This M-43 3/4 ton 4x4 Ambulance Truck was donated to the museum in a "rust bucket condition. The ambulance is was restored, frame up, to operating condition and will represent the museum in local parades.
The M-43 3/4 ton rated ambulance is a variant of the M-37 cargo truck, built by Dodge as a follow-on to the World War II vintage WC-54 Dodge ambulance and WC-64 KD Dodge ambulance, both part of the G502 series of WC 3/4 ton trucks.
The M-43 is based on the M-37 cargo truck but differed from the M-37 by having the panel-type closed ambulance body consisting of the driver's compartment and the patient's compartment with a connecting partition door. The spare wheel is mounted on a carrier at the left side of the driver's compartment. A spotlight is mounted on the roof of the driver's compartment.
Before: Original condition when received: Special features include a fording kit, extra heater mounted on fender and spare tire mounted on driver’s door. On the good side, all original equipment was still in the truck. The interior was very complete and in pretty good shape. On the down side are several rust problems to deal with. The roof was almost completely rusted off at the drip rail and the air vent is rusted through the cowl and underneath. When we stared to dissemble, we arrived at a good solid frame which could be nicely cleaned and primed. This was a relatively easy task for renovation as the original was complete. The next set of picks will show it on the way back together.
After: Recently the volunteers in Vehicle Restoration completed the total restoration of our 1953 Dodge M-43 Ambulance and it was placed on display in the Brooks Bldg. Over the course of the past year and a half, it was completely disassembled down to virtually the last nut and bolt, then completely rebuilt. It has been painted and marked in USMC colors, and the interior in hospital white. The interior is almost like an operating room down to the surgical light!