It’s hard to miss a vehicle that’s painted Fire Engine Red, and even more difficult when it’s outlined in 24-carat gold leaf striping, auxiliary lights, and a siren. I stopped scrolling mid-page when I came across this F-1 on wide-whitewalls decked out in “Bear Creek Fire Department” livery.
“Older restoration, exterior, interior, and engine rebuild in 2003,” the listing states. “Actual prior fire chief vehicle from small town New Hampshire. Came from his estate collection sale. Most recently shown at the Houston Concours event this past May with amazing interest.”
While the restoration work on this F-1 was carried out about two decades ago, it has been kept up over the years with some needed cosmetic and mechanical updates. The seller lists some of the recent work. “New tires 2020, new wood bed 2021, new period-correct rotating beacon 2022, new battery 2022, new water pump and fan bearings/belt pulley 2021.”
This pickup is a fitting successor to my recent feature on the Saleen-upgraded F-150 as a way of illustrating just how deep America’s love of the Ford F-Series has been for over 70 years.
The F-Series first debuted in 1948, marking the first time car and truck design incorporated unique chassis architecture. There were many variants of that first F-Series, ranging from the light-duty F-1 all the way to a heavy-duty commercial-grade F-8 utility truck. The F-1 was assembled with a 6.5-foot bed, but this example has a custom extension added at the rear which provides a diamond-plate standing area used during parades as well as a location to showcase accessories like a fire extinguisher.
Under the hood lies a reportedly numbers-matching 239cid flathead V8 paired with a three-speed column-shifted manual transmission. “Everything works great and drives great,” the seller states. “Starts easy every time even with the original carburetor.”
While this vintage fire truck may not have the speed or agility of a modern version, its rarity and condition give it collector appeal. “No one can walk past this truck without a smile and excited comment,” the seller states.
The asking price is $34,900 for this eye-catching (and ear-catching, we presume) pickup truck, and the price includes four vintage fire extinguishers as well as a fire bell for the bed.