1964 Pontiac Bonneville ambulance

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The 1964 Pontiac Bonneville ambulance has a huge siren apparatus mounted on its fender
The 1964 Pontiac Bonneville ambulance has a huge siren apparatus mounted on its fender
The 1964 Pontiac Bonneville ambulance has a huge siren apparatus mounted on its fender

One of the big items to celebrate on Thanksgiving is your health, and that you weren’t hauled off to hospital in one of these things.

Actually, today’s Pick of the Week is a rare piece of medical history, a 1964 Pontiac Bonneville ambulance that appears to be fully operational and ready to roll to the nearest accident scene.

Most of the ambulances from that era seem to be Cadillacs, and the ClassicCars.com advertiser of this vehicle believes that only 90 Pontiacs like this one were built that model year. So there are probably not too many of these left around, especially in this condition.

A period patient stretcher is stowed in back
A period-correct patient stretcher is stowed in back

Described by the seller as “90 percent restored” – a small transmission-seal leak is noted – the Bonneville ambulance is equipped with all the necessary emergency gear, including an enormous siren mounted on the right front fender and a patient gurney from that period stowed in the back.

The ambulance has been treated to a new coat of red and white paint, along with a reupholstered bench seat and new side glass, and geared up with radio heads in period style, an original two-man stretcher, oxygen cylinder, Rico suction device and Lifepak 6 heart monitor.

The engine is a 389 cid V8 with new HEI ignition and Edelbrock carburetor.

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“(The) vehicle was purchased new by Canby, MN, Ambulance service (Near South Dakota border) where they used it until mid-70’s, when it was then sold to Porter, MN, rescue squad where it was used up until about 1995, then sold to a private party,” the seller says in the vehicle description.

The asking price for the ambulance, located in Carthage, Missouri, is $14,000, which could be reasonable. Who knows?

While the Pontiac ambulance might seem like a weird sort of classic car, consider that there are plenty of collectors focused on all kinds of service vehicles: police cars, fire trucks, even hearses. A classic ambulance would fit right into that genre.

Besides, this was from a time in American automotive history when even ambulances were imbued with stylish flair, unlike the boxy, ultra-efficient emergency vehicles used nowadays. And there’s much to be said for going out in style.

The rare Pontiac ambulance could be a museum piece or service-vehicle collectable.
The rare Pontiac ambulance could be a museum piece or service-vehicle collectable.
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Bob Golfen is a longtime automotive writer and editor, focusing on new vehicles, collector cars, car culture and the automotive lifestyle. He is the former automotive writer and editor for The Arizona Republic and SPEED.com, the website for the SPEED motorsports channel. He has written free-lance articles for a number of publications, including Autoweek, The New York Times and Barrett-Jackson auction catalogs. A collector car enthusiast with a wide range of knowledge about the old cars that we all love and desire, Bob enjoys tinkering with archaic machinery. His current obsession is a 1962 Porsche 356 Super coupe.