I'm sort of a 'wolf in airstream clothing'... ha ha...
I actually own a 1949 Curtis Wright Clipper 22' (just like the airstream of its day. I think its just a copy of the airstream actually and is near to 3,000lbs) As there are way more Airstreamers out there with way more knowledge... I thought I'd ask you all.
My trailering experience is somewhat limited. I've only had the trailer less than four years, one year of which was actually in storage. I did drive her, 'Ella' from the East to the West Coast in preparation for my move, and tow other longish trips. All in all I've had her out less than a dozen times lets say.
My previous TV was a 2002 Chevy s-10 extended cab with a standard V6. To which I added a hitch, break controller, rear weight distribution stiffener package, and a trans cooler. With a full load of gear in the bed and the trailer , we were pretty maxed to capacity if not a bit over. But the S-10 served me well until someone decided to turn into my front end and totaled the truck.
So now I am stepping it up a notch...
I just bought a 1942 Chevy panel truck, this is to be my tow vehicle AND only vehicle.
I'm just getting started on my research for getting the half ton '42 chevy panel truck to get her back on the road for use as a daily driver. I also need it to occasonally haul my travel trailer, a 22 foot vintage Curtis Wright (about 3,000lbs). So it needs some power, though only necessary for driving and towing, I'm NOT looking for crazy awesome power. Gas mileage is a factor, as it'll be my only vehicle. Also I need it asap as I have no wheels right now, luckily I live in San fran so I can often do without. That's the basics here are some more details
The truck as it stands:
Seats replaced with bucket seat from 70's or 80's sports car
It has a running 1970's Mustang engine in itI presume the rear in it is also from the Mustang. - master cylinder is bad and it needs a new fan, the lights rewired and some minor body work.
It has original leaf springs on the rear but not the accompanying original supports. No shocks were added and the leaf springs have started to shift sideways slightly. We plan to fabricate some brackets or mounts to add in shocks and perhaps a package to stiffen/distribute the weight in the rear as it will be used as a tow vehicle.
We also plan to replace or stiffen up the front end for better handling.
To outwardly keep the truck as original looking as possible, while givng me the power and handling for a daily driver:
Stiffen up the front end for better handling.
Replace engine with a 350 or larger v6 and adding support brackets for additional wieght- assuming it needs that
Replace auto transmission and rear end
Add shocks to rear
fabricate a mounting to the frame for a tow hitch to pull trailer
install disk brakes all around
tilt steering (for long drives this will be needed especially)
install a heat/AC/Defrost unit
Suggestions thus far:
A- a new 350 with auto trans perhaps an R4 - giving me an overdrive and achieving better mileage. With this it has been also suggested to me that a 4.11 or some such lower geared rear ratio would be better. The best way to do this I am told is to keep it simple without a computer. I assume while this would be the most expensive it would yeild the most reliable towing capability and suit my needs the best. I am told fuel injected is more $ but better for fuel consumpiton, I assume the increase in cost might even pay for itself over some years.
Replace steering wheel with a 69-71 cadalac tilt/telscoping steering wheel as one option
OR a use a larger modern V6 with new trans etc.
B- get an 350 engine and trans from a 1968
, 69,70, 71 or maybe 72 or 73 ruck chevy truck and presuameably the rear end as it will have the power I need and be far cheaper. The problem I guess is locating one and then getting something that may not have the longevity of a new engine as well as needing more maintenance and replaced/rebuilt sooner.
C- to quote a reply on Stovebolt : some have suggested using a Chevy s-10 frame as a donor. Another person “using a modern chassis cut to fit. I think I'd perhaps go for a later model perhaps like a 96'+ to get the 5.3 Vortec and OD transmission. Also you'll likely have to rewire the truck anyway so getting the computer circuitry from a donor is a no brainer and lots of people have done this swap so there's lots of good input both here and at Inliners & Chevytalk. This is likely to be the best and least expensive route in the long run plus you'll get PS and PB in the deal so there is all you've asked for;
Drivability, dependability, economy, safety and performance. “
So there are the suggestions thus far please keep them coming I'm all ears.
If anyone has photos of successful mounts for under a panel or pickup, engine reenforments for adding the 350 or mounts for rear shocks or a tow hitch or info on such , I would love to see
photos can be sent to me directly at email@example.com
My background :
I'm an artist, I wont be doing these alterations to the truck as I dont have that knowledge myslef. I will be assisting to help save time and money. My mechanic is willing to to whatever I want but wants me to let him know in what direction we need to go. We both want to do this right the first time,
Any and all feedback is most appreciated, sorry for the length just trying to get you all the details I have