Lot 323 - 1962 Austin LDO Wandsworth Mk.III Ambulance
|Chassis Number||LD5AR 50093|
|Estimate||£2,000 - £4,000|
|Result||Sold - £4,480|
It was in 1956 that the London County Council's Health Committee decided that they needed to change the 220 large ambulances they had. They were difficult to handle in the traffic and were only doing about 9 mpg, and the ride was poor. Having looked around for a suitable chassis, it was decided to use the Austin petrol engined LD.2. The chassis would be modified at their own Wandsworth workshop and it would be lowered to bring the floor level down to 1ft 8ins from the ground. It was also necessary to improve the ride as it was rather harsh. A batch of nine MK.I's were built using a standard steel cab. At the back was a plastic body resting on six rubber mountings carried on outriggers attached to the chassis frame, with the floor made from aluminium chequer plate. Testing of the prototype took place at MIRA, and the design gave a very good ride, with absence of roll on corners and also freedom from fore-and-aft pitching. From the experience gained from the Mark I batch, it was time to produce the Mark II version. The main difference was that the body would now be completely made from plastic. The various parts were made in separate moulds. For the MK.III version the main change was that the body now incorporated a double skin, which produced a stronger body. The moulding above the cab now allowed a single glass ambulance sign. Indicators are now positioned above the doors which allowed side lights to be moved directly under the headlights. The front end now has a cleaner look, with its revised tapered grille and horizontal bars.
This 1962 Austin LDO Wandsworth Mk.III Ambulance was first registered and used out of the Wandsworth depot and served in London for many years. Completely original it still retains the bench bed and all the cupboards as it was when in service. In recent years this ambulance has been owned by a company specialising in renting vehicles for film and TV productions and therefore has been fully maintained and serviced to a high standard as reliability was essential for the filming schedules. This Austin LDO Ambulance is supplied with a V5C registration document, MoT test certificate which expires in April 2015 and has featured in a number of films and TV programs, most recently in the series 'Endeavour' which is the pre-sequel to Morse showing the detectives early years in and around Oxford.
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