Righteous Rigs: The Toledo Jambulance

If you have spent any amount of time in a parking lot tailgating you have probably seen what I call, a “Righteous Rig”. This is a tailgating vehicle that is so bad ass that there is no way in hell it would blend in with the surrounding tailgate landscape. So in the first of many installments to come featuring killer rides dedicated to tailgating, we start with the Toledo Jambulance.

The genesis of the Toledo Jambulance started with the purchase of a 1993 Ford E-350 7.3L diesel ambulance in April 2005. A retired ambulance that once served the small town of Cincinnatus, New York was for sale and was residing in New Jersey. Pat Ryan, an alumnus of the University of Toledo, bought the retired ambulance and drove it back to Ohio with his friend, Dan Miller. The transformation into the Jambulance that is regularly seen prior to Toledo Rockets Football and Basketball games started soon after.

Some of the initials modifications on the Jambulance included affixing huge rocket decals that stretch the length of the vehicle along with changing the emergency light lenses to Toledo’s school colors Midnight Blue and Rocket Gold. All of the original emergency equipment (lights, sirens, public address system) were fully operational and remain that way today. A full-size grill, a 27′ LCD flatscreen TV, TracVision (mobile DirecTV) and a Kenwood stereo system were installed in time for the Toledo home opener of the 2005 football season.

Some of the major features of the Jambulance:

  • Flat-Screen LCD TV – The original 27″ LCD flat-screen TV was replaced by a 32″ LCD flat-screen with built-in DVD player prior to the 2006 season.
  • Freedom Grill FG-100 – If you are unfamiliar with a Freedom Grill FG-100, read this article. The Jambulance FG-100 even sports a custom Toledo Rockets Grill Grate by Yarder Manufacturing.
  • Honda Super Quiet EU2000i Generator – Provides power to crock pots, tent lighting, kerosene heater’s fan when it gets cold or anything else that requires electricity to run.
  • Kenwood Stereo System – Four Kenwood 6″ x 9″ speakers mounted in the rear doors, a 14″ Kenwood subwoofer mounted below the Mission Control panel and two Kenwood 2000 watt amplifiers installed in a cabinet powered by a DC-to-AC power converter.
  • Jambulance Helmet – An oversized Toledo Rockets football helmet that resides on top of the front cab. Originally a “helmet grill” modified to mount on the top of the cab, the original helmet was stolen off of the Jambulance at Iowa State in 2006 and had to be replaced. The current helmet features two blue LED “eyes” and plans are in the works to add a “helmet cam”.
  • Custom LED lighting – Much of the traditional and halogen incandescent Jambulance lighting has been replaced with LED-based lighting to draw less power and to last longer.
  • Whelen Messenger – Mounted on the top rear of the Jambulance, the LED message board allows messages to be displayed in a variety of fixed and moving formats, such as flashing and scrolling with normal, boldface, reverse and mirrored text.
  • Mission Control Panel – On-board Xycom computer is mounted in the panel as is a two-receptacle 120V AC power outlet and RCA jacks to allow an XBox, PlayStation or GameCube video game console to be easily connected. These jacks directly interface with the 32″ LCD Flat-Screen TV. The Mission Control panel also features a countdown clock (final installation and testing is pending) that will eventually display the countdown time remaining (down to tenths of a second) until the next game’s kickoff.
  • On-board Computer – Featuring a 12.1″ touchscreen and enhanced with the addition of a larger hard drive, this Xycom PC stores the Jambulance’s ever-growing iTunes library, GPS software, Whelen Messenger programming software and other computer-related functions.
  • Custom Stainless Steel Panels – The Plexiglas cabinet doors for the interior storage cabinets were replaced with custom stainless steel doors with the Rockets logo lasered in them courtesy of Yarder Manufacturing.
  • Jam Cam – A color CCTV camera mounted on the rear of the vehicle that can be displayed on any of the 5 monitors installed in the Jambulance and is used to assist the Jambulance driver in backing up and parking.
  • 2 Litton MobileVu Touchscreens – Installed in the front console and a second display mounted on one of the rear gurney doors, these MobileVu displays are connected to the two on-board computers that allow the Crew the ability to control different audio and video feeds. The display on the rear door was installed specifically to select music from the iTunes play list without having to go inside the vehicle.
  • Wireless Broadband Internet Access
  • Garmin 18 GPS
  • USB TV Tuner – The Hauppauge WinTV HVR-950 brings the Jambulance over-the-air high definition ATSC digital TV plus analog cable TV to a PC or laptop.
  • Horntones FX-550 – Mobile audio system that allows the Jambulance to supplement the vehicle’s horn function using virtually any MP3 audio file.

The dedicated Jambulance “crew” includes:

Pat “Ranger Rocket” Ryan – Owner/Operator
Steve “Don’t Mess With” Tecza – Mechanic/Electrical/Electronics/Operator
Dan “Photodan” Miller – Graphics/Photography/Crewmember
Scott “Busdriver” Frey – Mechanic/Operator
Abe “UT1” Fadell – Copilot/Crewmember
Mike “Big Mike” Rains – Muscle/Crewmember

Some more photos of the Jambulance in action.


Learn more about the Toledo Jambulance by visiting their website.

Think you have a righteous rig or know someone who does? Contact us and tell us about it.