Ultimate Rat Rod? 1955 Pontiac Ambulance

The seller of this sweet 1955 Pontiac Ambulance sadly notes he is being forced to sell the dirty old relic, which looks like it has all the trappings of being a wicked rat rod or simply a spooky Halloween display in someone’s front yard. Whatever your flavor, vintage ambulances are fairly rare beasts and generally have a loyal following that likes to restore them back to their correct colors and features. Find this Pontiac here on craigslist for $6K in Tacoma.

Thanks to Barn Finds reader Jonah M for the find. Details are limited on the Pontiac, but given the location, I’m almost 100% certain we wrote this same vehicle up in 2017. Barn Finds writer Brian Birkner described here a Superior model Pontiac ambulance on Spokane Valley craigslist with a similar color scheme, listed for $2,800 in 2017. Not much has changed.

Image courtesy of Top Classics for Sale

Except for the price, that is, which is quite a jump considering no real work looks to have been completed. Here’s what one of these gorgeous ambulances can look like when finished, which is a long ways away for this example. The seller notes the engine doesn’t run but isn’t seized, and that he holds a clear title. Will the next owner be the one to rescue this ’55 ambulance?

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Comments

  1. DayDreamBeliever Member

    Can’t help it, my first impression when I viewed the photo was “Hellboy”! The front view certainly has some kind of a beasty appearance.

    Interesting that the lister mentions being “forced to sell” the car. It may have company, I see a T-bird (’59 or ’60?) back by the barn, and others at the crest of the hill in the background.

    Like 4
  2. leiniedude leiniedude Member

    I think you are right about the same rig Jeff, looks like the same license plate.

    Like 4
    • DayDreamBeliever Member

      For sure the same one. The fender damage at the left headlight says that quite convincingly.

      Like 2
    • Wishful Thinking

      Jeff Lavery, leiniedude and DayDreamBeliever are correct. This is the same vehicle that appeared previously in BF. For the record, this is a 1955 Pontiac-Superior Ambulance. Made at Superior’s Kosciusko, MS plant. (Kosciusko is birthplace of Oprah Winfrey) Superior made these Pontiacs as a cheaper alternative to the Cadillac-Superior Ambulances and professional (funeral) cars made at their primary plant in Lima, OH. These do not sell for much running-restored. In this condition — a buyer’s market.

      The buy price for this in 2019 would be around $2,500. Reality is, if people want one of these today, they buy the Cadillac-Superior, not the Pontiac.

      Like 3
  3. Miguel

    I would love to see this restored to original condition.

    Short wheel base ambulances are indeed even more rare than the long wheel base like the red one you posted.

    Like 4
  4. Chevelle guy

    anyone else notice the face on the drivers side ?
    i think shes haunted …👻

    Like 5
    • Fred W

      …Either that, or there’s a poster of a face that’s being propped up by the sunvisor!

    • PatrickM

      Well, this is the end of October…

      Like 2
  5. Little_Cars

    For a short wheelbase professional car, can’t understand what the big rig mirrors were used for. Of course, they are in perfect condition while the rest of the car wastes away. Maybe this was used by some touring musical act? Can just imagine a period correct pull behind trailer emblazoned with the name of the band, with musical notes.

    Like 1
  6. Del

    1500 dollar car

    Maybe less on examination

    Like 1
    • PatrickM

      I wouldn’t offer any more than $600.00. The first thing I would do is remove the red lights on top and just make it a decent wagon. But, that being said, I’m not bidding on this. If, and that’s a big “IF”, this is from Washington, ok, but to me it looks like a Ward 9 rescue. I would require a HazMat suit and hazardous duty pay.

      Like 1
  7. Ken Carney

    Very possible little cars,. I once went to
    Denver to meet a local band who needed
    a new lead singer after the band leader
    fired the one he left town with. The only
    reason I did it was to help a childhood friend who was related to the gentleman.
    Harry Hinthorne was his name, and he
    was using a ’63 Cadillac Superior hearse
    pulling a tandem axle box trailer at that
    time. The two roadies rode in the hearse,
    while the rest of us rode in a ’63 Fleetwood 75 limo. And yes, Harry’s trailer did indeed have his name painted
    on it with musical notes on a ribbon style
    score. I helped them play one-nighters
    from Denver back to our hometown of
    Bloomington, Illinois. First thing I told
    Harry was that he owed me big time as I
    was having the time of my life with a young lady New Year’s Eve that featured
    lots of mattress dancing. I’d just taken a
    shower, and was sitting in her kitchen
    wearing one of her big fuzzy bath robes
    when our Union Rep rapped on her door.
    He came inside, saw me in that bath robe, and said “Put your pants on lover
    boy, you’re goin’ to Denver!”

    Like 1
  8. local_sheriff

    It was not at all unusual to install bigger West Coast style mirrors on car based ambulances. When maneuvering such a boxy long WB vehicle going with your ass first at a dark,messy or crowded MVC location you need all the visibilty you can get. Don’t forget this was decades before backup cameras became common.

    Seller’s asking is ridiculous for the condition and only 2 pics. Notice the oval shaped tunnel lights rather than more common circular version visible on both Pontiacs. Hope it can be saved or at least donate its pro car specific bits to help another similar Superior back to life

    Like 1
  9. Steve

    I have often wondered if there are any haunted ambulances. Someone must have a story?

    Like 1
  10. Glen Riddle

    My first car at 16 was a ’55 Pontiac wagon; had been my Mom’s car. I drove it from ’61-’64. Obviously this is a bigger beast, but it sure brings back the memories! Thanks for sharing.

    Like 4

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