THE AMBULANCE COACH
What we have here is a true 9,300 mile, 57 year-old Emergency vehicle and it is in like-new condition. It, in fact, could be the lowest mileage Panel Delivery Chassis out there. The 2nd owner acquired it from the PALCO Corporation when they went Bankrupt in 2000, and gave the Ambulance a kind, minimally needed frame-off restoration with it's first- paint-over-original, slightly lowering the suspension. The vehicle is complete with photo's, documentation, it's original Siren, Lights & Gurney, Medical Cabinets, Gurney lockdown Bar, Overhead Stretcher Bars, and some Emergency Gear. We have since restored it further adding some Period correct items. After contacting several of the nation's Oldest Ford Dealers we have now uncovered this Coach was originally factory fit with the V.I.N. &Title Proven 272 "K" Code 'Medium Duty' OHV V8 ( not the typical 'Light-Duty' V8 normally installed in '57 Ford F-100 Trucks on this chassis). We have replaced the m.i.a. Radio Communication System with a period correct, 2-way Motorola Radio, Mic & Speaker ("Roger Adam 12, Roger that"), plus period correct Emergency items, including Flare Kit, Oxygen Tanks, Revolving Dash Light and even a Crash Dummy (first used by Ford in 1955). It carries Original paperwork history with the vehicle verification + the original WATER-SLIDE Decal fixed to the dash from the Superior Dealer w/ 2+5 digit phone number who sold it new.... (see pix of Superior factory ad showing this U.S. dealer) "For Service ~ Superior Coach & Ambulance Sales Co. 1540 Old Bayshore Hwy. Burlingame, CA. DiamonThis Ambulance is fit with period-correct , Oval Shaped, Superior Brand Lighting and Metal Emergency 'Tunnel Lights' direct from the Superior Manufacturing Plant (highly unlikely Superior would allow another Coach Builder to use it's products or, that another manufacturer would use theirs). Even the unique Stimsonite tail lamps were factory fit , moved from the usual position behind the doors, to the top of the Coach allowing the sequential Flashing lights to be seen when the doors were in the 'open' position. The Panel Van Top is custom-designed in metal as a 'Hi-Top", allowing extra headroom for patients and attendant. The Custom , factory fit, Side-glass Cross (originally etched in Silver & Goldleaf) framed in custom-made fiberglass frames and Cabinetry do not 'exactly' match ANY original brochures of ANY other of these folks we have found. Yet, this vehicle still has the 'look' and styling of a Superior. We have photographs of this car 'in use' new proving what you see is what we got. It was not altered later during it's life. The Suspension was lowered in 2002 but, the body itself remains exactly the way it was in 1957. The Commercial Diamond Plate F &R Black Bumpers were removed and replaced with Chrome by the 2nd owner and are still available.
The storage cabinets, and floor which are original & in excellent condition (with built-in bench seats for EMS Attendants and any passengers), are constructed in the exact period style. This vehicle was built to function (quote), "dependably engaging, in a limited space and on 'less-then-passable' log-mining roads". Those roads were commonly known to attract the suspension of the traditional Ambulance, like a magnet.....leaving the car stuck or parts left lodged in the dirt. Not exactly desirable in an Emergency "Run". We were told this vehicle would meet "Crummies" (H.D. 4wd Trucks) at "Landings" throughout the sites where the crew would have First Aid Boxes and Stretchers in place, ready to meet the Ambulance with any victims. This vehicle would then make 'the run' to the Hospital or Clinic. It is also entirely possible this very Ambulance carried it's benefactor, Stanwood A Murphy (CEO of Palco), to the Hospital after he succumbed to a heart attack in 1972 at the home of one of Scotia's company employees. . A fascinating history....
The 1957 Ford Trucks featured :
"Functional Purpose Engineering" with a new , improved, restyled Truck. To put this into perspective: it was Ford's 40th Anniversary and, entrepreneur Lee Iacocca was President of the Ford Truck Division. FoMoCo bragged on $7 million spent on Design and another $5 mil on 'extra development'. To celebrate , they offered 300 different model trucks that year but, only built 711 Custom Deluxe Panel Truck versions. Important to note: Ford themselves stopped making Ambulances in 1940 and production on Ford trucks didn't start until feb.1,1957! The flat-wrap-around' hood had ribs stamped into it's center while 10 paint colors were Standard. The Deluxe Model option offered the fancy version of the F-100 with "Custom Chrome" Emblems, Heavy Duty Springs, a Fully Insulated Interior, a Perforated Headliner, and the Cabin Walls were lined with "Masonite" on an 8ft. capacity Cargo Area (Incidentally, Ford touted "11ft. " of length with Pass. seat removed!).
Most of the Deluxe "Five Star Extra Cab' Features included ; Chrome Missile-Style Ornaments on the sides of the hood, Bright Metal Grille, 2-tone Upholstery, Dual Sun Visors, Armrest, Door Locks, Parking Light Chrome, and Chrome Windshield Surround. Options beyond that included "Spiraline Bucket Seats", 'Magic Aire' Heater/ Defroster, Tinted Glass, Twin Horns, Fire Extinguisher (oh, yeh) w/ Fixing Bracket, Heavy Duty Fan, WWW Tires, Electric Windshield Wipers, Chrome Hubcaps & Bumpers, Tow hooks, Seatbelts, Outside Mirrors, Wheel Trim Rings, Dome Light & Door Switches, Polar-Aire Air Conditioning, Lifeguard Padded Dash & Steering Wheel, Deluxe Door Trim, Extra Insulation, Radio Delete, Illuminated CIGAR Lighter (not 'Cigarette' lighter), H-D 3 Speed Transmission, a 4:09 rear Axle and a Grille Guard. The Coachbuilder bought a little extra room by eliminating the Partition between the front seats and rear cabin and, it should be noted, the Passenger Seat is removable..
So, what we have discovered here is a collector's dream - not only a piece of Scotia's History but, a true Custom-made Ambulance.
What's left of the old PALCO Corporation is now rumored to be selling off the Company lots with Homes on the Scotia hillside...so, it's looking like it might be the End of Pleasantville (or, Forestville) and the loss of yet another chunk of what made America so great.
This Ambulance was the Scotia Fire Department's, and it's next owner's 'proud baby'.
Now she's come to live in our care and ownership at the Mount Dora Museum of Speed.
On display for your enjoyment ~Now Offered For Sale @ $62,500