You can serve all the hot wings and locally brewed beer you like, blast “The Steelers Polka” as loud as you can and show your love for the black and gold from head to toe, but a Steelers tailgate party just isn’t the same without an amazing tailgating vehicle to get you to the game.
You need something that catches the eye of the other tailgaters, unites fellow Steelers fans and puts the opposing team’s tailgate mobiles to shame. But don’t worry if you drive a less than stellar ride. Even if you don’t have an awesome tailgate truck or fan van, you can still be a part of the baddest Steelers tailgate mobile in Pittsburgh thanks to John Dusch and The Ambulance MTU.
John set out with the intention of making a retired 1980’s-era ambulance the ultimate tailgate truck and he did just that in total Pittsburgh fashion with help from his friend Rick. In 2010, just months after acquiring The Ambulance MTU, John hosted a total of 19 tailgate parties, serving up a smorgasbord of pierogies, corn on the cob, chips, kielbasa, Mineo’s pizza and plenty of cold Miller Lite beer to Steelers, Pirates, Penguins and Panthers tailgaters.
Significant renovations and remodeling have taken place since John started work on The Ambulance MTU back in 2009. What was once an old red and white ambulance has been transformed into a black and gold haven on shiny chrome wheels. Several Pittsburgh professional sports team logos are now featured where the words “Ed Service Truck” were once prominently displayed.
The fully restored interior includes a 20-inch flat-screen television and an onboard restroom, a luxury rarely seen in the average tailgating vehicle. But John has no intention of stopping there. For The Ambulance MTU, these tailgate-essential improvements are ongoing.
It’s nearly impossible to miss the Pittsburgh pride on The Ambulance MTU, but just in case there’s any doubt in your mind about where this mobile tailgate is from, “City of Pittsburgh Mobile Tailgating Unit” is proudly featured on the driver and passenger doors along with two frothy beer mugs and a knife and spoon. Toward the rear is a 2011 NHL Winter Classic decal created by Dan Laffey who works alongside John.
Other local artists have left their mark on The Ambulance MTU adding iconic Pittsburgh details like the University of Pittsburgh’s Cathedral of Learning and the Fort Pitt Bridge. A black and white silhouette of the Pointe with the Pittsburgh skyline on the ambulance’s hood is flanked by a graphic reading “City of Champions” and the proof is plastered on the rear doors: “The Hardware” accompanied by six Steelers Super Bowl trophies and three Stanley Cups in honor of the Pittsburgh Penguins. The passenger side pays homage to the Pitt Panthers and Pirates while the driver’s side is all about the Steelers and Penguins.
John’s unforgettable Steelers Nation ambulance is practically a permanent fixture at nearly every one of the city’s tailgates. An average of 50 fellow Steelers fans show up each week and you can be one of them. Just look for John and The Ambulance MTU in the Red Lot #6 near PNC Park.
Check out Tailgate Fan to keep the party going at tailgatefan.cbslocal.com.
Jessica Wasik lives in Pittsburgh where she writes about the great city. A graduate of Robert Morris University with a degree in English Studies, Jessica is also a contributing writer for Allegheny West Magazine. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.