Dodge M43 Ambulance

Illustration for article titled Dodge M43 Ambulance

I'm not sure what's up with this neighborhood in Alameda's East End, but the streets have quite a few military vehicles parked in front of Craftsman bungalows. In addition to this Air Force ambulance, there's the Pinzgauer, the Ford GPW Jeep, and another couple of war-wagons I haven't posted yet. Is is some sort of requirement that each block have at least one? Such are the mysteries of the Island City.

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Illustration for article titled Dodge M43 Ambulance


I'm sure as hell no expert on these things, but a friend of mine in Orange County had one of these ambulances. His was a former Army machine he bought for $150, had been rolled at least once, and was used only for desert hoonage with a Suicidal Tendencies soundtrack on a bungied-down boombox in the back. The ride was wheelbarrow-over-cobblestones-esque and the top speed was about 50; we'd all scream "MEDIC!" after a particularly spine-compressing bump.

Illustration for article titled Dodge M43 Ambulance


Back when Alameda's Navy base was second only to San Diego's on the West Coast, the skies were full of A-6s and P-3s and the streets were full of gray Navy trucks. You'd also see some Marine Corps vehicles once in a while, but Air Force? Probably this truck would have been vandalized by enraged seamen back in the day. Anchors aweigh!

Illustration for article titled Dodge M43 Ambulance
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This ambulance clearly runs (or at least rolls), since I've seen it in different parking spaces, but I have yet to set it rumbling down the ave.

Illustration for article titled Dodge M43 Ambulance
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Anyway, other than the general era (1950s) and the Dodge origins, I can't nail down the exact model of this thing. Military-vehicle experts, please fill us in!

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Check out that cool Auto Lite blackout headlight! I couldn't see a siren anywhere; if it lacks one, I hope the owner is scouring eBay for a replacement. An ambulance needs a siren!

DISCUSSION

@TinaChow: That was Army.

My uncle had a 1949 Dodge Powerwagon(pickup) that looked almost exactly like this (front end), although his had farm gearing and wouldn't break 25mph. On the other hand it would pull a redwood out of the ground and you may not notice it was attached.