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Old 12-05-2005, 07:20 PM   #1
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Thoughts on my misguided idea of an older TV, anyone?

OK, I am morally certain that this is a bad idea but I donít know why yet. The thought occurred to me this afternoon to buy an old í68 Ford pickup and restore it to pull my Trade Wind of the same year. So far so good right? Then I started to wonder how impractical it would be to put a more modern engine in it. I also wonder what other upgrades might be workable (air, better breaks, what have you- I love what have you) while maintaining the character of that time.
The motivation for this is: 1) to have a tow vehicle that is suited for my TW be it on the plains or mountains, 2) to avoid paying $50K for a truck, and 3) it just seems like it would be pretty cool.
Iím sure I am not the first to have this sort of epiphany so I thought I would throw this out there and see what you folks have to say. Thanks.
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Old 12-05-2005, 07:27 PM   #2
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I think by the time you get done you might have at least $50k in it, depending on how out of control you get

There's plenty of interest in hot rodding old trucks. You can find modern suspensions, install fuel injected engines, AC, whatever your heart desires. It could be a pretty cool project!
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Old 12-05-2005, 07:27 PM   #3
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I bet you can find an old ford truck list, that could help you on whether it is a practical idea. They have groups for everything else. I have a '69 Sovereign and just sold my '69 Austin Healy Sprite. Don't think it could have been upgraded to pull it. Although...............Nah, too much work. :-)
cheers, bill b.
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Old 12-05-2005, 07:31 PM   #4
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Me too

I've thought about a '73 Ford 1/2 ton for mine. (I don't remember if they were called F100 or F150 back then). I, too, think you and I are both crazy for even thinking about it. I'm not sure I'll have the energy to tackle it if I EVER get the Airstream done.

On the other hand....I have an uncle who has been restoring '50's model Ford PU's since I can remember. He also has the shop facilities to do it. He just retired this summer,hey wait a minute, this may be doable!

Don't even breathe a word of this to Susan!

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Old 12-05-2005, 07:37 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gen Disarray
OK, I am morally certain that this is a bad idea but I donít know why yet. The thought occurred to me this afternoon to buy an old í68 Ford pickup and restore it to pull my Trade Wind of the same year. So far so good right? Then I started to wonder how impractical it would be to put a more modern engine in it. I also wonder what other upgrades might be workable (air, better breaks, what have you- I love what have you) while maintaining the character of that time.
The motivation for this is: 1) to have a tow vehicle that is suited for my TW be it on the plains or mountains, 2) to avoid paying $50K for a truck, and 3) it just seems like it would be pretty cool.
Iím sure I am not the first to have this sort of epiphany so I thought I would throw this out there and see what you folks have to say. Thanks.
You know, I had been toying with the same idea, but simply don't have the time to realize it. Besides, I can't seem to find a 63 truck that would serve my daily needs at the same time.
My take would be that your plan would have to include upgrades to brakes and drive train for better safety and fule economy.
A vintage tradewind is basically a 5000lb trailer, so your truck choices are many, from a decent half ton to a 3/4 ton. You would not need anything heavier duty, in my opinion.
I used to run a half ton 1984 E150 cargo van with a 5.0 V8, which pulled loaded car trailers very well, and parts were easy to swap and many were available. I imagine a late model Ford V8 with about 350CI would make a great puller, given that you mate it with a good transmission and suitable rear axle, 3:73 minimum.
I think it's a good idea, but be prepared to drop a pile of cash in a project like this, if you want to make it right, reliable and safe.
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Old 12-05-2005, 07:38 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gen Disarray
OK, I am morally certain that this is a bad idea but I donít know why yet. The thought occurred to me this afternoon to buy an old í68 Ford pickup and restore it to pull my Trade Wind of the same year. So far so good right? Then I started to wonder how impractical it would be to put a more modern engine in it. I also wonder what other upgrades might be workable (air, better breaks, what have you- I love what have you) while maintaining the character of that time.
The motivation for this is: 1) to have a tow vehicle that is suited for my TW be it on the plains or mountains, 2) to avoid paying $50K for a truck, and 3) it just seems like it would be pretty cool.
Iím sure I am not the first to have this sort of epiphany so I thought I would throw this out there and see what you folks have to say. Thanks.
Rodney,

