For Sale: 1972 Cadillac S&S Kesington Prof.Hi-Top in Mount Dora (Orlando), Florida

$49,500

Vehicle Description

1972 CADILLAC S&S 'KENSINGTON' HI-TOP AMBULANCE
THIS GREAT COACH, LIKE MANY OF OUR PRO-CAR ACQUISITIONS THAT HAVE PASSED THROUGH THE MUSEUM, IS ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT AMBULANCES WE HAVE EVER DISCOVERED. NOT THE RUN-OF-THE-MILL, LOW TOP, EMERGENCY VEHICLE ... IT DESERVES SPECIAL RECOGNITION AS A "HIGH-TOP" AMBULANCE. TURNS OUT, 1972 WAS A SPECIAL YEAR FOR CADILLAC MOTOR CARS AS- 1972 WAS THEIR 70TH ANNIVERSARY.  LUXURY ABOUNDED... EVEN IN AN AUSTERE 'ALL-BUSINESS' AMBULANCE BUT, EVEN MORE SO, AS THIS WAS THE TOP-OF-THE LINE 'KENSINGTON' MODEL... S&S's 'FLAGSHIP MODEL'. IT WAS ORIGINALLY DELIVERED TO A SUBURB OF CINCINNATI, OHIO CALLED 'MADEIRA/ INDIAN HILL' AND BOTH COMMUNITIES SHARED ITS 23 SQUARE MILE DUAL USE, THROUGH THE VOLUNTEER FIRE DEPT.  BUILT BY HESS & EISENHARDT, THIS S & S COACH WAS THE ULTRA-LUXURY VERSION OF THE HIGH-TOP AMBULANCE FROM THE EARLY 70'S. 'UNIQUE', AS IT HAD TO BE ONE OF THE FEW LAST BUILT BY THIS FIRM. DUE TO THE FACT THAT BY 1972, ACCORDING TO HISTORICAL ACCOUNTS, S&S SAW THE 'WRITING ON THE WALL' AND HAD BEGUN TO WIND-DOWN THE CADILLAC AMBULANCE ORDERS. THE U.S. FEDERAL GOVERNMENT HAD ANNOUNCED "THE EMS ACT" WAS IN THE WORKS AND THIS BILL BROUGHT ABOUT SWEEPING CHANGES FOR ALL THE COACH BUILDERS. SUDDENLY SMALLER (CAR BASED) AMBULANCES WOULD BE ELIMINATED BY A WHOLE NEW PROGRAM. INITIALLY THEY WERE BEING REPLACED BY BUDGET 'VAN & SUBURBAN-STYLE' UNITS, AND THEN EVENTUALLY, BY THE MUCH LARGER TYPE III BIG-BOX BODIES. THE NEW SET OF GOVERNMENT MANDATED, LIFE SAVING RULES CHANGED THE GAME FOR EMS SERVICES. ALL THE TRADITIONAL, TRIED & TRUE 'TRANSPORT VEHICLE'S WERE PHASED-OUT AS THEY FOLLOWED THE NEW GUIDELINES WITH HUGE NEW VEHICLES LADEN WITH ELECTRONICS AND ADVANCED LIFE SUPPORT SYSTEMS. GONE WERE 'THE TRANSPORTER' EMERGENCY CARS. PRODUCTION WAS SO LOW ON THESE, WE CAN'T EVEN FIND A ORIGINAL 1972 S&S AMBULANCE SHOWROOM BROCHURE  TO GIVE YOU A BETTER IDEA OF RARITY OF THE 'HIGH-TOP' AMBULANCES, CADILLAC ONLY PRODUCED 2,462 TOTAL COMMERCIAL CHASSIS THAT YEAR FOR "PROFESSIONAL CARS" WHICH INCLUDED FLOWER CARS / HEARSES & AMBULANCES ... ONLY A VERY SMALL PERCENTAGE WERE EMERGENCY SERVICE VEHICLES. DESPITE A DEBILITATING UNION STRIKE IN 1971, CADILLAC MANAGED TO TURN THE SALES LOSS AROUND BY SELLING 266,780 CARS FOR A RECORD SALES YEAR IN 1972 . THE ACTUAL BUILD FIGURES BY S&S 'PRO-CARS' HAVE BEEN DESTROYED DURING THE BUY-OUT MERGER BY ACCUBILT CORPORATION BUT, EXTRAPOLATING THE FIGURES THROUGH EACH OF THE OTHER MAJOR COACH BUILDERS, YOU DON'T HAVE TO BE A MATHEMATICIAN TO CONCLUDE CADILLAC AMBULANCE PRODUCTION WAS EXTREMELY LOW. FOR INSTANCE, BY THE PUBLISHED RECORDS THAT ARE KNOWN; SUPERIOR