Two Saturdays of Dodge Ambulance rescue

On the 17th of August we set out to rescue my 1942 Dodge WC 27 ambulance in Virginia.  The last time I went down to see it traffic flowed nicely.  However, 95 being what it is, we sat from DC to Richmond in this traffic.Image

After five hours of this traffic we arrived in Petersburg to load up the ambulance.  Dave had it sitting ready to load at his place.Image

Using some long tow straps we pulled the ambulance up onto the trailer using Dave’s Toyota.  The ambulance rolled freely and we were shortly ready to bring it home.Image

This ambulance may have been converted into a work truck during WW2. It has the correct pintle hitch for a Wc, but ambulances would not have worn those.  The interior is all heavy duty shelves. It was used by a refrigeration company after WW2 until the company building burned down in 1971.  Since then it sat in a junkyard until Dave found it… Hours before it was to be cut up for scrap.

The ride back was happily uneventful. Though many folks slowed down to stare at the WC27 on the highway.  We got many waves and smiles as we drove along (and much less traffic!!)

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With some ingenuity using ratchet straps and 6 by 6 lumber Ben and I walked the ambulance off of its trailer and soon it was settled in at Hanson Mechanical.Image

As if one Saturday of highways and Dodge rescue was not enough, I headed to NJ this Saturday to meet my friend Scott Roberts. Scott had arranged to get a rear axle for my WC from Ernie Baals. Ernie has an amazing collection of Dodges that I will post soon. At Ernie’s we toured the collection and then went back to the parts section.Image

It was easier to cut the rear off of a beyond repair WC21 than just remove the axle. Here Ernie is using his trusty Sawzall as Scott looks on.Image

We used a defunct WC that had a boom hoist to load the rear into my truck.ImageImage

I was amazed removing the driveshaft from another truck for the ambulance. Nuts and bolts that looked totally seized came apart nicely after a little tug from a pipe wrench. Ernie said this is common with the old Dodge trucks.

With parts to play with and the ambulance at home I look forward to bringing the old WC 27 back to life 🙂  Thanks to everyone who has helped with this rescue so far!!

(Ernie’s collection and Scott’s WC will come in posts soon.)

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