Save This 1967 International Ambulance!

The idea of a device to transport the sick and injured dates back to the 1400s, but this 1967 International Travelall, for sale here on eBay out of Oxford Junction, Iowa, is slightly more advanced than that. Oh, incidentally, as I’m writing this, it has Zero bids and will start at $2200

After the Second World War, International-Harvester (now Navistar) needed to keep up with the other big names in the burgeoning SUV market. From 1953 to 1975, International made quite a few Travelalls, in multiple configurations, and many were coachbuilt into ambulances and rescue vehicles like this one, especially during the height of Civil Defense initiatives. As the Cold War began to cool off, the civilian emergency vehicle market really began to heat up.

This particular one represents the second generation Travelall and, if my reliable sources are correct, this one was converted by Springfield Equipment Company in Ohio. We’re not told much of anything about the running gear, but we can look at the pictures and see what appears to be V8, automatic gearbox, and air conditioner compressor still present.

Inside, it would have had oxygen and probably a very basic First-Aid lifesaving kit of equipment, bandages and other wound dressings, and perhaps some medications, most likely administered by strong young men in starched white uniforms. Most of the critical lifesaving equipment in today’s ambulances were only a dream back then, but for that era, what they had was the best that was available for a mobile platform. The shiny chrome wailing siren and sealed-beam-rotating-beacon lights did the job of clearing traffic and allowing the patient to be expediently transported to more capable facilities.

From the description and pictures, we can tell that it has seen better days, and will need quite a bit of work. Being a midwest vehicle, though, it might not be as bad as it looks. We’re told that everything worked when it was parked, but that was likely rather a long time ago. I won’t divulge my actual age, but I know that when I was born, emergency vehicles still had a long way to go to get up to today’s standards. I’ll give you a hint, though: They were still using Cadillac chassis back then. Do you remember ambulances like these?

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Comments

  1. Dpbauer

    I LOVE this project IH! Needs a ton of work but would be a fun moto-transport for my vintage bikes when running. Only an hour away and it’s great travel weather. What could go wrong? I have 4 days then to decide if this is my next project…

    Like 13
  2. TimM

    I seen the “travelall” I believe that’s what they called them!!! But never seen the ambulance model

    Like 1
    • DaveyB

      Harvey, IL ran one as an ambulance in the early 70’s. When they went ALS,it became the backup to a Modulance, type 1. I walked into the station one day and got conscripted into taking in a MVC in it. When it retired, it went to ESDA, and I worked out of it at a softball tournament.

  3. local_sheriff

    It wasn’t unusual with truck based ambulances back then, but up to 1978 car (commercial chassis) based ambulances were norm. Though the outer shell of this looks OK, pics of the floors reveal that they seem almost gone. Hope someone saves it,but I think seller is optimistic here.

    The beacons seems to be Dietz units, and I’m sure some vintage warning light aficionados would love to lay their hands on those clear domes

    Like 1
  4. Rube Goldberg Member

    Before paramedics, when I was a kid, the city police had Travelalls like this to transport you to the hospital. Survival was iffy, at best. Great trucks. Clearly, nobody wants it. Years ago, people like my old man would have made this into something, but I just don’t think people do that anymore. Parts is all it is now for someone restoring an IH ,,, if any.

  5. stillrunners stillrunners Member

    Wow….wouldn’t take much…..be a hoot at one of those nostalgic drag races they have around….

    • Rube Goldberg Member

      Make a great push truck for a vintage FED.

  6. Ken

    This is a third generation Travelall. The first dates from 1953 to 1957; the second from 1958 to 1960.

    Like 1
  7. LARRY

    I’m thinking big block ( owners choice Ford Chevy dodge) with a blower…some fatties under the rear and make sure all those lights work..whatcha think?

    Like 1
  8. Bill Wilkman

    I’ll never understand why vehicles like this, that were likely in very good condition when sold from their life as a service vehicle would be allowed to rot to the level of this ambulance. All one would have had to do is keep it in a garage to allow the vehicle to be an outstanding survivor.

    Like 3
    • Steven E Prange

      I don’t get it either. I find it hard to believe that when it was retired from service the department didn’t have SOMEONE who would have said, “Let me take care of it.”

  9. Mark White

    The way my parents bought 46 houses in Oklahoma was to show up at Estate sale in one of our 5 travelalls, 8 kids under 12 screaming inside, buy the house and everything for a cash price! What a work truck! Every summer vacation was in one. Ambulance option is a plus for room…I better stop thinking about that old girl

    Like 1
  10. Elliot Kaplan

    If the mechanical parts are working would leave it alone and just take care of the body and interior. The interior is not so bad for starters do what is needed to make the seats comfortable make sure everything on the dashboard is working the way it should be and for the back area make sure the floor is solid and use it to haul things. The body make sure it is rust free and solid but the paint job not sure if I would give it the same paint scheme keeping it correct to the way it was or a paint job that makes this vehicle stand out. But who ever does buy it and rescues it would make me happy to keep it on the road.

  11. r s

    That isn’t looking like a V8 to me.

  12. Kevin

    Wonder lake IL Fire department had one mid 60s to mid 70s

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