Wagon Wednesday: 2001 Mercedes-Benz W210 ex-Ambulance

You often see somewhat run-down Mercedes-Benz W210s in Finland. Due to some quality control issues with the bodywork, coupled with the hard use the W210s saw in their years, as taxis and repmobiles, it’s not uncommon to see significant amounts of rust on the sheetmetal of these turn-of-the-millennium Benzes.
While this 2001 E220 CDI example is pretty mucky, it’s also an example of the variety of Mercedes-Benz platforms, as it’s started its life as an ambulance in some other country. Long wheelbase, tall fiberglass roof: it’s Ecto-1 seen as a Mercedes-Benz.

It’s not the easiest thing to figure out good everyday usage for a decommissioned ambulance, but if one were to run a LeMons team specializing in various crappy-condition Mercedes-Benzes, a vehicle like this would actually be pretty suitable. Or you could run it on biodiesel, kitted out with a Ghostbusters theme. The possibilities of shenanigans are endless.
[youtube width=”720″ height=”480″]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y-eckhstakM[/youtube]
Die Geisterjäger!
[Images: Copyright 2015 Hooniverse/Antti Kautonen]


  1. It’s interesting that some countries still use car-based ambulances. There hasn’t been an American car-based ambulance since 1979 – they have since been built on van or truck chassis. This is because there has been a shift from just transporting patients to hospitals to providing more on-site emergency treatment, which requires more equipment.

    1. In much of the rest of the world ambulances are Sprinter based, like our local ones.
      Here, they have just switched from a white-based graphics scheme to this supposedly more visible yellow-green colouring.
      I’m not sure it makes much difference. Red and blue flashing lights on a white base with flourescent decalling strikes me as highly visible. But it no doubt satisfied some middle-management type’s desire for visible change, and hence,’improvement’.

      1. There are quite a few yellow-green fire trucks and ambulances in the US, too. Some studies done in the ’70s show that color to be most visible at night.

          1. And those of us looking for performance bargains in a few years will have quite a colour choice.

    2. In Italy the more common are VW transporters or FIAT Ducato (and similar).
      Some VW’s in syncro/4motion version.

  2. Now I have a hankering for the W124 version so that I can complete my set of S124, C124, W124, (although of course, these LWB cab-chassis based versions aren’t ‘W’ but some other letter prefix, that I can’t yet find out.)

  3. Ambulances are often meticulously maintained, but also driven hard. The fact that hardly anyone knows what to do with them, makes their used car prices ridiculously low – even though they often have new transmissions, engines and other parts you wouldn’t update on similar civilian cars. I have long dreamt of getting myself an ambulance, paint in a smooth colour, and make it my quick camper vehicle. Due to living along a beautiful fjord, I have a massive RV allergy – they often make the summerly drive home from work a major PITA. So a camper wagon would be the only acceptable form of “living in a car” to me.
    Here’s an ’85 240 V6 that’s more or less ready for that kind of duty – sold.

  4. “LeMons team specializing in various crappy-condition Mercedes-Benzes”
    Don’t try and give us hints

  5. The use that leaps out is either camper or delivery vehicle for large lightweight objects. Think tandem bicycles or fiberglass car body parts.

  6. Am I the only one who’d feel a little wierd about going on holiday in a car that numerous people have died in?

  7. I saw this type of CX ambulance many times in Switzerland some years ago. Lovely even in this shape.
    BTW, I want one of this converted LWB W210 Mercedes to make it a camper and go to a tour of Africa!

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