Gold Cross EMS recently went down to Daytona Beach, Florida and racked up some very nice hardware.
THE COLLECTION (Click Vehicle Names for more views)
This carriage was built in the early 1980’s by Amish wagon craftsmen from the blue prints obtained from the Smithsonian in Washington. This carriage is period correct and reflective of the best horse drawn ambulance of its day.
This is a one-of-a-kind 1921 T-Type Ford Ambulance. The ambulance “BOX” was once a horse drawn wagon with a mahogany & oak box body with kerosene carriage lamps and frosted windows that read “ACCIDENT AMBULANCE”. In 1923 the wagon was altered with the “BOX” being mounted on the 1921 Model T chassis. Just prior to WWII (1939 ?) this ambulance was shipped to England by way of Canada for use during the German hostilities of this period. At the conclusion of WWII this ambulance was shipped to New Zealand where it remained “in service” until the late 1950ies! An Officer with the US Foreign Service acquired the ambulance sometime around 1959 and transported it back to the United States. Upon his death, the vehicle was transferred to the hands of several different collectors.
We were able to purchase this ambulance in 2009 from a Florida collector. The years had not been kind… she was beautiful in dim moon light! Restoration of all wood was performed by one of our Medics, with paint & body work and some mechanical orchestrated by our own shop mechanic’s careful hands. Paint was changed from dark green to red on the T Model metal body parts. The results are what is pictured today!
This is a one-of-a-kind 1929 AA Model Ford which was purchased from an old funeral home in Orlando Florida in the mid 1980’s. The funeral home had reportedly purchased this truck and modified it for their use as an ambulance and “First Call Car”. When it was acquired, this ambulance was various shades of green and had been garaged but not used in untold years. Restoration transformed this Ford AA into a movie star with several appearances in “Fried Green Tomatoes”,” Rambling Roads” and “The Bobby Jones Story”. This ambulance is frequently used in local parades.
This 1937 Hearse/Ambulance was purchased in 2011 from a collector who had just acquired it from the Lindsey & Son Funeral Home in Harrisonburg, Virginia. The LaSalle conversion was by A. J. Miller Company and had been used exclusively by the Lindsey Funeral Home until the 1960ies. Engine troubles sidelined this beauty and it was relegated to the rear of the funeral home garage for decades.
A complete restoration has been finished… with entrance to the museum! What you see is one of the most beautiful Cadillacs you will find. We are happy to unveil this treasure months ahead of schedule.
This 1946 Cadillac Ambulance was purchased in 2010 from the San Diego Auto Museum. Originally this ambulance was reportedly a “Demonstrator” for the A. J. Miller Company. In the 40ies & 50ies it was used in Ontario, Canada by an Ambulance/Rescue Squad. Records during its stay with the Rescue Squads are sketchy, at best. Decades later, members of the Miller family (granddaughter) acquired this vehicle and donated it to the San Diego Auto Museum. Restorations were done prior to its move to the museum.
This ambulance is an excellent representation of this era Miller Cadillac Ambulance. A refresh of the restoration is anticipated in 2013.
This 1951 Cadillac Superior Ambulance was purchased in August of 2010 from the grandson of the Fireman that put it in service for the Ogden City Fire Department in Ogden, Utah. This Cadillac Ambulance was used by the Fire Department until the mid 1970ies when these ambulances were legislated out of service. Declared surplus property by the City Fire Department, the Cadillac Ambulance was auctioned off with the purchaser being none other than that Fireman… just retired! For the next several years this Ambulance was a fixture in parades & events in the community.
Unfortunately, the years were not kind and the health of the Fireman declined as did that of the Cadillac Ambulance. The vehicle was placed in a garage and stayed for thirty years.
The grandson responsible for closing out the estate for his grandparents needed to find a home for this huge old ambulance. He was concerned that nobody would appreciate this well preserved ambulance that he had so many fond memories of growing up.
Learning of this vehicle for sale, plans were immediately put in place to purchase and restore to its original beauty we see today. Restored pictures and the door name plates from the Ogden Fire Department have been forwarded to the current Fire Chief.
This 1953 Packard Henney Jr. was purchased new in 1953 by Norman Cox, a partner in C.L. Jennings and Son Funeral home in Crewe, Virginia. The car was used primarily as an ambulance and occasionaly to deliver flowers during funerals. The car was taken out of service in 1972. It was stored in the garage at the Jennings and Son Funeral home for almost twenty years until it was sold in 1990.
