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Former Ambulance: 1954 Ford Courier

Beginning in 1952, Ford used the Courier name on a variety of vehicles, usually delivery wagons or pickup trucks. At first, it was a delivery model based on the base 2-door station wagon, the Mainline. This 1954 edition was put into service as an ambulance at a horse track in the 1980s and needs a thorough restoration 30-40 years later. Located in Boise City, Oklahoma, this unique transport is available here on eBay. So far, there are no takers at the opening bid of $6,500, much less the Buy It Now option at $9,000. Larry D continues to stay busy bringing cool tips like this our way!

Besides no side glass, the Courier differed from the station wagon by how access was provided to the rear cargo area. It had a unique door that hinged on its left side. That configuration debuted in 1952 and was used through 1956. In 1957, the rear access door became a combination of the lift-gate and tailgate connected through two connecting struts. The seller’s ’54 delivery comes with an unusual story that begins long after it left the Ford assembly line in Kansas City, Kansas.

It was purchased at some point by La Mesa Park, a former horse racing track in Raton, New Mexico. The facility hosted both Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse racing, opening in 1946 and was shuttered in 1992. During the 1980s, this delivery was fitted as an ambulance at the track, supposedly for jockeys who got injured. Some of the medical equipment that was used is still in the wagon, such as a gurney and mounts for oxygen tanks.

The body is rough, and the floors, trunk, and quarter panels are all going to need attention in the rust department. The seller believes the frame and the rest of the undercarriage are probably okay. There is a 239 cubic inch V8 under the hood with a 3-speed manual transmission plus overdrive. That combination was typical of these wagons in those days. It will still operate off a six-volt electrical system when you can get it going again. And that may be close as the seller was able to get it to start after pouring some gas down the carburetor.

This is a project vehicle with a lot of potential, but what’s the best end game? Restore it like the 1980s ambulance it once was, go back to stock as in 1954, or do some sort of restomod. What would be your vision here? Whatever the plan, the first challenge will be to get a title as this one is missing. But the seller says he can take care of that for maybe $450 extra.


  1. Claudio

    Overpriced car with an extra fee for a title !

    Like 16
  2. Al

    I can’t see it as an ambulance, maybe a morgue pick-up and delivery truck.

    A prospective patient would think they are entering the tomb of hell with no side windows.

    Mind you, there is a see-through floor

    Like 20
  3. Evan

    I was really hoping the truck called “Maverick” was going to be called “Courier”.

    Like 4
  4. local_sheriff

    Overpriced POS project – IMO this is a 1.5-2K project at best. A much better ’54 Courier proper ambulance conversion – not just a makeshift delivery – was offered @ $8.900 in 2019, don’t know if it ever sold

    Like 4
  5. Rick

    The price of a title is more than the vehicle is worth.

    Like 7
  6. Tom Bell

    Above comments correct on a high price for what it is. It is, however, a rare sedan delivery that has not been butchered by the hot rodder/resto-modder group and deserves an honest restoration. A rare, vanished body type along with hucksters, 3-window business coupes, 2-door wagons, panel trucks and others. It needs proper preservation.

    Like 9
  7. NW Iowa

    If no registration (no records found) within the past 10 years your friend living in South Dakota can get you a title for $5. My friend did just that for my ’40 DeSoto, just to make it easier to sell. I should sell it.

    Like 3
  8. chuck

    My folks had a 53 Ford wagon. It was severely rusted by the mid 60’s. (Ohio)

    Like 3
  9. johnny

    Alot of work and running down parts and finding American made parts . To fit right ,.Will cost a good bit. The price they are asking is way too much. Plus the trouble getting it to your destination . Will cost a good bit. Then the frame condition and hear he wants to get you a title for around $500. He,s not asking alot . Is he. He,ll have it along time. If he thinks someone with common sence will pay it

    Like 2
  10. Ed Sel

    Yes, fully priced, but rare (look again – a 2-door wagon w/factory “panel truck” sheet metal, and non-dented body -outside of the conversion to 12 volt, it would be a great surf safari wagon – very little in the way of chrome trim, etc. Just the ‘jet’ hood ornament, so, very low key.

    Like 1
  11. John Member

    Titles in Florida arn’t/were’nt hard, had to get one for my 67 Divco, took about a month and about $200+/-. have to put a lein on it and publich it for 3 weeks.

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