mention that. When I lived in Milwaukee, all the rage was/is those low riders with the thin side walls and 20 inch wheels. Well, they don’t fare well on bumpy streets, and there was an outfit that specialized in “wheel straightening”.

      Like 7
  5. Robert White

    It would be okay for a snow plow with little modification.


    Like 7
    • HoA Howard A ( since 2014)Member

      I can hear the cop now,,”Where’s the fire, buddy”?

      Like 6
  6. DavidH

    Do you think I could pull my teardrop camper with it? 😎

    Like 2
    • HoA Howard A ( since 2014)Member

      With ease,,

      Like 1
  7. Sam

    Love The Truck, Rims And Tires NOT SO MUCH

    Like 1
    • Steve RM

      Are those even tires? Is there any room for air? Looks like solid rubber glued on some VERY red wheels. The “ride” must be horrible. Other then that, it looks kinda cool but what would you do with it.

      Like 0
  8. Lowell Peterson

    Hate to be negative……yard art?

    Like 6
  9. Steve

    Reminds me of the truck in “Jeepers Creepers”.

    Like 0
  10. Tom

    Absolutely love the steam-punk movement. From furniture and lamps to now trucks and cars. This example reminds me of one I just saw a SEEMA. Couldn’t pull myself away from it. Pistol shifter, riveted panels, motorcycle chain, endless imagination at every turn. The builder is a Picasso in every right!

    Like 2
    • JimmyinTEXAS

      I agree. I am not a fan of faux patina, but the combo of punk and faux seems to work very well.

      Like 1
  11. Rob Jay

    How can you not love it, very cool.

    Like 3
  12. Glenn SchwassMember
  13. Handsome Pristine Patriot

    Yea, those wheels suck.
    One might try fabricating some wehhl covers out of galvanized garbage can lids.
    Otherwise, very cool ride.

    Like 0
  14. chrlsful

    nota fan of the hyper worked over in this style. Cleared over patina seems the worse to me. ‘Rat’ usually does that? but is nothing like originator of the kraze Robert Williams (early 90s). Hot Roders like Big Daddy Ed Roth and others seemed more my interest. But, no, “sleeper” rest0mod (heavy on the rest0) and choice of mid size, “small”(er) but adaptable (not mini gotta have enuff room between the frnt towers to stuff an engine in there). ‘S Y i like the i8 and i6 (esp 4 off rd as low grunt tq).

    Like 0
  15. john

    NO… just no

    Like 1
  16. Dave

    What a cool thing to do with a rusting hulk that would have just continued to rust away to nothing, as no one is restoring these. It’s the best outcome for this old truck, it gets to live again. Not to everyones’ taste of course, customs of any kind aren’t.

    Like 1
  17. V8roller

    The interior looks as if he gave up on it, still at least you’re not paying for someone else’s ‘improvements’.
    I wonder if the turbo gets hot enough to glow in the dark, that would be something to see out of the front window.
    The wheels… I just detest this fashion for big wheels and rubber band tyres. It looks good on nothing, rides like carp, wheels for …something beginning with dubbleU.

    Like 0

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