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Josh Gentry
02-17-2011, 01:33 AM
I'm still waiting on my new 76 M-M to come home from Ron's, but I've allready ben thinking about adding something else in the lighting department. I was thinking about either red grille lights, or wig wag headlights, or maybe even both. But my question is, would either of these be correct for 1976? I've decided not to do a spotlight, as I don't think this car would look right with one, but it needs something else. So what is your opinion or ideas?


Thanks,
Josh

Danny Ryder
02-17-2011, 09:29 AM
Red grill lights and wig wags for sure but stop with that. Well, you could run some neon's under the car maybe in purple? Joking Josh!

Kent Martinson
02-17-2011, 10:34 AM
Red grill lights and wig wags for sure but stop with that. Well, you could run some neon's under the car maybe in purple? Joking Josh!

Yeah, what he said.

Richard Vyse
02-17-2011, 10:50 AM
Never enough lights. I can sell you a couple 184's and two air horns. Now that would be neat!!!! :smileyAUS:

Josh Gentry
02-17-2011, 11:36 AM
Never enough lights. I can sell you a couple 184's and two air horns. Now that would be neat!!!! :smileyAUS:Red grille lights, wig wag headlights, purple neon's, a couple 184's, 2 air horns, and maybe a Q on the front fender, and I'll have the badest combo out there.:wowguy::bonk:


Josh

Russell Dalziel
02-17-2011, 11:38 AM
Never enough lights. I can sell you a couple 184's and two air horns. Now that would be neat!!!! :smileyAUS:

I Thought You were giving those Airhorns to someone in Michigan

Jeremy D. Ledford
02-17-2011, 11:42 AM
Red grille lights, wig wag headlights, purple neon's, a couple 184's, 2 air horns, and maybe a Q on the front fender, and I'll have the badest combo out there.:wowguy::bonk:


Josh

Don't forget the Power Call Siren, double tone siren (aka, dual tone) and Ful-Vues!!!!:drive2:

Josh Gentry
02-17-2011, 11:49 AM
Don't forget the Power Call Siren, double tone siren (aka, dual tone) and Ful-Vues!!!!:drive2::poster_oops: Almost forgot about all those.:071:


Josh

Mike Burkhart - Deceased 1948 - 2016
02-17-2011, 12:07 PM
I bought a 1974 S&S 3-way in 1975 and it came with wig-wag headlights, so it would be period correct.
Thanks,
Mike

John Royark JR
02-17-2011, 03:03 PM
Red grill lights and wig wags for sure but stop with that. Well, you could run some neon's under the car maybe in purple? Joking Josh!

Hey now!! My 85 Superior has purple neon under it.

Steve Loftin
02-17-2011, 07:53 PM
I'm still waiting on my new 76 M-M to come home from Ron's, but I've allready ben thinking about adding something else in the lighting department. I was thinking about either red grille lights, or wig wag headlights, or maybe even both. But my question is, would either of these be correct for 1976? I've decided not to do a spotlight, as I don't think this car would look right with one, but it needs something else. So what is your opinion or ideas?


The vast majority of combinations in all parts of the country had conservative lighting, if they had it at all. This was (a) to make conversion quick and easy, and (b) because most funeral directors didn't want to invest any more than they had to in their ambulance operations.

Grille lights weren't very popular in this part of the country. One reason was that, if mounted on the bumper or outside of the grille, they implied "emergency vehicle." Some operators didn't want the recognition, and others didn't want to pay higher insurance for a car that was only used imtermittently (or even sparingly) as an emergency vehicle.

Many operators I know that mounted lights behind the grille ended up removing them (especially the 7" pancakes) because they restricted the air flow through the radiator and consequently adversely affected the engine's cooling system.

That's my story, and I'm stickin' with it...!

Jon VanDermark
02-17-2011, 08:35 PM
Steve,

To your knowledge did anyone ever use dash lights like the Federal FireBall? I know they've been around since the late 50's or early 60's. They seem like they would be a very conservative choice but I can't recall ever seeing one in a combination.

Jon

Josh Gentry
02-17-2011, 09:16 PM
Good question there Jon. If I did the grille lights, I would do them behind the grille, but I was also thinking about restricting the air flow as there is already a siren there. I do think I am going with the wig wag headlights though.

