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Dodge-based Fat Albert ambulances

Dodge van ambulance - Fat Albert type 1975 Dodge ambulance

Steven Brown provided us with the Fat Albert photos - also based on a 1975 Dodge B300 Dodge Van ambulance (in Prince George, BC). The current owner bought it for a billboard for his first aid training company after the owner (Hollingshead) packed up his ambulance business. It's been parked for years. He starts it up occassionally. It's parked behind the first aid training facility, and he uses it to keep garbage.... when the ambulance is full, he throws the garbage into his truck and off he goes to the dump.... A sad end to a noble machine."

Warren Swaney added:

I worked in one of the “Fat-Albert” units while I was with Olson’s Ambulance of Regina SK in 1976-77. They were built in Canada by Strathroy Body Service of Strathroy, Ontario. They took a 1-ton van, cut the body off behind the B pillar, widened it 18 inches, then added the roof cap. These were good trucks to work out of with tons of room (five stretcher patients) and, believe it or not, quite stable on the road.

There was tons of room in the back (roughly the same as today's Type III modular units) and it handled much like a stock van. The one we had in Regina had two beacons on the front corners of the roof, four of the round flashers on the front of the raised roof, two more round flashers on the front of the hood, and alternating high-beam headlights so you could see it coming too.

Olson's also ran a 1976 and a 1977 Dodge, both built by Superior Coach in Lima, Ohio, which had the entire body cut in half right down the middle and widened 18 inches before adding a fibreglass raised roof. Sorensen Distributors in Red Deer, Alberta, sold both Strathroy and Superior vehicles in western Canada.

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