Squad 38

The Story of Squad 38

  • 1938 Buick Special Commercial Chassis was built as an ambulance by Eureka Coach Works of Rock Falls, Illinois

  • It was built for the Veteran’s Home in King, Wisconsin, where it was used for several years

  • Flash Forward 30 years, it was found rusting away in a barn in Texas

  • The owner of Bell Ambulance, Rick Zehetner acquired it for $5,000 in 1995

  • Initial restoration was done in 1996

  • Rick was not satisfied that it was completely authentic to the era so a second restoration was done in 2002 to make the ambulance 99% authentic

  • Driving the ambulance is hard work as it has no power steering, and has four-wheel drum brakes with no power assist

  • The ambulance has a 3-speed "stick" manual transmission, and is powered by a 107 horsepower inline 8 cylinder engine

  • The "AMBULANCE" sign in the windshield was common at that time; it was made to be easily switched out for a "FUNERAL" sign when needed, as many ambulances from the era were owned by funeral homes and sometimes served as hearses