View Full Version : Ambulance window curtains question

Don Wasley
06-27-2012, 03:42 AM
My question is why do pictures of the newer [70's] ambulances seem to have curtains on the windows and some pictures of earlier [60's] ambulances don't seem to have curtains in them, i.e., the 65 Miamitown unit? I was looking at the old Kost ambulance thread and the Miamitown ambulance thread [both being next to each other] in the For Sale section and they didn't seem to have curtains in them. If they didn't, would it period correct to add them to the car or would that detract from the 'historic' period value of the car? Thank you ahead of time for your answers.....:halo:

Paul, if I put this in the wrong place, just move it...:twak:

Steve Lichtman
06-27-2012, 07:42 AM
For the most part, ambulances came with curtains. (Like anything else, you could specify without, I suppose.)

When you look at photos of nearly 50 year old ambulances taken today, it's quite possible that the curtains have deteriorated, been stained, or otherwise removed and not yet replaced. The 40 year old ambulances may have had curtains that survived.

If the ambulance has curtain rods, it probably had curtains. And they can be added. You just have to find someone to make them.

Wayne Krakowski
06-27-2012, 08:10 AM
P.S. we do not wash no more curtains,thats behind us,nothing worse than having some neighbor watching me hang out the curtains and saying got your washing out maam.:twak:

Jerry Jacobson
06-27-2012, 02:17 PM
Some of the old ambulances had shades that you could not see unless they were closed. Others on the board can tell you more about them. In some cases they seemed to be a more practical idea than curtains.

Denny Shira
06-27-2012, 03:06 PM
My 1970 cadillac 51" rescuer has both curtains and shades.when i worked for the old niagara ambulance service we had a 1960 miller limo style ambulance that had shades only:blahblah:

Dwayne Brooks
06-28-2012, 09:02 AM
Miamitown's rear interior was mostly removed/modified when I bought it. About 50% of the curtain rod holders were in place, the rest were missing. I bought a bag full of Superior curtain rod holders from Danny Ryder @ Hudson and they went with the ambulance. there were no curtain rods at all, but they look simple to make. Curtains were definitely a goal for Miamitown that I didn't get to see through...


John ED Renstrom
06-28-2012, 12:45 PM
would seem that not all that stuff gets put back. it expensive and some times money is best spent elsewhere. the old brakes verse curtains thing. this is one reason that you need to box everything you take off and store it. 10 years later it's very hard to reproduce if you don't have the pattern. that thing you took out that you were wondering what it was. 5 year latter you find out and realize you need it. it's a long way down in the land fill by then if you toss it.

John Burchfield
08-11-2012, 01:57 PM
P.S. we do not wash no more curtains,thats behind us,nothing worse than having some neighbor watching me hang out the curtains and saying got your washing out maam.:twak:

That depends on your neighbors, I guess, and how visible your clothesline is! I can attest that ambulance curtains are a much simpler matter when it comes to cleaning. They're usually a sheer muslin type of fabric that can be safely machine washed. Combinations and hearses tend to have heavier "living room" type of drapes that are dry clean-only. In old cars these have probably become fragile over time and would disintegrate if you dry cleaned them. Not long after I got my hightop I noticed the curtains looked pretty yellow so I washed them and hung them outside to dry. That brightened them up and made the rear compartment smell nice for a while! There was a period when Miller-Meteor ambulances seemed to come with the Vani-Shades. A M-M expert (Tony Karsnia comes to mind) would know for certain, but I've seen more 50s & 60s M-Ms with shades than w/ curtains. Since most of these cars were built to order, you could get them however you wanted back then. I've got a long term plan to make some new airline style drapes for my '75 M-M combo w/ a sewing machine I inherited. That should be a good way to learn how to use the machine!

Kevin Lynch
08-11-2012, 03:28 PM
I think I've only seen one in person; they pull UP from within the door or quarter panel and hook at the top of the window. As far as curtains go, I've replaced them in two vehicles by taking the originals out, buying inexpensive white material at WalMart and having someone sew new ones.


Darlene Daniels
08-11-2012, 07:21 PM
I've seen curtains in early-late 50's ambulances.

I had a 58 eureka ambulance that came with shades and curtain rods but no curtains.

I had someone get a set of raggedy, moldy, curtains from a junkyard in Alabama, out of a 57 Eureka thati planned on using as a pattern, but I never got around to making them.

Russell Dalziel
08-11-2012, 07:23 PM
My 71 Lifeliner has Vani Shades


Terry Broussard
08-11-2012, 09:16 PM
My '71 Pontiac Superior had them, but they basically deteriorated. Been casually looking for replacements, but other priorities on the essentials list always come up.

John ED Renstrom
08-12-2012, 12:30 AM
my 53 has pull down shades. the 68 MM both curtains and pull up shades as does Paul's 69. the 72 CB only the curtains. Virgules 58 has pull down shades and curtains. the 70 stones is naked glass

John Royark JR
08-12-2012, 12:41 PM
My 49 S&S combo has (had) both drapes and pull down shades. All the hardware for each is still there.