Ford ambulance curiosity
Whitebox continues to make affordable 1:43 scale die-cast cars to an acceptably high standard. I came across this odd, but surprisingly attractive, Ford recently. It is described by the manufacturer as a Ford Amblewagon, 1964. In reality, it is a 1960 Ford Country Squire station wagon, so I have no idea where the later date comes in, unless it was a one-off conversion carried out at that time on which the model was based. What makes it an ambulance are the frosted rear windows in the capacious rear load area and the centrally mounted red dome light on the roof. Otherwise, it appears to be a stock vehicle. I understand why they would use a Ford station wagon of the period as a small ambulance, as they had a nine-seater option, so the space available for a stretcher and presumably first aid equipment plus a medic, would have been more than adequate. Why use the top-of-the-line Country Squire, with its wood-trimmed flanks, rather than the Galaxie equivalent? Maybe it was as simple as this was what was available. Whatever the reason, the model is nicely finished with a mixture of chromed and printed silver trim.
While the 1960 Fords were longer and wider by five inches than their 1959 predecessor, the styling was noticeably more restrained. The jet and rocket inspired rear wings were now much smaller and were styling cues, rather than dramatic statements. The horizontal rear lights have clear red lenses and similarly the headlamps and front indicators all have small clear lenses. What little can be seen of the interior is plain black. I suspect the prototype, if indeed there was one, would have had the rear seat removed. The hubcaps are quite plain, as are the tyres. No whitewalls here! The iconic side trim is Tampo printed, or perhaps a decal, but while there is no texture, to have added it with a moulding would have been overscale. A limited edition of 1000 examples, it is an unusual addition to those who collect public service vehicles, but it is also a nice model in its own right. Expect to pay around £25 for a new example.
A wide range of die-cast models and American-range plastic kits are available online at competitive prices. However, you should be able to source most models reviewed in Scale Autos from www.modelstore.co.uk or see American Classic Diecast at www.american-classic-diecast.co.uk