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Old 11-28-2012, 01:06 PM   #1
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1959 26' Overlander
Montauk , New York
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Sexy Classic Convertible Diesel Truck for towing?

Airstreams are all about style! So for a sexy vintage airstream I need a sexy vintage truck! However I'm also trying to find a balance between looks and practicality. The trailer will be a mobile recording studio and part of our band's touring set up so I need the right towing vehicle that can go the distance. As a business operation we are also investing in sex appeal. (Burning Man here we come!) Anyone have a recommendation?



THE TRUCK:
Ideally looking for a stylish classic convertible truck (4x4 of course). Really want to find something diesel for a go green veggie oil conversion! Also need off-road capabilities for beach driving and surf trips! Convertible to let the sunshine in, but needs to have a hard top option for locking up valuable music gear.
-My favorite is the look of 70's Broncos (see pic) but unfortunately they're the worst for efficiency, a diesel option was never made and adding a diesel engine would be a Frankenstine operation
-Also love the International Scouts, and a diesel option was made from '76-'80, however I'm reading that their short wheelbase is not ideal for towing...
-A Jeep would probably do the job but is not my favorite to drive and has limited interior space for gear and/or groupies
-In terms of the modern options out there, most are ugly. There are a few cool Hybrid SUVs but my favorites appear to be only available in Europe.
I probably extremely picky but I know the perfect truck is out there somewhere, but what is it?

THE TRAILER:
Just confirmed the deposit on our 1958 Overlander! Yippee!! Not sure of it's exact weight yet but it's completely empty. I saw another gutted '58 Overlander that said it was aprox 3200 lbs. It is ready for us to start building our mobile recording studio so I will have to calculate the weight of soundproofing layers, some basic shelving to build and the music gear we will need to tow (vintage speakers and amps are heavy!).

Video of the '58 Overlander: AIRSTREAM CLASSIC OVERLANDER 1958..26FT...FOR SALE....FOR SALE... - YouTube

Please let me know if you have any ideas or experience! Much appreciated!
Lauren


If only this one wasn't such a gas guzzler:
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Old 11-28-2012, 01:23 PM   #2
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Military trucks tend to be topless, and some fire trucks.
There are car custom shops that specialize in swapping hard tops for soft ones
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Old 11-28-2012, 02:01 PM   #3
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South of the river , Minnesota
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You have a couple of choices.

If you're willing to forgo the off-road capabilities you can get a classic full-size convertible sedan from the late 1960s or early 1970s. These were often used as Airstream tow vehicles back in the day, and work OK for that, and look great.

Otherwise you're stuck with the late 1970s SUVs. Though not true convertibles, most of these had a removable top as an option. Chevrolet K5 Blazer through 1991, IH Scout, Ford Bronco, Dodge Ramcharger.

The Blazer had a 106.5" wheelbase which is sufficient for an Overlander. The 1978-1979 Ford Bronco had a similar wheelbase (longer than the 1977 and earlier Broncos) and still had the removable top. I believe that the Dodge Ramcharger was similar in wheelbase and had a removable top through 1980.

Having lived through this era and driven and worked on these vehicles I can say that this was probably one of the low points for automotive reliability and longevity. The fuel systems in these trucks were complex in order to achieve emissions compliance, and this was the era of electronic high-energy ignition that had neither the reliability of modern computer-controlled coil packs nor the ready parts availability and ease of service of breaker points systems. Some ran poorly when new, all got worse with age.

So if your keyboard player is an absolute genius with mechanical things you're all set. If the drummer is the best mechanic in the band then you better figure something else out.
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Old 11-28-2012, 02:15 PM   #4
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Virginia Beach , Virginia
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Vintage for a working band... not without a backup tow vehicle IMHO! Instead consider:
  • FLASH a little with a Cadillac Escalade or a Lincoln Navigator.
  • A Mercedes?
  • How about a box truck (extend the hitch a bit so the corner of the truck can't make contact with the roundness of the Airstream!) ... put a wicked cool paint job or vehicle wrap on the truck and there you go - security and storage in abundance! Plus people will believe a sign that says you have "guard pythons" aboard.

NOW FOR THE DISCLAIMER:

Cassandra doom and gloom warning - ALL vehicles no matter how cool eventually turn into "transportation" and if your band is your income as well as your passion - choose RELIABLE as your first option.

