Oh yeah....now were talking MY kind of language here.....
You guys are most correct when you state that waaaaaaaay "back in the day"...there were hardly any pickups, or "SUVs" as we know em today, in the local WBCCI regions or units. Only the hardcore guys, or the folx that did the Foreign Caravans seemed to do the BIG truck thing...... Face it, with the sheer size, bulk, engine options, and heavy trailer tow packages offered by the "Big 3" back then, it wasn't necessary.....unlike today....
I have very distinct recollections of most of the cool cars that the folks had in our own Michigan Unit, back when I was traveling with my Grandparents from the summer of 69 until the summer of 76.
Gramps bought a brand new Olds Delta 88 Royale just days after he bought the Airstream (23' Safari Twin) in Nov.68. It was special ordered with the HUGE 455 engine, and the heavy HEAVY trailer tow package. Hell, it had front and rear sway bars at least 1 3/8 in dia. It handled like a Porsche in the turns, unbelievably!!! Incidentally, that car pulled Gramps Airstream right up to the last day he owned it. When Gramps passed away in 78, I was given the car, and it had about 140,000 on it already.....My dad and i drove it for another 3 yrs or so....put about 40k more miles on it, then we gave it to my cousin, and she put another 40k on it, then she SOLD it thru the local paper to someone in town, and she told me she saw it on the road for years afterwards....!!!!
I remember that car pulled the 'Stream quite effortlessly...... only did it start to falter a bit on the famed "Baker Grade" out in CA, (in the July sun...115 degrees) .....or I remember a few remote country roads in Wyoming, and Colorado that started the Olds to heatin' up..... Remember, this was looooong before our Interstate System was completed!! We were lucky if we spent 50 to 75 miles at a time on the interstate before being ushered right back off, and back onto the backroads again...until we were dumped back onto the new Interstate a few miles later.
Anyways, sorry..... I digress...as usual...
I remember only a select few folks back in the day had pickups.....I do however remember a few of the "hardcore" guys had the International Travelalls....they sure were built for some heavy duty pulling!!
I distinctly remember our Michigan Unit President, Alvin Williams, and his lovely wife Marilyn...they led us all on our caravan out to the International Rally in Salem Oregon in 1971. We were about 2 weeks traveling from Jackson, MI to Salem, with MANY cool stops every evening.
Al had a really cool 1965
Lincoln Continental Sedan....remember the ones with Suicide Doors?? It was quite the monster, I remember.... In later years, i would come to own a great many of these Vintage Continentals, and when I think back to the fact that these Lincolns were all Uni-Body construction between 1958
and 1969....I wonder just how safe, and practical it would be to pull a BIG 31' A/S with one.....hmmm...... Guess i would prefer a HUGE frame under me......
Yeah, I recall most of the cars back then were the big Fords...Galaxies, LTDs. Country Squires, Mercury Colony Parks (my personal favorites...) Chrysler Newports, and New Yorkers (remember the huge 440 cubic inch plants??) and we can't forget GM, and yes, i do remember those cool clamshell taligates on the 1971 and later full size wagons!!! Dad had a 74 Custom Cruiser with a 455...Electric Blue w/o the woodgrain....a very cool old sled!! My uncle had a 73 Caprice Wagon.....(what were they called??? Kingswood Estate??) It had a huge 454 in it, and was a real screamer!!!
My idea one day (more an elusive fantasy) is to find a 65 to 68 Mercury Colony Park, with the big 428 Motor in it, a good southern or western body, rust free, WITH the woodgrain, and cherry 'er out, and make a Airstream hauler out of it. Gotta have the roof rack, and the HUGE white rear mudflap across the whole bottom of the rear bumper is a MUST !!!!! It's gotta have reflectors screwed onto the mudflap too.....haha!!!
I know that if it were not for the later seventies Energy Crisis, and the subsequent down sizing of the whole line of American cars....we might still be pulling these Airstreams with brand new Station Wagons weighing in at 5500 lbs, with 460 and larger motors..... (AAAaaaahhhh...to wax a little nostalgic........)
And for the record, I am preparing one of my vintage Lincolns (like Bill Kerfoot in CA, I have a 77 Lincoln Town Car) for active duty in escorting my 1969 23' Safari starting this spring...... A little bit overkill....buuuuuut.....
Aaaahhh, fun to remember those "good ol days...."
Now to see if I can figger out how to attach a few pix here....
Grosse Ile, MI
WBCCI # 22426
(formerly #22425 1969-1976)