Josh


Josh

Steve Loftin
02-17-2011, 09:57 PM
Steve,

To your knowledge did anyone ever use dash lights like the Federal FireBall? I know they've been around since the late 50's or early 60's. They seem like they would be a very conservative choice but I can't recall ever seeing one in a combination.

Jon

Yes, there were actually quite a few around like that. Most of them were used in cars that very rarely made emergency calls, didn't have whistles, had minimal or no medical supplies (or oxygen), and used an old spare stretcher or even a #11 when pressed into service. I've seen cars with magnetic-mount Fireballs, Whelen Rota-Beams, and even Federal Juniors stuck behind the driver's seat or even stored on a shelf in the garage.

Steve Lichtman
02-18-2011, 11:45 AM
I gotta agree with Steve on this. A combination is one of those things where "less is more". The single beacon is it. If you wanted to add something, maybe the wig-wag headlights. But I wouldn't do more than that if it were me.

Russell Street
02-18-2011, 04:39 PM
As stated previously, most combination cars had pretty conservative lighting usually a single Federal Beacon (normally a 17 or 173). The guys that wanted to "upgrade " the lighting just went with the upgrade to a Federal 175 or 176 Beacon. Some folks went with 2 demountable Beacons, and occasionally there would be an M&M with a single Beacon and 2 Full-vues on the front corners. Pretty rare though.

The one glaring exception to this involves a establishment (I want to say it was Boyd's but I'm not sure) in Cleveland. They had a 1971 or 72 Cadillac Superior that had 4 demountable Model 17 Beacons on it and a "Q" behind the grille. The car was white on the bottom and had a caramel colored steel roof (no vinyl or crinkle) and panels for the rear side windows. I took a body down to them once and asked if they did a lot of emergency ambulance work. The reply was "...no, but folks think we do...". They were located right on Euclid Ave. and kept the car parked out front by the big sign with their phone number on it almost all the time. I guess it generated a lot of business for them. They had a deal with one of the ambulance companies to do runs in the name of the funeral home. The guy said nobody ever notices it's not their ambulance making the call. Makes sense if you stop and think about it.

Every once in awhile there would be a car with red in the high beam light location, not so much after the introduction of rectangular headlights. Wig-wags were not really common until the late 70's and early 80's.

Steve Tarbert
04-19-2011, 05:32 PM
In 1976, there was a funeral home in Marion, OH, which was also called "Boyd's. I don't know if they were connected, but they ran a 1976 combination that was all white and had 4 - Federal Mod 17s on the corners along with Federal Electronic siren. The service I worked for at 4 combinations that were contracted iut ti area funeral homes and they were equipped with a Fed Mod 176 and wig wag headlights. The earlier one had a Mod 28 siren and the later ones had Fed PA-15s.

Bruce Oliphant
04-19-2011, 06:42 PM
I'm extremely pleased with the 176-D and Unity grille lights on my combination. I think any more than that would have been overdoing it for me.

Bruce Biancalana
04-19-2011, 11:17 PM
Combination cars did come with spotlights, a pair of double faced spotlights might not look bad. The only thing about the spot lights in the 71-76 cars is that the spotlights were mounted through the doors instead of the window post or cowl. I second the motion of the cooling blockage asscoiated with grill lights or even bumper mounted flasing lights, especially a 75-76 500. I also think wig wags are a no brainer,the are easy to install and are very effective to say the least.

Doug Kelley
04-21-2011, 11:41 AM
The last combo car I drove before going out of the ambulance business at the funeral home was a 1966 Cadillac, M & M combo, with 1 Federal 184-D
light, 2 red headlights with wig-wag, and a federal interceptor siren. In those days we even used the wig-wag red headlights on funeral processions, just try that today !!

Bruce Oliphant
04-21-2011, 12:05 PM
In small towns old habits die hard. There is a funeral home about 20 miles from me that to this day still mounts a red Model 14 magnetic mount on their station wagon that the funeral home staff drives to the cemetary. They follow directly behind the off-duty police motorcycle escort with it and no one says anything about it.