Purchased in 2012 from Mr. Thompson with the help of Proffesional Car Society (PCS) member Bill Marcy, the car was updated some and added to the museum. The car documented 50,990 miles when purchased.
We added a two way Beacon light to the top, but unfortunately were still missing the true treasure piece. What we needed was a rare find. An original set of Packard Tunnel lights we knew would be next to impossible to find. That is unless you have great PCS friends such as Steve Lichtman who just happened to have a pair we were lucky enough to acquire.
This 1957 Ford AmbleWagon was originally purchased by the Harnischfeger Corporation as the ambulance for the Milwaukee Braves stadium in 1957. This ambulance remained in service at the stadium till the Braves moved to Atlanta! The vehicle remained in storage at the stadium for years and finally sold to an antique dealer who used it sparingly to attend estate sales. Garaged and well cared for it is a remarkable example of an AmbleWagon with less than 17000 miles.
Purchased in September of 2010 from the antique dealer, the AmbleWagon needed a cosmetic refresh… the mechanics, paint & polish were performed as original that you see today.
This 1964 Cadillac Superior Ambulance is a remarkably preserved “Crown Royale” edition of Superior coach work. Custom built for the Foglesong Funeral Home in Germantown, Ohio, this ambulance saw limited use in the funeral home ambulance service. In 1972 the funeral home was sold and the new Funeral Home owner was not going to continue ambulance operations under the new federal standards. A chemical plant purchased the ambulance and for a few years used it with the plant rescue squad.
In 1981 a doctor/collector purchased and stored the Cadillac Ambulance. In 2009 the doctor sold the “Time Warp” 1964 Cadillac Ambulance to another collector in Georgia.
Needing a refresh on the paint, the Georgia owner repainted the ambulance Red & White.
In August of 2011 we purchased this “Crown Royale” from the Georgia Collector. The interior is just as it was in 1964… unblemished. Minimal repairs due to sitting & age have been performed providing a quintessential example of the best Cadillac Ambulance you could buy in 1964.
This 1968 Chevrolet Suburban Ambulance was the first NEW ambulance, purchased for METRO AMBULANCE SERVICE in August 1968 from Crain Garage M & M Sales in Marietta, Georgia. With a price of $6156.13, this was the first raised roof suburban truck ambulance in Georgia. In 1975 this ambulance was retired from service and stored. In 2009 & 2010 the vehicle was restored and is presented today just as when it was picked up in 1968. In a few months, the movie “Jane Mansfield’s Car” will début in theaters with Metro’s 1st brand new ambulance in a starring role. Some of the other stars, Robert Duval, Billy Bob Thornton & Kevin Bacon may get top billing. . . but the 1968 Chevrolet Suburban Ambulance will always be “The Star!”
This 1969 Jeep Ambulance is a Vietnam era military ambulance. Shortly after the Vietnam conflict this vehicle was sold as surplus to a Civil Defense Office in Georgia. After several years and use in several different agencies we acquired this vehicle to add to the collection. In 2010 it was restored. This vehicle is routinely used on Memorial Day & Veterans Day parades.
This 1970 Cadillac Hightop Ambulance was the pinnacle of Superiors’ Ambulance offerings at that time. Originally purchased in 1970 by the rescue squads in Ely & Eureka Nevada this ambulance was rarely used in these remote desert communities. At some point in the mid 1980ies one of the rescue squad’s members acquired this ambulance when it was replaced with a new “up to date” ambulance. The Cadillac was then stored in another garage only to be used for parades and special outings! Several members of the squad shared ownership over the next several decades. Its original condition was carefully maintained and vividly displayed their collective pride in this ambulance.
In June of 2010, while attempting to purchase another ambulance in Nevada, information became available that a nearly pristine 1970 Superior Cadillac Hightop Ambulance might be acquired from an old member of the rescue squad. With a little luck, dogged determination and perseverance we were able to persuade the owner to sell the 1970 Cadillac Hightop Ambulance for the collection. Bought sight unseen, the transport driver delivered this ambulance to Georgia destroying 14 trailer tires during the hot summer trek!
Upon arrival the ambulance presented its original white paint and turquoise interior both in a remarkable original condition. The odometer showed only 60,000 original miles as confirmed by the previous owner and the outstanding condition. The rear side windows usually adorned with ornamentation of a cross, instead had two red swirls displayed as you see today. A phone call to the previous owner revealed these symbols represented the ATOM since they were just outside the nuclear test site in Nevada!
