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Vintage Fire Truck: 1934 Ford V8

Old fire trucks can be fascinating, as they are a window into how the job of firefighting has evolved over the years. My wife is a volunteer firefighter, and she says that she can’t imagine taking on a fire in a vehicle like this such have been the advances in safety over the years. This classic 1934 Ford Fire Truck is listed for sale here on Craigslist. Located in Park Rapids, Minnesota, it is being offered with a Bill of Sale. The price for this truck has been set at $5,500.

The body and floors of this old Ford seem to be quite solid, and although the paint has suffered over the decades, I quite like the look of it. I can see a few minor rust spots, but the majority is merely surface corrosion All of the timber also looks to be present, although some of it will require replacement, while the remainder will require restoration. The benefit of having the old timber is that it can serve as a template for new timbers. In this shot, I particularly like the hose with the filter on the end. That allowed firefighters to pump water out of dams and ponds without the pump ingesting leaves, sticks and stones which could damage the pump.

The interior is all pretty basic and hard-wearing. The seat upholstery has a couple of small tears which may be able to be repaired, and the steering wheel has deteriorated and could either be restored or replaced. Otherwise, all of the gauges are present, and restoring the painted surfaces should be quite straightforward.

Under the hood is a 221ci flat-head V8 which is backed to a 4-speed manual transmission. As this truck was a pumper rather than a tanker, this engine would have performed the task of moving the truck quite well in its day. The seller doesn’t actually state it outright, but I do believe that the truck does drive. The truck is also fitted with new front tires and tubes, and the brakes work well. The pump is still attached to the front of the truck. The seller states that the pump is stuck, but it is not cracked, so it should be able to be rebuilt.

These vintage fire trucks have gathered a strong following among truck enthusiasts, and fully restored examples tend to always look really striking. This example is virtually complete, and it is solid. This seems to be a prime candidate for restoration.


  1. Howard A Member

    Yeah, don’t forget sucking in fish and turtles and such. I think this truck is worth more as a ’34 Ford truck candidate, than another fire engine. These were about as efficient as a garden hose in a forest fire, water supply was big culprit back then and not many fires next to ponds, usually, and it’s too far gone for any historical value, needing a full restoration, and when done, you’ll have ,,a fire engine. There just isn’t the interest. At a local show, a restored teens Kissel chain drive fire engine was on display. I was the only one looking at it.

    Like 3
    • Howard A Member

      See? In 10 hours nobody cares. I take the number of comments as an indicator of interest. We’ll get 75 comments on a Yugo, but fire engines? Bupkus,,may as well post another battleship. I think even that got more comments.

      Like 2
    • geomechs geomechs Member

      Well, Howard, I tend to agree with you. I think it’s more the old fire truck stigma than anything else. What do you do with an old fire truck? You can put it on display or you can drive it in the various parades. Otherwise it’s better to fix it up for something else. Incidentally, an ad like this, I keep around but if it’s a Yugo or something like that, the ad gets turfed without a second look. My interests are limited to trucks and cars from the 60s back to the beginning of the 20th century. I might add that I would have responded to this and other ads if I wasn’t busy with other things the last couple of days.

      Like 1
      • Howard A Member

        I apologize for the gruffness(?) It’s just I’m like you, and love old trucks, and this could easily be returned to a neat flatbed (I’m sure the “cab guy ” in Minnesota has one, an early access post that will have you wondering) or even make a wood one. Ok, the ALF types, not much can be done, but these came from the factory as a front and cowl and frame, return it to that and you’d have a very sought after, in my book, ’34 Ford flatbed ( or dump) and to see it fall apart in this rendition, is just plain sad.
        Btw, I believe this truck still has mechanical brakes. “The safety of steel, from pedal to wheel” was the slogan. Ford was the last to use hydraulic brakes in 1939, I think.

        Like 1
      • geomechs geomechs Member

        I agree again. Find a cab and drop it on the frame. Fix it up as a regular truck and enjoy it too. I don’t have a problem with mechanical brakes. They just need to be adjusted and the rods and bellcranks have to be kept up. Ford put off juice brakes until he was rather forced into it, not by popular demand but by military specs for the war effort. But ol’ Henry’s stubbornness was born out of avoiding licensing the use of hydraulic brakes…

        Like 0
  2. grant

    Lol well, I like it. But Howard’s probably right from a cash standpoint it’s probably worth more as a truck. Personally I love it but I’m probably in the minority.

    Like 1
  3. NMCarNut

    Somebody ought to tell the seller his “34” is actually a 1936.

    Like 2
  4. Jeffry Harris

    Yup, 36 it is, looks like a 37 engine if it is a 21 stud with the center hose location, unless i am mistaken.

    Like 1
  5. canadainmarkseh

    I’m with you on the what do you do with an old fire truck. There’s a guy that been on Jay Lenos garage does amazing work and has repurposed a number of old fire trucks into very cool and fun vehicles. The one I liked he called la beastiony.

    Like 1
  6. canadainmarkseh

    After checking it out the guy to look for it Gary Wales his work is amazing and the repurposed trucks are very cool.

    Like 0
  7. Paatrick

    Kinda wondering why a ’34 had a ’36 cowl,hood, grille shell and front fenders.

    Like 1

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