MM Criterion / Lifeliner question

I saw a picture on the Miller-Meteor Ambulance only Facebook page of what looks like a white MM Criterion, however, it seems to have a fully operational rear passenger door like the Lifeliner, and by what I can tell it has the cabinets of the Criterion and no walkthrough.

Did MM produce "upgraded" versions of the Lifeliner or "Junior" versions of the Criterion

Photo from the Miller-Meteor Ambulance only Facebook

Photo from the Miller-Meteor Ambulance only Facebook page (I hope I get this photo acknowledgment thing right!!)


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Paul Steinberg

Administrator
Staff member
Super Site Supporter
Looks more like a Lifeliner to me, but it could have been a special order with the rear glass omitted. You have to remember, that they would build the car any way that the customer wanted, and paint it any color that the customer wanted. They built a lot of a one of a kind vehicles through the years. Of the 30 1977 - 1979 Superior Transports, there were very few that were exact copies of another that they built. The only time that would happen, is if 2 cars were ordered together for the same service.
 

John ED Renstrom

PCS Member - Elected Director 2017-2021
Super Site Supporter
I would have to see w build sheet on that car. It only has the half door tire storage on the drivers side. A life liner would have a full door.
 
Here is a frontal shot of the same car. Note what appears to be a solid partition visible through the windshield. I do know that Jim Murphy had a definite aversion to walk-thru Cadillacs.'Murphy front view.JPG
 
I guess that is the million dollar question. Did he order a Criterion with a full partition, or did he order a Lifeliner with full length cabinetry on the left side? If that was the case, the left side door window would have been eliminated, but the spare tire compartment in the lower door still would have been a necessity.
 
I guess that is the million dollar question. Did he order a Criterion with a full partition, or did he order a Lifeliner with full length cabinetry on the left side? If that was the case, the left side door window would have been eliminated, but the spare tire compartment in the lower door still would have been a necessity.
Where was the spare tire stored in the Lifeliners? Was it behind the passenger seat same as with the Superiors?
 

Chris Bruno

PCS Member
My head hurts. That orange rig has:

  • No windows on the driver's side.
  • Cot box.
  • Half-height spare tire door
  • the Criterion "ditch" lights on both sides
  • the Criterion stainless spears on the driver's side (remove headliner to get those things off for painting)

How is that not a Criterion?

If there is a side window to the rear of the passenger's side, then isn't that just a Criterion with one (1) Lifeliner window?

Re: walk-through. I removed my walk-through partitions when I re-did the interior and put them back in place. I could have easily fabricated a full wall bc according to actual Ambulanceman, Robert Shepard, the walk-through wasn't as important as a full wall to install equipment.

Regarding James's question from 100 years ago regarding whether I had collected any ambulance equipment, I would never do that.

A. It would make me feel like an absolute fraud. Like Stolen Valor. No one depended upon me to save their life in an era of no seal belts, cell phones or center-divides, so my hat is off, and will remain in hand forever in tribute to the men and women who actually did the work, including Robert. I wouldn't want to be ever accused of impersonating someone with that legacy of service to others.
B. The commercial rig I roared around in for pay was either:

1. completely empty in the back.
2. or had one large object in it.

. . . which reminds me of begging / hoping to get the long distance removal on the Coast in our very fast Chevy van at age 20, only to hit the bonanza and get two (2) removals on the Coast (highway one) for which I got paid on a schedule outside our hourly rate. I forget why we got paid that way. I'd say that one trip was equal to an entire month's pay. Heading home at a high rate of speed, and being immortal, I pulled out to pass on that treacherous two lane road along the Pacific Ocean with some Top 40 tune blaring, and, while I punched that beast and leaned forward in my chair to increase acceleration the closing distance was tightening and that car I was passing was not letting up and it came to that moment when I need to keep on, keepin' on, or consider what control I lose at that speed with a full load braking hard and pulling back into my lane--and the thought came to me that if a collision were to occur they would find some dead with toe tags already attached, some without. I did not let up, crawled up the side of that car finally and slipped back into my lane, but never, ever forgot that experience of pushing my luck just a little bit too far (with passengers who never criticized my driving).
 