While this Cadillac was in good original condition, it was determined to have this Ambulance restored to new again. All mechanicals were checked and restored as needed. The interior had only a flaw to the driver’s side of the front seat which was recovered with new “old” stock. The paint, over forty years old, was stripped and painted bright RED.
Now this 1970 Cadillac Ambulance was ready for high society! In the fall of this year, the movie “Jane Mansfield’s Car” will have scenes with this 1970 Cadillac Hightop Ambulance!
This 1977 Dodge Medicruiser was purchased by Lockheed in Marietta, Georgia in July of 1978. It served as an ambulance for this busy air base for decades. During its tenure at the base, less than 25000 miles were placed on this ambulance.
In August of 2010, this Dodge Ambulance was acquired from an ambulance dealer in Georgia who had acquired it some years earlier in a series of ambulance trades. The years had weathered her body but with a fresh restoration and necessary mechanical repairs this Dodge Medicruiser Ambulance appears as when new in 1978.
This 1982 Jeep Ambulance was one of six produced by Horton in 1982 as an experiment in off-road ambulance design. Taking hints from the old military jeep ambulance design and incorporating the newest, “state of the art” improvements in 1980′s new ambulances, this Horton raised roof offered an often needed method to care and transport injured patients from locations inaccessible to a standard ambulance.
An additional six Jeeps were also designed as rescue trucks but without patient transport capabilities. These were all that were reportedly built and shunned by most in the industry as too small for the $$$.
In 1982 two of the patient transport Jeeps were purchased for Supervisor vehicles at Metro Ambulance Service in Marietta, Georgia. They were small, maneuverable in tight spots and could traverse most any slick grass medians on the interstates regardless of the weather. They proved most useful during the annual infrequent snow days in the South!
In a few years they retired these two Jeeps with one being converted as a personal bird hunting Jeep. The second, as pictured, remained stored for those occasions where it was uniquely qualified to serve. In 1997, this Jeep Ambulance was again placed in service as the ambulance assigned to the Bike Medic Patrol at Gold Cross EMS in Augusta, Georgia. With expansion of the Bike Medic program new larger Ford trucks have been deployed. The 1982 Horton Jeep Ambulance is now an honored member of the Ambulance cast in the Collection!
MORE TO COME
1958 Cadillac Ambulance (M-M)
This 1958 Cadillac Ambulance by Miller & Meter was purchased from another collector from Missouri in March of 2012. The history of this 1958 Ambulance as outlined by the previous owner reveals it was used in the southwestern states of Arizona & New Mexico until sometime in the mid 1970ies. The Missouri owner purchased it from an individual in west Texas in 1994 with the intention of restoring it to its former glory!
Remarkably, this 1958 M-M Cadillac Ambulance is all original and all there! While it is sun baked very little rust is evident anywhere on the vehicle. This is probably one of the first iterations of an ambulance from the marriage of the Miller Company and the Meter Company. A complete restoration will begin upon completion of the ’37 LaSalle in 2013.
1974 Cadillac Criterion Ambulance ( M-M)
This 1974 Cadillac Criterion Ambulance is reported as one of supposedly only 48 produced by Miller- Meteor from 1973 to 1975. Very few of these can be found today.
The Criterion was Miller – Meteor’s final attempt to meet the new KKK standards with the Cadillac chassis. Marketed as an ambulance that surrounded patients, attendants and driver with a massive ring of all steel protection built on the incomparable Cadillac platform specifically engineered for heavy-duty ambulance service.
Unfortunately, these ambulances were exponentially more expensive than other brands available at this time which may have sealed the last nail in the casket for a Cadillac Ambulance.
The rarity and quality of the Miller – Meteor Cadillac Criterion drove a quest to obtain one for the collection. These ambulances signaled the end of an era in ambulance design & function and the Collection had to have at least one!
In January of 2012 a collector was found in north Georgia with a 1974 Criterion already in the beginning stages of restoration. Unable to complete the restoration due to family health issues, the owner agreed to sell the Criterion on the condition that it be restored and preserved. The Criterion, as shown in the pictures, will need complete restoration. Efforts to assess current mechanical needs and additional parts are already underway. Avoiding unforeseen delays restoration completion is expected by December 2013.