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Fighting Fire with Fire

Only Engelbrecht Grills would have thought to transform a 1964 Ford fire truck into a bbq pit. Genius? Insanity? Either way, we've earned a bit of a cult following for this mobile cooking machine.

The truck has been featured on television, radio and newspaper, and everybody wants to know how and why we would build such an item.


Purely for fun. We started Engelbrecht Grills and Cookers by our love for bbq, and today we still do. So why not convert a fire truck into a bbq pit?

To make our truck/pit to as seamless as possible, great care went into keeping the lines and general appearance of the original truck intact. For instance, in the back of the truck, once home to the hose bed and water tank, is now a work platform for the cooking chamber. The extra storage compartments in the rear were built the same as if they were built in 1964.

Other little touches like the upper damper control utilizing the same location and chrome bezel that once controlled the old water hose reels "booster reels" are just icing on the cake. Even the side temperature gauge looks similar to the water pressure gauge.


Well, that answer is much more difficult. The entire back of the truck had to be stripped, vehicle components moved, heat shields installed, new work platform fabricated, and on top of all that, we had to build a custom bbq pit and firebox that works around certain parts of the truck that were immovable. Not to mention our restoration of the rest of the truck to 1964 specifications.

The cooking chamber has four slide out shelves each able to place a whole hog onto. The firebox is made solely for whole logs and is controlled at curb level.

This particular fire truck served the Robert-Melvin Fire protection district, residing in the Roberts, Illinois fire house from 1964 until it's retirement in 2005.

Product Photos


  • 1964 Ford F-800 chassis
  • Ford 355 cubic inch engine with horsepower of 255
  • Manual 5 speed transmission
  • Gross Vehicle Weight 25,500lbs.
  • Curb weight 16,700lbs.
  • Fire truck body made by Alexis Fire Equipment
  • Barton-American Fire pump with output of 500 gallons per minute at 150 psi.
  • Exterior dimensions: 29' long x 8' wide x 9' 3" height
  • Cooking chamber dimensions: 5' wide x 3' deep x 4' tall with four slide out racks each 3' x 5'