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That’s A Lot Of Yellow: 1948 Pirsch Fire Truck


No, I don’t know what I’d do with it either, but it sure looks cool, doesn’t it? This 1948 Pirsch fire truck find was submitted by Robert R. The open cockpit, center-hinge hood and still shiny grille and bumper set the period look just right. Unfortunately, there’s no logo that I can see in the picture, so without talking with the seller we don’t know any history at this point. I’d love to know why yellow and not red, for one thing–maybe a reader knows something? This great find is located in Placerville, California and is for sale here on craigslist for only $1,000. The pictures certainly aren’t extensive, but what we can see doesn’t show any appreciable rust. That cloisonne badge on the front is gorgeous! What would you do with this great truck? 


  1. Trent Poole

    Daaaannng, I think I might get my bud Nicholas at Classic Flat Glass in Placerville to go eyeball this one or me.

  2. Bob

    Everett (north of Seattle) fire engines are painted yellow, so why not yellow?

  3. Bobsmyuncle

    Yellow was actually pretty common for fire apparatus, in the 70’s and for a couple decades following as studies showed it to be actually a more conspicuous colour. I’m guessing given the age it wasn’t originally yellow.

    We love our traditions however, and many departments that used yellow have returned to red.

    Great looking rig. Slam it, find a nice wooden ladder and a couple axes and cruise. I’d love to show up to work driving it.

    • Ed P

      Bob, The first picture is head on. In this picture it appears that the firewall is red on the drivers side where the hood is open. I would love to know what engine is in this truck. Hall-Scott maybe?

  4. Patrick McC.

    We could certainly use an extra firetruck or two up here in the gold country right now…

  5. 1969Deuce

    Seems that Pirsch made the apparatus and it was mounted on a variety of trucks from Ford to Mack to . . .[whatever this one is]

    Quite a bit of info on the line via Google.

    What to do with it? Go for ice cream and put it in car shows and parades, of course!

  6. Howard A Member

    It’s a shame the person selling this probably knows very little about it.( took pictures of the tires instead of the engine) Looks like a storage facility, so I’m sure it sat outside. Vintage fire trucks are pretty cool. Not much you can do with it, except fulfill a childhood dream (who didn’t play with fire trucks as a kid) Wiki claims, they used Hercules or Waukesha gas engines, and I’ve seen some pretty big Waukesha engines. Price is right, but would cost a fortune to restore. Hope it doesn’t get scrapped, but probably will.

  7. Dave Wright

    Pickup truck………..

  8. Graham Line

    Join the Pirsch Club of America, get the Kardex from the Pirsch factory . . .

  9. Jeff Mac

    Turn it into a giant Speedster.
    That’d be what I’d do with it.

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