Stock # EV720
Mileage: 33,630
VIN: 54332113
288ci I8 L
3spd Manual
Red
Beige Vinyl

1954 Packard Henney Junior Ambulance

KNOWN 3-OWNER HISTORY FROM NEW
33,630 Original Miles
Extras – Stretcher, Cot, Oxygen Tanks, Firefighting Gear
127” Wheelbase “Junior”
1 of 120 for '54, 1 of 500 Total!
VIDEO WITH LISTING

Serial Number: 5433-2113
Engine Number: M201322 (original)
Body Number: 20707
Model: 2734
Factory Order Number: 59746
Thief Proof Number: C81037

So first off, what is it? In 1953 and 1954, Packard, in collaboration with Henney, offered what they called the “Junior”, a smaller, more budget-friendly counterpart to their line of long-wheelbase “Professional” cars [ambulances & hearses]. The standard Professionals had a 156” wheelbase; the Junior was quite a bit smaller, with a 127” wheelbase. So while still useful in professional services, it was slightly easier to navigate and, more importantly, easier to fit in a standard sized garage. Interestingly enough, Henney didn't realize the Junior's tremendous production costs until it was too late. It's been reported that on average, including both government deals and retail sales, Henney lost just over $300 on each Junior they sold. In today's money, that's about a $3,000 loss on every car! In order to combat the loss, Henney/Packard hiked Junior prices way up midway through production, from $3,333 to $4,333, which effectively killed the model. Junior production over the two-year run totaled just 500 units, roughly half of which were on government contract, the other half sold to the general public. This particular car, vehicle number 5433-2113, is one of just 120 units produced for 1954, and in addition to having an interesting, known history from new, it retains much of its original equipment. This example has an impressive range of equipment for a Henney Junior, having come factory-equipped with a siren, dome rotator, front tunnel lights, a cot, and jump seats in the rear.

This Junior has remained in Illinois since new. It was originally delivered to Eureka Williams (vacuum company), where it served as the ambulance for the company's on-site medical center. One of the guys at Eureka was friends with a fireman at the LeRoy Community Fire Protection Department, so in 1965, after Eureka had gotten their decade of use out of the car, they sold it to the LeRoy firehouse for $1. We were actually able to get the full backstory on the car from the 80-year-old LeRoy Fire Chief himself, and he provided a wealth of information about the car's history. When the firehouse bought the car in 1965, it wore a neon green Eureka-themed paintjob, which the firemen of course sprayed over with red. The fire chief recalls a time in 1968 or 1969 that they piled nine guys, in full gear, into the back of the ambulance and responded to a call. He laughs as he recalls the sight of nine fireman piling out of the back of the Henney Junior; it sounds like something out of a cartoon now, but this actually happened in the 60s! The LeRoy Fire Department kept the car from 1965 to 1985, when they listed it for sale in the local newspaper for $2500. The car stayed local, and was bought by a gentleman who drove the car out to a number of car shows in the area. Under his ownership, the car was featured in The Professional Car publication, which provided even more info about this particular Junior; a scan of this publication is included in the listing. This post-firehouse owner held onto the car all the way from '85 until this year, when we purchased it from him along with two other '54 Henney Juniors. The car will come with quite a bit of old firefighting equipment, medical accessories like O2 tanks, as well as copies of city ID stickers showing ownership by Eureka Williams, as well as the LeRoy Fire Department. A fascinating vehicle for sure, and one that we're excited to have.

The last owner only covered about 7500 miles over the course of his 30+ year ownership, and total mileage is now at 33,622. Since purchasing the car, we've given it a bit of a mechanical refresh, as well as a proper detailing. We drained the fuel tank, rebuilt the fuel pump, bled the brake master, replaced the battery, and got the handbrake working. Brakes will need further attention, as there's really only any pedal grab way down at the floor. Handbrake works. If the buyer intends to use the car as a driver, rather than a collection piece, and would like us to do a complete brake overhaul we can certainly do so. As it sits now, this is an exceedingly rare, low-mile, very original example with a great backstory.

Exterior:
- Please take a look at the video along with the listing, as the car is shown in detail. The car was originally neon green, as delivered to the Eureka Williams Company. It was then sprayed red in the mid 60s by the fire department that had it, and has not been resprayed since. There are a number of spots where the original green is visible, as shown in the video. Red is slightly faded; the car has always been garage kept, but it's 50 year old paint.
- Body is nice and straight, with no dents. Body panels are dry and free of any bubbling, with the exception of one small spot of rust forming at the forward portion of the passenger rocker.
- Glass and light lenses are all nice and clear, and believed to be original. The driver's window has a hairline crack in the bottom corner, visible in the photos. Not through, and windows still both roll just fine, with no concerns of it breaking.
- Doors open/close is as smooth and solid as only a Packard can be.

Interior:
- Dash is excellent. Truly time-capsule-like. Steering wheel is free of any cracks, dash shows no paint blemishes or significant signs of age, and the entire interior appears to be unmolested and original throughout.
- The siren does work, both with the push of a button in the center of the dash as well as a pedal to the left of the clutch. Siren light is also functional. Tunnel lights are not currently functional. Headlights and signals are functional. Blower motor is functional, and the fan mounted under the dash is also functional. Motorola radio/walkie system is functional. There is also a battery kill switch below the dash, so you can ensure none of these extras are draining the battery when sitting.
- Original beige vinyl “Tolex” seats show minor age, with a burst seam on the passenger seat bottom. Seat does slide forward and back, as well as fold forward.
- Headliner is really nice, with just one small area of burst seam, and that is towards the forward driver corner.

Under the Hood / Underbody:
- Please take a look through the underbody photos, as the car is documented in detail. Original metal throughout; this car has never been restored. There is of course surface rust visible throughout, but in terms of actual through, corrosive rust, this car is in impressive shape. Rust is through on the exhaust, but the structural components are all nice and solid. The car is not loud, but exhaust visibly seeps out towards the center of the vehicle.
- The car runs extremely well. It starts right up, idles cool and steady, and pulls through the gears beautifully. Sewing-machine-esque smoothness. Clutch feel is great, with no chatter, and the car shifts nice and smoothly. As mentioned, brakes will need attention before this can really be a “driver”. We bled the system and were able to get a little pedal feel; enough to drive some neighborhood laps. We can take on a complete brake overhaul if the buyer would like, but in the meantime are saving ourselves the trouble in case the buyer intends to put this into a large collection, rather than actually use it on the road.

With any further questions, requests, or to discuss purchasing, please reach out to Jake at 773-267-2684.

1954 Packard

Henney Jr Ambulance

Offered at:

$25,900

Stock # EV720