COACH SOLD 222 AMBULANCES IN 1973, 163 BY 1974, 123 BY 1975, 114 IN 1976... AND BY 1979 ONLY 10. THE DAYS OF THE 'FLASHY' CADILLAC AMBULANCE WERE SOON TO BE GONE....... REPLACED BY THE BEHEMOTH 'SQUARE BOX' EMS AMBULANCES THAT WE ARE FAMILIAR WITH TODAY. ACCORDING TO EMPLOYEES & THE CAPT. OF THE MADEIRA/ INDIAN HILL FIRE DEPT. THIS FIRE DEPT. HAD TWO AMBULANCES AND ONCE THE EXPENSIVE S&S KENSINGTON ARRIVED IT BECAME A CENTERPIECE FOR THE FIRE DEPT. IT DIDN'T SEE MUCH USE UNTIL 1973. FOR EXAMPLE: TYPICALLY THE TWO COACHES (COMBINED) ONLY AVERAGED 470 RUNS AND BY YEARS END (1973) THEY STATED, THIS THIS COACH ONLY DID 252 RUNS. THIS RESULTED TODAY, IN THE TOTAL MILEAGE AT 59,426. THE ENGINE WAS THE 'R' MODEL 472 CUBIC INCH WITH GROSS HORSEPOWER OF 345 (NET HP. WAS USED FOR THE FIRST TIME, AT 220). A BIG ROCHESTER CARB FED THE ENGINE AND A 400 TURBO TRANSMISSION PUSHED THE BEAST DOWN THE HIGHWAY ( ALMOST 7,200 LBS. & 7.5' HEIGHT). DESPITE THE FACT THIS WAS THE FLAGSHIP MODEL, EXTRA OPTIONS WERE SPARCE: ATTENDANTS WEREN'T PERMITTED TO ENJOY A RADIO SO, THIS COACH FEATURES A 'RADIO DELETE' PLATE REPLACED BY VOLTMETER GUAGES. FRONT DISC BRAKES, CORNERING LAMPS AND "FULL LENGTH HEATING" WAS STANDARD BUT, IT DOES HAVE THE EXPENSIVE, (OPTIONAL) FACTORY AIR CONDITIONING FRONT & REAR, POWER WINDOWS, DUAL BATTERIES, BUILT-IN CHARGING SYSTEM+ ELECTRICAL OUTLETS, INDIVIDUAL FOLDING ATTENDANT SEAT, 'SQUAD BENCH SEAT', BUILT-IN OXYGEN SYSTEM, SHORTWAVE RADIO SYSTEM, CARDIAC SYSTEM WITH DUAL OVERHEAD CONTROL PANELS, LAERDAL SUCTION UNIT, AND THE UNITY 110,000 CP TOP LIGHT 4-BULB BEAM, WITH "FYRBALL" EMERGENCY LIGHTS. STANDARD FEATURES ON THIS MODEL WERE THE EXTRA REAR COMPARTMENT SIZE ( THE ROOMIEST INTERIOR AND REAR ACCESS OF ANY COACH OFFERED AT 54"), A LOWER FLOOR LEVEL FOR GREATER FREEDOM WHEN WORKING ON PATIENTS, LEFT HINGED REAR-EXTRA WIDE DOOR, LARGE STORAGE AREAS, INCLUDING STAINLESS DOOR CABINETS IN THE REAR DOOR, CUSTOM DESIGNED MICA CABINETS WITH WARM AIR CIRCULATION, (2) AUTOMATIC COT FASTENERS, TWO OXYGEN TANKS, OVERHEAD ACCESSORY SWITCH PANEL IN COCKPIT & REAR AND ORIGINALLY THE S&S "THERMAL RE-FLOW" LACQUER FINISH. THE SANDBLASTED 'GOLD CROSS AND FLIGHT PATTERN' WINDOWS WERE RESTORED TO ITS ORIGINAL LUSTER. THE MOTOROLA MOCOM 70 RADIO AND HAND ROTARY DIALER (FORTHCOMING) WERE RE-INSTALLED WHILE THE 'CAN-STYLE' ROOF-TOP EMERGENCY LIGHTS WERE REPLACED WITH DECO CHROME VERSIONS. THE ORIG. 'S&S 'CANS' AND LIGHT BAR WERE DISCARDED OR PLACED IN STORAGE AS THE LIGHT BAR COVERED THE 'ASTRA' LIT PANEL WHICH SPELLS-OUT 'AMBULANCE'. THE 1.6" WHITEWALLS WERE AN EXTRA COST LUXURY WHILE, THE ORIG. RSTORED HUBCAPS CARRY THE ORIG. S&S LOGO'S. HESS & EISENHARDT'S BRAGGING POINT WAS THIS MODEL WAS 3-7" LONGER THEN ANY COMPETITIVE HI-TOP AMBULANCE! IT ACTUALLY CARRIED A PRICE TAG OF OVER $16,000 AS NOW EQUIPPED & SEEN HERE ($86,017 IN TODAYS MONEY). SO, MADEIRA & INDIALL HILL WAS OBVIOUSLY ONE OF THE WEALTHIER OHIO COMMUNITY / MUNICIPALITIES.   