Good luck and happy trails, Paula
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Old 11-28-2012, 04:06 PM   #5
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1996 36' Clipper Bus
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How about something like this? Sure to turn heads and will go anywhere, pulling anything.

Parts readily available at any truck shop. Cummins powered.

Unfortunately, not enough people ordered them at the time so you will have to buy a used one. Production 1992 to 94?

This truck eats HuMMMMer's for breakfast.

The CANADIAN DESIGN RESOURCE Grizzly Crew Truck


http://willbop.breebop.com/2007/01/0...nces-round-up/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/flyingt...7625476877954/

Dave







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Old 11-28-2012, 04:33 PM   #6
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1991 34' Excella
2009 34' Panamerica
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Not the typical 2.25

Here you go... 16 cylinders of pure joy!

Not your typical Sollihull build.
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Old 11-28-2012, 07:18 PM   #7
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Crossed paths with this setup in Colorado a few years back - very cool.
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Old 11-28-2012, 07:26 PM   #8
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1972 31' Sovereign
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Found a nice vintage 1962 Land Rover completely rebuilt on the Orvis site. This is a gas engine, but they might know of a diesel version. A new one of these would cost a little more, but would most likely require more maintenance than this version.

price is a little steep, but then again, this is 60 years old and will probably go another 60.

here's the write up.

"They are perhaps the three most enticing words in the world of collector vehicles—and they most certainly apply when speaking about this pristine Land Rover Model 109. Delivered to its first owners in Southern California in 1962, it spent the next three decades in the dry California climate before being taken off the road in the early 1990s with plans for a restoration that never came to be. It was recently purchased by renowned Land Rover restoration specialist Lanny Clark. Under Lanny’s expertise, the vehicle underwent a complete “frame-off” restoration: All mechanical systems were either rebuilt or replaced; the body was stripped and repainted to original specifications, and the interior was reupholstered in reproduction “elephant-hide” gray. Capable of carrying up to 10 passengers, it’s powered by a 2.25-liter inline four-cylinder gasoline engine, sports a tropical, vented roof and windshield, curved side Alpine windows (for greater visibility), and a four-speed manual transmission with high- and low-range four-wheel drive. This low-mileage 109 is an excellent representative of one of the most popular Land Rovers of the day, drives like new, and is ready to provide many more memorable years of fun and reliable service | $125,000. "

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Old 11-28-2012, 07:36 PM   #9
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There are several Duce and a half surplus military vehicles out there made by White. It is definately overkill but they are diesel and will run on just about anything. Several geek types have been buying them here in Huntsville, AL. Most of them are from the 60's. I have a buddy that has a yard full of them. I expect you could build a house on the back of one.

Perry
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Old 11-28-2012, 09:46 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jammer View Post
You have a couple of choices.

If you're willing to forgo the off-road capabilities you can get a classic full-size convertible sedan from the late 1960s or early 1970s. These were often used as Airstream tow vehicles back in the day, and work OK for that, and look great.
First....you should be looking for a vehicle with a long wheel base. Short wheel base like a Bronco will be difficult to keep an Overlander in control.

As for a big convertible like our '71 Buick Centurion with 455 engine it has plenty of power......but lousey gas mleage and the 25 gal tank is not a big as it sounds. For your equipment the Buick trunk is large and the rear seat is roomy for more stuff but unsecure. No, this one isn't for sale.....our kids will 'kill' me for their inheritance....early. Stay cool .

Neil
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Old 11-28-2012, 10:50 PM   #11
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Check with AEV conversions for a possible diesel transplant to a jeep.
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Old 11-28-2012, 10:56 PM   #12
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1973 Chevy Blazer, 4 x 4, Full convertable.
Like this one from CK5 Forum.



Or a Polished Aluminum Land Rover Defender...
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Old 12-11-2012, 12:56 AM   #13
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1959 26' Overlander
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Cool thanks for all the suggestions!

Love the Polished Aluminum Land Rover! Would be a good match for an Airstream. I started researching Defenders and came across one that looks like it has some potential. It has a new 300TDI 2.5L Diesel engine that I would want to do a SVO (Straight Vegetable Oil) conversion from Golden Fuel Systems where you can simply flip a switch to change the engine from diesel to veggie oil that you collect for free from restaurants.

Free fuel + Airstream = Total Freedom!

Lauren
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Old 12-11-2012, 03:29 AM   #14
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I am a long time Rover owner..... can't tow anything..... let alone reliably!
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