A Smoking Hot Deal - 5th August, 2016
Most retired fire engines that come up for sale aren’t exactly the most practical vehicles to park in your driveway or on the street outside your house. But this 1980 Jeep J20 is just about the right size and the auction estimate may cause a few grown-up six year olds to spontaneously combust with excitement.
For some strange reason one of the most popular future professions of many primary school age children is fire-fighter. It sits right alongside astronaut and racing driver and the appeal of these three vocations appears to be the mode of transport each uses. Retired Space Shuttles and racing cars tend to be on the expensive side but an out of work fire truck can be a realistic pathway to reliving ones childhood dreams. And while a full size appliance may draw enquiring (leading to angry) stares from the neighbours this smaller version could be put to use as a work vehicle with a bit of careful modification. And, of course, it’s red, like a fire engine.
So what we have here is a 1980 Jeep J20 with a 4.2 litre, 6 cylinder engine that is highly regarded for its toughness and reliability. It has spent its life with the NZ Fire Service which means, mercifully, it’s right hand drive. And then there’s the mileage – just 25,000kms. Being 4WD and living most of its life in South Canterbury some of those kilometres may have been fairly demanding, but hey, it’s a very tough old Jeep. However, there are one or two things that do need attention. The power steering is noisy (possibly just a belt?) and the main pump (the one that pumps water onto the burning stuff I assume) has seized. This last problem is only a problem if you plan on using it to fight fires. Otherwise the old Jeep looks solid and ready for more work.
So what would you pay for a vehicle that was the coolest thing in the world when you’d just started primary school? Well the auction estimate is $5500 - $6500. However, if you manage to buy it at that sort of money it’ll be a police car that’ll be needed - to arrest you for theft. You never know your luck though. The auction is at Turners Christchurch this coming Monday. More details here.
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