Does Not Run: 1930 Mack Fire Truck

It looks like this is a building full of interesting projects, so perhaps now it’s time to sell something and they’ve started with the biggest vehicle first? “Does Not Run” is all the information provided about this Mack in the craigslist listing. It’s in Palm Springs, California and they are asking $5,000. This old fire truck looks like an early B series, built from 1937 to 1941 (the later B series was introduced in 1953). The Mack bull dog didn’t appear for another couple of years. Mack engineer Alfred Fellows Masury is credited with carving the little beast while recovering from surgery. This fire engine appears very complete, almost like it’s ready for the next call out. What do you suppose those blocks under the engine are supporting?

Those are some interesting pedals, obviously not intended for “heal and toe” downshifting. The dash looks very complete and original if rather sparse.

That looks like the original Mack gas engine. It had only about 60 HP, but it must have had lots of torque. It was another eight years before Mack built diesel engines. There’s no word on it’s condition or what it might take to get it running.

This fire engine began fighting fires in the days of the Model A Fords and must have had an interesting service life. It looks like a lot of truck for $5,000 but, as always, what can you do with a fire truck? It’s an interesting piece of history, but there’s not much use for old fire trucks beyond display and parades. Hopefully, there’s a collector somewhere who can save this old Mack.

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  1. Jay M

    I prefer the ’38 Chevy beside it.

  2. Todd Fitch Todd Fitch Staff

    Pretty basic compared to those Seagrave V12s that are like 900+ cid works of art. Love the “heel and toe” comment. Looks like whoever designed those pedals missed their calling as a shipwright. “How thick should the metal for the pedals be, Fred?” “Oh I don’t know, how about half-inch?” Thanks, David!

  3. Howard A

    I believe this is a model “BK”, made from 1928 -1937. Sure looks light duty for a Mack. Not much info on the motor, looks like a Mack ( I was told it’s considered blasphemy to equip a Mack with any other kind of motor than a Mack) What a beast, look at those pedals, no doubt for the big boots firefighters wear. Vintage fire trucks without cabs, should really remain as fire trucks, and an older model like this can’t really can’t be converted to a regular truck and hopefully, some group that’s into these things will save it.

  4. Mountainwoodie

    60 HP! How in the heck did it move this beast? 30 miles an hour? Still these are like signposts to a very different landscape in America………….worth restoring for its historicity alone. I wish I was a millionaire!

    • Howard A

      Hi Mw, like David says, it was torque. These things had massive flywheels, and just the physical size of the motor, once you got it spinning, I didn’t do well in science class, but one of those “energies”, (kinetic maybe? I forget the other one) took over. I may be wrong, but I wondered that too, these massive motors with 60hp, and someone may correct me, but I think they may have measured horsepower different back then. Dave?


    Looks like those blocks of wood are holding the flat tires up off the ground. Trying to keep them big old tires from taking a permanent flat spot. I used to drive and old 1938 Mack Hook and Ladder. Little engine took awhile to get moving and the brakes took a long time stopping. Very dependable vehicle.

  6. Motrbob

    make a wild rat rod………… maybe not enough patina for the flippers

  7. Mark Benderson

    My 1st thought when I saw the picture was… It’s yellow? I’ve never seen a vintage like this painted yellow before? Had to have been painted yellow back in the 60’s or 70’s when yellow became the thing.

  8. gaspumpchas.

    That sure is a cool old mack…hopefully someone will bring it back. complete and probably low miles.Good luck to the new owner!!

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