John ED Renstrom

PCS Member - Elected Director 2017-2021
Super Site Supporter
They were a different body in a number of ways. But the half door is the give away to me. The criterion body did not have the frame work for the windows. The lifeline does. But i do know you could get the lifeliner with a bench. I have not seen one with a pass threw . But it would have been easy enough to do it with cabnets on the side. Once they had the parts on hand butting them in either body would have been possable.
 
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Abe Bush

Moderator
Super Site Supporter
I think what's causing confusion -- at least to me -- is we have two separate rigs here. The Gold Cross, white unit in the first post, has full rear side doors but what appears to just be a landau style (or window delete) rear side window area. The orange and white Murphy unit appears to me to be a Criterion, with actual partition a la traditional ambulances instead of the "walk-thru" door. I believe the Gold Cross unit is a rear side window delete Lifeliner, and the second window is a true Criterion with non-standard partition. I'm wondering if the "Criterion" got a value-meal discount for opting for a standard partition instead of walk thru, if they had to pay an up-charge for gerry-rigging their standard offering, or if they got looks of annoyance from their sales-person for ordering off the M-M non-published "secret menu"!
 

Chris Bruno

PCS Member
I think what's causing confusion -- at least to me -- is we have two separate rigs here. The Gold Cross, white unit in the first post, has full rear side doors but what appears to just be a landau style (or window delete) rear side window area. The orange and white Murphy unit appears to me to be a Criterion, with actual partition a la traditional ambulances instead of the "walk-thru" door. I believe the Gold Cross unit is a rear side window delete Lifeliner, and the second window is a true Criterion with non-standard partition. I'm wondering if the "Criterion" got a value-meal discount for opting for a standard partition instead of walk thru, if they had to pay an up-charge for gerry-rigging their standard offering, or if they got looks of annoyance from their sales-person for ordering off the M-M non-published "secret menu"!
Both have twin beacons up front. I'm feeling inadequate.
 

Abe Bush

Moderator
Super Site Supporter
Both have twin beacons up front. I'm feeling inadequate.
As Kurt Arends pointed out, in both rigs those smoke-stack/tower-like beacons look ridiculous. These two rigs are both cases illustrative of less is more when it comes to (skirt) size. The ordering parties in both cases were obviously suffering from a frightening case of size envy! I feel for their wives (or significant other(s).
 
As Kurt Arends pointed out, in both rigs those smoke-stack/tower-like beacons look ridiculous. These two rigs are both cases illustrative of less is more when it comes to (skirt) size. The ordering parties in both cases were obviously suffering from a frightening case of size envy! I feel for their wives (or significant other(s).
While I don't necessarily disagree with you or Kurt as far their appearance, I believe (at least in Murphy's case), is that the purpose of elevating them on extended bases is so the box on the roof would not obstruct their visibility from the side and rear. Hard to tell from the photo of the Gold Cross car whether it has a roof box or not.

Kurt, I agree those are Federal CJ184's on the Gold Cross car, but I think the ones on the Murphy unit are either a Unity or a Tripp Lite with the larger Par 46 sealed beams.
 

Abe Bush

Moderator
Super Site Supporter
While I don't necessarily disagree with you or Kurt as far their appearance, I believe (at least in Murphy's case), is that the purpose of elevating them on extended bases is so the box on the roof would not obstruct their visibility from the side and rear. Hard to tell from the photo of the Gold Cross car whether it has a roof box or not.

Kurt, I agree those are Federal CJ184's on the Gold Cross car, but I think the ones on the Murphy unit are either a Unity or a Tripp Lite with the larger Par 46 sealed beams.
True, but if they were that concerned about visibility they could have just put 1-2 more "normal sized" beacons out back, even 2 Ful-Vues would have done the trick. I'll bet those rigs didn't fit under too many ER bays without shearing them off either, or driving under height restricted underpasses. Most Criterions I've seen with the backboard storage container up top usually just had one (normal height) beacon in front and nothing else.
 
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