Industrial and Mining Ambulances (1935 to Present)
Since the early days of South Australian history there were ambulances operated by St.John and a variety of private organizations, and there continues to be a number of ambulances operated by industrial organizations such as General Motors Holden (picture wanted) and a variety of mining enterprises.
An early photo of the South Australian Railway’s Hudson Terraplane
Ambulance (registration number 199-203) (
This Hudson appears to be a 1937 Custom 6 with a 127” wheelbase fitted with a 212 cubic inch straight six producing 101 BHP @ 4200 RPM giving a top speed of around 80 mph (128 km/h).
Another photo of the South Australian Railway’s Hudson Terraplane Ambulance showing the canvas two stretcher configuration in the rear of the body (St.John Ambulance Museum photo).
A photo of the Dodge D5N from the Port Adelaide Waterfront First Aid Service vehicle that was operated by “The Association of Employers of Waterside Labour South Australia” (Photo supplied by Steve Schuler).
Another view of the Dodge D5N (registration number SNT-806) with body work by Moeller Industries (who also produced the Em-Care) and supplied by CMV. This vehicle was housed the First Aid Depot that was located at 24 Divett Street Port Adelaide and which is where the present South Australian Ambulance Service ambulance station is located (Photo supplied by Steve Schuler).
The Dodge D5N was a locally produced Chrysler truck from 1973 to 1977 many of which were the D245-1 (4 litre) six or LA318 (5.2 litre) vee-eight generally with a four speed manual transmission.
A Toyota Land-cruiser Troop-Carrier ambulance with a yellow painted custom body (registration number VPZ-068) located at Olympic Dam. Fitted with red and blue revolving beacons, chrome siren speakers and an illuminated “Ambulance” sign (Photo supplied by Steve Schuler).
The Toyota 75 Series Troop Carrier was generally configured with a 4.2 litre 6 cylinder diesel with a five speed manual transmission and high range and low range four-wheel drive transmission, and leaf springs front and rear.
The Serco VS Commodore ambulance located at BHP Whyalla (registration number VSL-274) with a fibreglass Jakab module similar to the ones operated by the SA Ambulance Service (photo supplied by Steve Schuler).
The Holden VS Commodore utility was available with either a 147 kW 3.8 litre vee-six producing 304 Nm or a 165 kW five litre vee-eight producing 370 Nm coupled (for most ambulances) with a four speed GM Hydramatic automatic transmission. The utilities had a wheelbase of 2822 mm and ABS brakes were standard by this time.