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  #181  
Old 01-25-2016, 01:38 PM
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Steve Lichtman Steve Lichtman is offline
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Originally Posted by Joe Montgomery View Post
I actually considered doing some kind of ambulance look in the early 2000s. At that time all I knew was that it had been an ambulance, but no clue as to what it looked like. The idea I was considering would have been some kind of "Hot Rod" ambulance. I started the restoration in 2004, and it went to the body shop in 2006. Got it back in 2008. Steves picture was not posted until 2010. (I stumbled across it last week). I did try to find some info from the Helena town hall in the early 2000s, but the lady I talked to was not much help. If I recall correctly she was going to have someone call me. That never happened.
I'm sorry you didn't find us sooner. Steve gave me a print of that picture in the mid-80s, and of course, he's had the pic since back in the day. We've been here, ready to answer questions unasked. Uh well. You have the car of your dreams, we can't fault you for that.
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Joe Montgomery (01-26-2016)
  #182  
Old 01-25-2016, 02:11 PM
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Kind of hard to fault a guy for taking a station wagon ambulance back to stock, or doing what was done in this instance. This Olds wagon is worth far more now than it would be had it been "restored" to what it looked like when it saw ambulance service.

Most wagon ambulances were nothing more than an, off-the-lot, wagon with a stretcher bar and an oxygen bottle holder. I, personally, know of a very straight '63 Buick LeSabre wagon in a yard in Kansas that still has it's stretcher bar and tank holder in it. It was owned by the local funeral home. I walk by it frequently and always try to buy the stretcher bar and tank holder out of it as I have no interest in '63 Buicks.

Joe, you did a beautiful job on your Vista Cruiser!!
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  #183  
Old 01-25-2016, 10:57 PM
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This Olds wagon is worth far more now than it would be had it been "restored" to what it looked like when it saw ambulance service.
True - if you're in this just for the money.
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  #184  
Old 01-26-2016, 04:33 PM
Joe Montgomery Joe Montgomery is offline
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Originally Posted by Steve Loftin View Post
What part of this project can be considered "restoration?"
Well Steve, how about the suspension, brakes, drive train, engine, interior, rust repair and body work.
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  #185  
Old 01-26-2016, 04:48 PM
Joe Montgomery Joe Montgomery is offline
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Originally Posted by Herb John View Post
what shop in Wichita did the work? would you still recommend them? Same on the interior?
I did most of the mechanical work myself. Body and paint was done by a friend of a friend who had a small body shop. Body work was pretty good although I would have liked to seen it blocked a little better. Also I think he could have applied more clear over the bittersweet stripes. This guy now works for a dealership body shop last I heard. The carpet, headliner and seats were done by Downeys Upholstery. They are the very best, without a doubt. I had another guy I know refurbish and dye (to original color) all the soft interior parts. (Dash pad and all plastic pieces in the interior)
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  #186  
Old 01-26-2016, 05:18 PM
Joe Montgomery Joe Montgomery is offline
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Originally Posted by Steve Lichtman View Post
True - if you're in this just for the money.
I do cars as a hobby. Actually I would have cost more to redo the car to what it looked like in Steves picture. Everything I did, plus finding good reproduction vinyl woodgrain, finding a few of the stainless pieces that surround the fake wood grain, and having all of them sanded and polished to show condition. Then,on top of that, I would have to find a light bar, cot, and what ever else would be needed for the interior. Then you have to restore all of these components. Even if you deduct the cost of the hood and air cleaner, it would still cost more. I currently have around $40 K in the car, so I won't be changing much in the near future
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  #187  
Old 01-27-2016, 12:37 AM
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good deal. we know what goes into a compleat on a car. but as this is a ambulance, Hearse, flower car, or limousine you efforts but into and the results are not as appreciated as they would be in the station wagon crowd. as our interests are elsewhere. as I said there are so few of these conversions left the thought of finding one purks up our ears. we all believe it's your car do as you want with it. some of us are just not as good as hiding our disappointment on the direction your restoration went. glad there are pictures of it in service.
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  #188  
Old 01-27-2016, 01:16 PM
Bruce Oliphant Bruce Oliphant is offline
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Joe, welcome to the site. I'm an ambulance guy from way back and I enjoyed the pictures of YOUR car from when it was in service as an ambulance. I also enjoyed seeing the progress that you made in restoring your car through the pictures that you've posted. It is a fine looking wagon indeed.
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  #189  
Old 09-15-2016, 10:07 AM
Bruce Oliphant Bruce Oliphant is offline
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Today is the 57th anniversary of this event. I'm including a link to a short news story that ran this morning on the local ABC morning news. There are one or two pro cars seen in the video. http://abc13.com/news/looking-back-d...52/#gallery-17 I hope the link works for you.
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