Features, Heritage, Queensland

Wheels still turning on this 1942 beauty in Queensland

It’s the oldest continually working and registered ambulance truck in Australia, seen daily by tourists visiting the Ambulance Museum at Charters Towers, in north Queensland.

The 1942 Ford is known as a Jail Bar, as the vertical strips on the front grille resemble prison bars.

The body structure is made of timber and is sheeted in metal and ply. It has a 114 inch wheel base, and a half ton 85hp 51C series motor.

The Jail Bar was delivered to Charters Towers in 1945.

Volunteer John Stubbs who is the Museum curator was delighted to yarn about the wonderful history of the old girl.

“It has been in the region since 1945 and we are certain it is the longest continually working ambulance truck in the country. It still goes on jobs,” he said.

The 1942 Ford Jail Bar travelled through Charters Towers as part of NAIDOC Week celebrations last month.

With Stubbs was fellow museum volunteer Robert Bland who gladly lifted the bonnet to display the motor.

The Ford saw active service at the historical town of Ravenswood, which is 80km from Charters Towers, between 1952 to 1978.

After that it returned to Charters Towers and was fully restored in the mid eighties.

The historical vehicle can be seen at the museum on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays during the tourist season.

The ambulance building at Charters Towers was the first ambulance station outside Brisbane (the first QATB building in Queensland).

The old ambulance was also recently seen driving along Gill Street in Charters Towers, as part of NAIDOC Week celebrations.

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