Last Minute Gift Idea: 1941 Seagrave Fire Truck

A year ago Jesse posted a 1952 Seagrave he wanted for Christmas. In case he didn’t get one, or perhaps he’d like another, here’s a 1941 model listed on craigslist here in Sacramento, California. Santa only needs $4,000, less Santa’s discount, to put it in his big bag of goodies.

Just look at that face! Doesn’t that look like a puppy needing a new home? This model is known as the “Water Fall” model. According to the emblem on the hood it was rebuilt in 1968. This appears to be a model 12JB .

The big 12 cylinder engine looks complete and ready to run. That’s a lot spark plugs. There’s no information given on whether it runs or the condition of any components. Hopefully there’s someone looking for a big project. At least one of this model Seagrave was turned into a big hot rod. This old fire engine has avoided the scrap pile this long, I hope it finds another life.


  1. Howard A Member

    Many moons ago, early 70’s, the old man had a building business and his partner bought a 40’s Seagrave very similar to this, only it had a cab. It was stored in my old man’s warehouse, and me and a buddy would fire it up and drive it around the yard. It was a beast. Manual steering, straight cut gears. The engine, I think, is Seagraves own V-12 with 240 hp, and dual ignition, which is why all the plugs. Also 2 distributors in the back. There was a switch on the dash, and you could switch from one system to the other, in an emergency. ( got to get to the fire). Not sure what to do with this. The novelty wears off pretty quick, and they aren’t the easiest thing to drive, or store. Put the motor in a rat-rod?

    • jaygryph

      On the one hand, it would be a shame to chop up a big firetruck that’s survived intact this long. On the other hand, if it’s options are that, or being scrap, this sure would look cool heavily modified with that unique engine on display.

      Perhaps swap to a long wheel base Superduty or similar severe duty modern truck frame and use the bodywork and an open engine bay to build a huge toy hauler or roadster pickup.

      There is a reason these things sit around. People want fire trucks then they realize how much a single tire for them is, and that nearly everything is some odd ball, hard to source, weirdo part that makes breakage a possibly fatal incident for the quirky vehicle.

      There is a lot of potential here, but it’s going to take a big shop and deep pockets to make this anything other than a once a year Christmas parade vehicle.

    • Dave Wright

      Seagraves V12’s were Pierce Arrow engines that they continued to manufacture after the companies (Pierce’s) demise. Great engines.

    • RayT Member

      Great idea, Howard! I could see that engine in, oh, a ’39 Chevy….

  2. Woodie Man

    Given its originality some Fire Department ought to scoop it up and restore it for display. Of course that would take municipal( ie taxpayer) money and thats being wasted in so many other ways,,,lol

    Vintage Fire Truck magazine would be a good place to start…might already be in there:

    On another note in another city and far away in time I had a roommate in college who was part of the WS Darley family who built firetrucks…….

  3. Dave Wright

    These are wonderful machines but they have a very high survival rate. There are many still around because of the care and maintenance they receive from multiple generations of fire fighters. They are tough to collect because of there physical size and limited utility. As a lover of industrial equipment they fascinate me. There are too many left for museums to preserve all of them, I think Jay has the highest and best use with his, he converted it to a very good looking (large) pickup.

  4. geomechs geomechs Member

    There’s a lot of history surrounding an old fire truck like this. It should be treated to a complete restoration and preserved for future generations to appreciate. I sure wish that this one will get the TLC it deserves.

  5. Sofakingfast

    This would make a great gift.
    Mo question about it.
    I think you give this to your wife as a Christmas gift – if you want to be divorced before the end of January!!!!

    • Ed P

      The wife, no. Another gear head, great idea.

  6. Puhnto

    I love open cab firetrucks! And this one is a relatively short wheelbase with lots of cool doodads and thingys. Perfect!

  7. Steve

    Phantom Works restored A
    Fire truck on their show a while back. I think it was a Seagraves as
    Well. They added power steering. It would make driving a
    Lot easier.

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