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Low Mileage 1940 GMC Fire Truck

1940 GMC Fire Truck

Small town fire trucks don’t normally cover a lot miles while they are in service, so the 3,200 odometer reading on this 1940 GMC isn’t totally unbelievable. The seller has used it in parades and such, but their daughter has cancer and they are getting laid off soon. That’s really a shame, so we hope we can help them find a good home for this big boy toy. It’s located in Hettinger, North Dakota and is listed here on eBay where the auction ends later tonight. You can place a bid or buy it outright for $4,900. We wish the seller luck and hope that everything works out!


  1. Bill H

    You should believe the mileage. These old rural firetrucks made a fire run once in a blue moon and in a rural setting they didn’t have far to go anyway. More miles put on it running to/from the service shop than going to real fires. I had a 55 GMC American LaFrance with 5600 miles on it

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    • Bobsmyuncle

      While true they also were used frequently for training. If a pumper, the engine, tranny (and PTO) would be running well above idle.

      In general the accepted belief is that rural trucks run more miles than small town trucks ESPECIALLY tankers.

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  2. Rick

    I sure like the way wind shields opened at the bottom of this and some other makes of trucks of this vintage, What a neat and natural way to cool off the inside. Too bad modern day automakers don’t do the same thing

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  3. HoA Howard A Member

    Gone! Someone stepped up to the plate. That’s good to hear. I wish the person the best of luck who sold it. Sounds like a real low point in their lives. And I see at some of these ritzy antique auctions I’ve been to out here in NY, these people piss away hundreds, THOUSANDS of dollars on what I consider useless crap, when they could be helping someone like this out. So unfair. I hope the sale helps ( with as out of control as health care costs are, that 5g’s barely pays for the ambulance ride) and they’ve made some great strides in cancer treatment. I had a sister that died of brain cancer 15 years ago, and today, they might have saved her. Wonder why so many cars for sale? People are losing their jobs, 2 closures in my little town, hundreds out of work. And you wonder why there’s no buyers for MG’s and Spitfire’s.
    The truck’s mileage is indeed true. These things sat 95% of the time. In a small town by my parents lake cottage, there was a ’55 Chevy fire engine. One day it was outside, and it had 5200 miles. It looked like brand new. What’s nice about these, is the cab is separate from the rear portion,( unlike some open fire engines) so it can be removed and you can do what you want. Good luck, pal.

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    • Ed P

      Well said my friend

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  4. Fred W.

    The fire trucks have another upside (when they remain in the care of a volunteer fire dept): 1) They are nearly always stored in a nice garage , 2) They are lovingly pampered by the firemen who have nothing else to do until a call comes in, 3) they get used regularly in parades even when this old. They are some of the best cared for vehicles on the planet, not to mention the low mileage.

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  5. Fred W.

    Our own local example… (Ridgetop TN)

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    • HoA Howard A Member

      Nice truck. Got to be a ’58 or newer ( quad head lights) Seagrave. Probably a 531 V-12. (with 24 spark plugs) I believe Seagrave made their own motors. I’m surprised more of these didn’t make it into resto-mods. That chrome grill piece, where the siren comes out, is pretty rare. Most were just painted red. https://i.ytimg.com/vi/rBSa5jOh0JQ/maxresdefault.jpg

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  6. Bobsmyuncle

    By the way I’m enamoured by the concept of small town America and your parades. It’s very charming imagery.

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    • HoA Howard A Member

      Hi Bobs, yeah, that’s the up side to small towns. The down side, as I mentioned, is these companies are closing left and right, and people are leaving in droves. I truly believe, the only ones left in small towns will be the retired, like me, or people on assistance. There will be no middle class in small towns. As it is, it’s not uncommon for folks to drive an hour ( or more) one way, to go to work in a bigger city. The other up side, is houses in small towns are dirt cheap. I plan on buying a house in N.Wis. town for between $20 and $30g’s, move in. But all that aside, the little town here in NY where I’m staying had a little car show, and had their 1st fire engine, now newly restored. I think it was a mid-30’s “USA”. (never heard of it) Looked nice. http://image.dailyfreeman.com/storyimage/DF/20111205/NEWS/312059994/AR/0/AR-312059994.jpg&maxh=400&maxw=667

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      • superpumper

        USA is United States Army. In the ’30s the army built fire apparatus on excess trucks to save money. They built 500 and 750 gpm pumpers with 150 gal. tanks. They also built airfield crash trucks.

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  7. Healeydays

    Someone got a sweet deal o that old classic truck. I hope they do something worthy of that old workhorse…

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  8. Michael M.

    It’s my hope and prayer that the family selling this fire truck has a run in with some good luck…..and the perfect deal is one where the new owner treats this fire truck right…with a gentle restoration and enjoyment in parades and taking kids for rides.

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  9. Gerry

    Good luck to the family who had to sell it.

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  10. Horse Radish

    I sure am glad that scrap is at $30 a ton (so I hear),
    A few years back when scrap metal was $660 a ton !! these firetrucks were crushed without a blink of an eye……………..

    Like 1
  11. JRC

    We have a 2002 KME where I currently work that covers approximately 1 square mile a (NASA Facility). It has less than 15,000 miles. It’s believable that some vehicles could have very low mileage even in current times.

    Like 0

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