1959 Cadillac GB Ambulance      
Now, anyone who spends enough time at the shop, or see some of the difficult projects we take on should know that I am not afraid of rust.... well that is currently being tested. Some things would be best left alone,... unless of course it just happens to be a 1959 Cadillac Ambulance/Hearse. You might ask "Why would you bother?" Well, anyone who knows and has tried to find one understands,... you take what you can get and you had best be grateful for it when it comes to this car.


So when I had the opportunity to exchange one car for this one, I took it. Sure the other car would have been a faster sale, an easier build, and a whole lot less expensive... but then what's the fun in that? Besides that fact, how often do you get the opportunity to work on these?
The car arrived in a large enclosed trailer,... but with this behemoth inside it resembled a sardine can, and it did require the use of a can opener to remove.
The first task was stripping. I usually allow for one full day for this process on any vehicle... so it was a surprise to me when we were still stripping this car 4 days later. The amount of 'junk' you can pile into one of these cars is amazing.
It started as a 1959 Cadillac S&S Hearse. It was sold to Birmingham Alabama, as stated on the core data plate. It was creepy crawling around in a hearse, and after more than a few coincidental accidents, the guys became very superstitious about this car. I decided we needed to make it an ambulance quick. So the next task to perform (while still stripping the car about 10 days later), was to cut the openings for our ambulance windows.

A few hands and legs were smashed, and one guy was out of work for 3 days in the Hospital with a very bad ankle sprain. Everyone was glad to no longer have a hearse sitting in the shop.

The entire floor needs replacing as you can see. There are no less than about 2 dozen weld patches along the bottom portion of the body. Because of the rust, the trim area of every panel was severely warped. With about 350 Sq. Ft. of body work, we had alot to do.


Car finally made it to primer. We rebuilt the back lower quarters, started the front floors, and completely hand built a new M&M replica door.

We managed to get alittle more bodywork done in between customers projects, rebuilt the front brakes with VERY rare and difficult to get commercial chassis parts, and pulled the engine and transmission.

Trying to finish the bodywork along the doors. Did I mention how BIG this car is?


We managed to get the body in primer and the front in surfacer and get it out of the way. The engine and transmission are unusable, so I've got to figure something else out....


One entire YEAR later,... and I finally have time to get back to work on the Ecto. We pulled it in, blocked it down and managed to get it back in surfacer in about a week.

In primer and then paint. Alot of time spent to make sure the paintwork was correct for the first movie.

And finished.

We were fortunate to find a rebuilt engine and transmission that we could drop into place, and now it moves under its own power!

no, it doesnt stop.... but at least it moves.

For information on replica or restoration services: BKautomotive@sbcglobal.net