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Hemmings Find of the Day – 1977 Chevrolet K30

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Unrestored 1977 Chevrolet K30 dually for sale on From the seller’s description:

This 1977 Chevrolet Custom Deluxe 30 pickup, 1 ton, 4 x4 pickup with 400 CI engine, automatic transmission and fulltime 4wd was originally purchased by the St. Mary, Kansas Fire Department from the Chevrolet dealer in Salina, Kansas. It was modified by American Fire in Salina, Kansas to serve as a mini pumper and used for grass fires and quick response. I purchased it a few years ago from St. Mary, Kansas, who had kept the truck as a spare unit. When I purchased this pickup, the speedometer was broken, and I replaced it. I have the original speedometer. Actual mileage unknown but I believe it is under 20,000 total but could be under 16,000 according to the old speedometer. (Proof? it may still have the original bias ply tires and is remarkably clean and original in the cab amongst other clues.)

This is a 4×4 model in base trim that reportedly saw limited but long-term use during its service with the fire department. Power comes from a Chevy 400 -V8 mated to a 3-speed automatic transmission with full-time 4wd. This Chevy pickup is now being offered with its original books, plenty of documentation (see photos but I have more) and a clean Kansas title in my name. The truck is finished in the factory applied special paint code 15A (lime green, or slime green.)

An examination of the photos will indicate a remarkably clean undercarriage with some surface corrosion but no real rust that have I found. Remember, it was in a firehouse and then in my heated building for most all its life. Some leakage on the rear end and a weeping engine oil leak are present. Tires are 9.0-16” and are completely unsafe due to age. As I wrote earlier, if they are not original to the truck, they are very, very old. I have driven this truck around town and to our ranch nearby but would not attempt any distance without replacement of the tires.

This truck has started right away each time I have used it. Two pumps on the accelerator (you remember how to start a carbureted engine?) and it jumps to life. The fireman must have wanted the throaty sound of glass packs as the exhaust was modified at some point. Federal law did not require catalytic converters in 1977 on this truck so they are not present.

Light brown vinyl and plaid upholstery with a hole on the driver’s side. Most likely from the firemen getting in the truck with heavy turnout gear on. The factory rubber floor mat and rubber on the brake and accelerator pedal all look fantastic and seem to support the low mileage claim I was told when I purchased the vehicle. The roof of the cab has several holes from previous red lights that were on the truck and apparently changed over the years to keep the truck in compliance with state law on emergency vehicles. Other interior modifications of holes for switches necessary when it was in fire service are present.

The siren and PA system are still installed and operated in the cab. They work properly. They are easy to remove but fun to have so I left them. Emergency lights have been removed but for the Unity spotlights.

Both the front and rear bumper have been modified to allow a fire fighter to sit or stand in a chair and spray a brush fire while another person operated the truck. Hard to imagine how dangerous this was but if you remember, fireman rode on the back bumper of fire engines holding on to a rail while racing through traffic on their way to a fire until into the 1980’s. If you look at the modifications to the bumpers in photos, I believe returning it to factory would be simple and original bumpers are available all over the internet from suppliers such as LMC.

The bed is in remarkable shape as it never had items thrown in and out as a normal pickup would have been used. A fan was installed on the starboard side and unfortunately a hole was cut in the sheetmetal. This is easily fixed as it is not in a complex curve body panel. If you wanted to return the truck to factory original, it would be a simple project. Oil/ grease present in bed was from the slide- in pump and water tank that was used. The fire pump had a small gas engine to run it.

I have too many vehicles and am culling my hobby fleet to make some room.

Location Marker
Wichita, Kansas
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