I happen to like old iron as tow vehicles. What you must remember with an old pickup is that they are trucks and do not have the creature comforts of new trucks. My 1973 Dodge PowerWagon was top of the line, but no power seats, power windows, carpet on floor, cup holders and all the nice things that you have now. Also, being a Dodge it rides like an ox cart, I replaced the original shocks after 135,000 miles and 31 years, if the suspension doesn't move the shocks do not wear out. If you start with a 3/4 ton pickup with a large V8 and automatic trans, you will have a good tow vehicle and you may not have to upgrade much, but you won't have disc brakes, they can be added. You will have poor mileage compared to a modern truck, but you will turn heads with a well maintained vintage tow vehicle. I saw this one last year at a El Camino Real rally:

Bill
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Old 12-05-2005, 07:38 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bilby05
I have a '69 Sovereign and just sold my '69 Austin Healy Sprite. Don't think it could have been upgraded to pull it. Although...............Nah, too much work. :-)
cheers, bill b.
Back in the early 70's a buddy put a 327 chevy in his Healy. Now that would punch a hole in the wind for the Sovereign to slip through!
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Old 12-05-2005, 07:57 PM   #8
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Smile Ten principles of economics...happiness quotient

Oky doky I got out my Mankiew microecon book and some of the principles listed were (holding constant other factors)
1 people face tradeoffs, given scarcity of resources--unless you are a megamillionaire if so ignore the rest of this...
2 cost of something is what you give up to get it--opportunity cost
3 rational people think at the margin cost/benefit analysis
so what are the marginal costs and benefits? On the other hand...
Don't forget the happiness quotient, if you are presently single with few debts and obligations (without a frugal sig other/partner to veto the idea) you know there are "hyacinths for the soul," this might be your version of it? But can you do it without selling plasma? Sista wants you to be healthy and happy. As a great economist/musician (Muddy Waters) from the delta once said
"You can't spend what you aint got, you can't lose what you aint never had"
Good luck!
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Old 12-05-2005, 07:58 PM   #9
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I remember a vintage rally when an old timer pulled in with a 60's Chrysler sporting fantastic fins pulling a beautiful 60's Tradewind minus fins. Thing is this was his set up purchased new back in the 60's.
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Old 12-05-2005, 08:09 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stefrobrts
I think by the time you get done you might have at least $50k in it, depending on how out of control you get

There's plenty of interest in hot rodding old trucks. You can find modern suspensions, install fuel injected engines, AC, whatever your heart desires. It could be a pretty cool project!
Stef knows her way around projects and costs. She also knows how "out of control" can sneak up on you. Wise woman she is.
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Old 12-05-2005, 08:21 PM   #11
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New Chassis, old body

Buy a newer truck with severe body damage but good running gear and put the '68 body on it. Hot rodders do it all the time. My buddy built several early 50's Chevys by mounting their bodies onto late 70's platforms. You get better everything that way but still retain the vintage look.

You could pick up (pun intended ) a banged up late 90's or early 2000's Super Duty for not too much and then put your '68 cab on it. It'd be a chore, but you could do it for less than $1M. It'd be a fun project.
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Old 12-05-2005, 08:29 PM   #12
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Rodney, if memory serves me the Ford pickup back then had an Lorado model that was all the way done up. Big motor, a/c, high trim level. The max motor was the 351 cu. in. in the 3/4 ton or the 427 c.u. i.n. in the one ton.
If you're keeping your Airstream close to original why not look for a deluxe p/u in near stock config. to begin with. Add headers, ignition, carb, mods to meet performance desires.
The main problem in this vintage would be rust in the bed and rear quarters. Finding the right AZ/CA vehicle will be the trick.
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Old 12-05-2005, 08:29 PM   #13
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I see nothing wrong with getting a 1968 F100 or F150, putting a 390 in it, with new hardened valve seats so the unleaded gas doesn't destroy the heads, and put a C6 and power disc brakes in it. Power steering would be a must, I had a 1969 F100 with a 390, and manual steering. That lasted until I found a wreck with power steering, and converted it. If you are real lucky, you can even get one with air conditioning (whoo-hoo!) and cloth seats, both the greatest things to be installed in trucks of those years.
If someone offers you a 1967 for a terrific price, (hey, it's only a year off) run the other way, everything on 67's was 67 only. Ask me how I found out.
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Old 12-05-2005, 08:34 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GlenCoombe
Rodney, if memory serves me the Ford pickup back then had an Lorado model that was all the way done up.
Glenn, I think you are a couple years off as to what you could get. Ford has had, in the 60's and 70's, the Custom, Ranger, XLT, Lariat, and Explorer, in order of options, from least to most.
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