When you drive an ambulance, people tend to get out of your way. For today’s Nice Price or Crack Pipe 1974 Dodge Superior, they’ll have to clear an especially wide path, but that’s only if its price is equally phat.
The thing about Datsun’s 510 is that they tend to give you guys a bigger tingle in the privates than does a week of Chilean prison interrogation. Yesterday’s 1971 510 wagon was no exception, and it took home a narrow 57% Nice Price win despite having not yet even been to finishing school.
I’ll bet for many of you the only car-based ambulance with which you are familiar is the one converted into ECTO-1 in the movie Ghostbusters. More likely you’re accustomed to van-based emergency transports as they have supplanted the old Caddy-wagons almost entirely.
Today, most medi response vehicles fit into three major classes- the Types I through III. Type I is a box dropped onto a heavy duty pickup truck chassis, while the Type III features a similar box that’s been grafted onto a full size van cab. The Type II is a normal van with an extended roof, and which offers the least amount of places to get out of the way when the EMT yells “CLEAR!”
One of the weirdest of the Vanbulances is the Superior 61 Widebody, of which we have a 1974 Dodge edition today, and which fails to fall cleanly into any of the above categories. Cut down the middle like an unfortunate extra in Hatchet III, the vans were then unceremoniously pulled a full 16” apart and the filled the gap like an eclair.
The resulting bodywork overhangs the chassis in a somewhat freakish manner requiring spelunking gear just to check tire pressures, and making the ambulances frighteningly tippy. Interestingly, the 61 in the Superior’s name is not derived from the ambulance’s width, but its height, there being 61 inches of headroom under the extended fiberglass cap. The more you know.
On this Superior that lid has both a gumball and Mickey Mouse ear sirens, and is steel reinforced to help keep the van from folding faster than Superman on laundry day. There are additional red lamps on the front fenders, and while it would be a hoot to fire everything up and run code 3 down to Taco Bell when you need an emergency Chalupa Supreme injection, it’s still probably against the law.
The driver’s station features your typical Dodge dash and doghouse, albeit with more elbow room than normal. In the rear compartment there's still all the cabinetry, the side bench, and gurney lock, all of which seem serviceable. The exterior likewise appears reasonably mar-free, including the humongous and irreplaceable single-piece windscreen which would require an extra long squeegee to keep clean.
Mechanically, it has a 360 V8 and of course, a TorqueFlite. The seller claims the tires are new and that the whole thing runs and drives great. The question is, where would you drive such a vehicle?
Well, considering its width and corresponding interior room, you could throw a hammock into it and use it both to transport your Formula Vee car to the races, and as a comfy abode while there. Alternatively, you could start a business transporting acute claustrophobia sufferers.
Whatever your choice, the world is your oyster, and this Superior 61 Fat Boy is $5,900. Considering that you likely have no point of reference for such things, what do you think about this unique van being offered at that price? Do you think that’s such a value that it should sell stat? Or, does that price make this a scambulance?
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