ONCE THE EMS LAW WAS FULLY ENACTED THE COACH WAS RETIRED UNTIL THE 1980'S, WHEN IT WAS SOLD TO A FUNERAL COACH /AMBULANCE DEALER IN OHIO. HE SOLD IT TO A TEXAS COLLECTOR WHO KEPT IT IN HIS 'COLLECTION' UNTIL IT WAS LIQUIDATED IN 2005. THE CAR ENDED UP WITH A NEW OWNER IN CALIFORNIA AND WAS USED IN A TV PILOT / SERIES CALLED "PUSHING DAISIES". AT THAT POINT, IT PASSED TO A EMS FIRM IN WISCONSIN WHO IN TURN SPENT 3 YEARS & THOU$ANDS ON A FULL RESTORATION ($14700 ON WINDOWS/DOORS-OFF PAINT ALONE), RESULTING IN THE RETURN TO ITS FORMER SPLENDOR. HE ONLY PARTED WITH IT AFTER SELLING HIS COMPANY. WE BOUGHT THE COACH AND FINISHED THE RESTO. INCLUDING TRANSPORT HERE, EXHAUST MANIFOLD GASKETS, NEW CORRECT 1.6 TIRES, RESTORATION OR REPLACEMENT OF THE HUBCAPS & ALL BADGES, REPLACING MEDICAL ITEMS, MOCOM RADIO SYSTEM, CADILLAC CREST FLOORMAT, LIGHTING REBUILD, STEERING WHEEL COVER, 'WREATH PACKAGE', SOME CHROME, REFURB OF OXY TANKS, MECHANICAL AND NUMEROUS OTHER ITEMS. WE HAD THE COACH LETTERED IN HONOR OF IT'S ORIGINAL SERVICE IN GOLD & BLACK LETTERING (SAME FONT & SIZE), INCLUDING THE "#6" UNIT ON THE FENDER. THIS S&S IS MODEL # 72-1343 AND IT WAS ALWAYS FINISHED IN THIS "RESCUE RED" WITH RED LEATHERETTE INTERIOR WITH IVORY FLOORS & WHITE CABINETS. THE INTERIOR HAS REMAINED AMAZINGLY 'LIKE NEW' , MINT CONDITION WITH THE EXCEPTION OF A NEW HEADLINER. THE BUILD PLATE IS STILL MOUNTED IN THE ENGINE BAY AND SURPRISINGLY READS "NINE PASSENGER + 200 LB. LOAD" /"1550 LBS. TOTAL.". S&S's ORIGINAL AMBULANCE 'POSTER AD' DISPLAYS FIVE PATIENTS AND ONE ATTENDANT IN THE BACK, NOT COUNTING THE 2-3 PASSENGER FRONT SEAT! THIS GIVES THE TERM  'FULL HOUSE' NEW SCOPE , LOL! S&S WAS PARTICULARLY GENEROUS WITH CHROME AND EMBELLISHMENTS AS CAN BE SEEN HERE. ESPECIALLY FACED OFF WITH THE CHEAPER PLAIN-JANE M/M COACHES. THIS IS ONE OF THOSE GREAT SERVICE CARS YOU ARE UNLIKELY TO EVER SEE AGAIN, ANYTIME SOON, ESPECIALLY IN THIS ORIGINAL CONDITION. $49,500 (Museum Props, like Mannequins, Uniforms, etc., not included in sale)

Vehicle Details

  • Listing ID:CC-882125
  • Year:1972
  • Make:Cadillac
  • Model:S&S Kesington Prof.Hi-Top
  • Exterior Color:Rescue Red
  • Interior Color:Red
  • Transmission:Automatic
  • Engine Size:V-8
  • Odometer:59426
  • Stock Number:'KENSINGTON' HI-TOP AMBULANCE
  • Trim Level:S&S Hess&
  • Title Status:Clear
  • Restoration History:Partially Restored
  • Exterior Condition:Mint
  • Seat Material:Vinyl
  • Air Conditioning:Yes
  • Tinted Windows:Yes
  • Power Brakes:Yes
  • Power Steering:Yes
  • Power Windows:Yes
  • Engine History:Original
  • Engine Condition:Running
  • Drive Train:Rear-wheel drive