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Reviewed: March 2005 - Updated January 30, 2006 with information supplied by Ken Wilfong.
Finally, after months of delays, Precisions Miniatures has released their 14 inch, 1:18 scale, 1959 Cadillac Superior Crown Royale Ambulance. This long awaited release is a model of one of the most popular ambulances every made. Was it worth the wait? Absolutely!
History of the Cadillac Ambulance
Amazing as it may sound, I could find very little history on the Cadillac ambulance. Even less information exist on this particular vehicle. I find it strange not to find an abundance of historical information on a vehicle that was for all intents and purpose the corner stone of the funeral and ambulance industry for decades.
Superior built a total of 194 ambulances on Cadillac chassis that year. The Royal Rescue wagon with 48 inch headroom sold for $11,552, the 54 inch job sold for $12,999 and the 42inch job sold for $10,746. One of these cars would probably cost $85 to $90 thousand if they were still being built.
These vehicles were staffed with a driver and "ambulance attendant" or "orderly" . For the most part they possessed nothing more than Red Cross first-aid training certificate (remember back pressure arm lift). In a lot of cases it was "load and go".
Reviewed: March 2005
Precision Miniatures has just released a remarkably detailed 1:18 scale model of a 1959 Cadillac Superior Crown Royale Ambulance.
This model duplicates the 1959 Cadillac Superior Crown Royale Ambulance in every detail. From trademark red bullet emergency lights to the tiny latch that locks down the ambulance attendant's jump seat. Nothing is left out! This model comes in four color schemes: red & white, blue & white, solid white and solid blue.
Precision Miniatures really decked out the patient compartment! The first thing I noticed when I opened the loading door was the stretcher is covered with real linen sheets with a fluffed pillow, now that's detail!
Continuing on in the patient compartment is an "E" Oxygen cylinder with regulator and beautifully detailed storage cabinets. There are two jump seats where you can even see the latches that locks down the seats. I was surprised at the detail in the simulated linoleum flooring that covers the spare tire storage area. The headliner and grab handles are well detailed. There is even a glass partition between the driver and the ambulance attendant.
This is indeed a classis from the trademark bullet lings and rear fins to the white walled tires. Precision Miniatures has done their homework with this model. As a side note, I was painfully introduced to the fins of a Cadillac when I ran into one with my bicycle a a boy.
They have even simulate the etched glass adorning the sides of the patient's compartment. Every light has a lens, no painting here! Like the original 1959 Cadillac, there is lots and lots of chrome. All the Cadillac emblems are there.
Precision Miniatures did a pretty good job of painting this model. There were a few spots on mine that looked liked it may have been chipped. However, in no way does it distract from the beauty of the model. On both sides of the model's patient compartment are air intakes. There are two side view mirror and a chrome radio antennae.
The grill is well detailed. The siren is very well done and has a red light in the middle. There is one drawback, the hood does not open.
If you like ambulances and you have the room to display it, you have got to get this classic. Precision Miniatures has honored the 1959 Cadillac Superior Crown Royale Ambulance by this detailed recreation.
As always, I highly recommend you get a Plexiglas display case as soon as the model arrives, if not before. This extra large 15.5" x 7"x 6" mirrored clear case with a wood bottom is available from Cheap Diecast for a very good price. Here is a direct link to the a single case and a case of four. One very important note! ALWAYS remove or replace the Plexiglas top by lifting it straight up, NEVER at an angle.
Precision Miniatures announced two new additions to this great model; the Chicago Fire Department, with its classic red and black colors, and the Detroit Fire Department's classic red ambulance. Both models are marked for the department name in gold with black trim. lettering.
I now wish I would had got the Chicago!