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Old 01-19-2009, 04:00 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by safari57 View Post
What is being done with the 50's trucks and the early 60's as well is to drop them on a later frame. Keep everything from the later truck (the later 70's and 80's trucks had a rust issue so the bodies are easy to grenade). Check out 74"twinkie" who has an early 50's suburban he has dropped on a later truck and tows an Argosy painted the same. I believe it is a 4X4 that he used. A beautiful set up, all the latest comforts inside, lots of room, and later model suspension and power train. There are quite a few folks I know of who tow their Airstreams with mid 60's Suburbans as well. There are suspension kits, disc brake conversion kits, and swapping power trains is very simple. They take well to later model interiors, lots of room, look good, and can usually be bought for a reasonable price. Check them for rust though, as depending on how it spent its life.........

Barry
Hey Barry, Thanks for the nice words.

Stats-- 1950 GMC Suburban body
1982 GMC Sububan chassis- 1/2 ton- 2 wheel drive- 6.2 liter Diesel- power steering and brakes- no air conditioning (although the console type swamp cooler helps [almost]).

First of all, a vintage vehicle is a "labor of love"(unless you have lots of money). My Burb has been on the road for almost 3 years, use it as my daily driver and have enjoyed every minute (except when the injector pump shaft broke) .
The 82' donor had its advantages- low cost , no computers and easy to find parts. This made the transfer much easier. If anything brakes (and it will) I can find parts at the nearest auto parts store.
After a 10,000 mile road trip (averaged 12 MPG), my only gripe was that I didn't have enough power at times. After I got back I added a turbo-charger and the ability to run on vegetable oil. The turbo helps and my Burb hasn't seen a fueling station since October.
There is something to be said for the comfort and power of the newer vehicles. But you can't overlook the "cool factor" of the oldies.
Whatever you choose make sure it is up to the task of towing your trailer.
This site is a wealth of knowledge. I didn't know it existed until after I did my truck and trailer projects. Who knew there were others as "nuts" as I am. Good luck with your projects, whatever they may be.
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Old 01-19-2009, 04:05 PM   #16
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Hi 74“Twinkie”

That is one of the best looking combos I’ve seen.
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Old 01-19-2009, 04:32 PM   #17
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Hi 74“Twinkie”

That is one of the best looking combos I’ve seen.
It looks even better in person.

Barry
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Old 01-19-2009, 07:56 PM   #18
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Greetings Silverwanabe!



According to the information that I have from 1979, Ford required the 460 V8 for towing -- with that engine, special towing axle ratio, and heavy duty cooling the Town Car was listed as having either a 6,500 or 7,000 pound trailer tow limit depending upon where it was originally delivered.

We have a member here on the Forums (Bill Kerfoot --wkerfoot) who tows with a 1970s Town Car and is quite satisfied with its performance -- I remember Bill and his car well since the Lincoln is in my favorite shade of green. I am almost certain that his has the 460 V8 -- in fact, I believe that he has posted to this thread or one of the other Vintage Tow Vehicle threads.

Kevin

P.S.: The Photo below is my favorite of Bill's combination in Death Valley


Kevin,

Thanks, my Lincoln is a 1977 49 state car. 1977 is the first year that only the 400 was available in California. In 1978, I think, only the 400 was available in all 50 states. I would not use any Lincoln with the 400 for towing, I have heard that they have trouble getting out of their own way.

Here is another picture of the Lincoln and our Liner as we arrived at the VAC assembly the day before the VAC parade at the Bozeman International.

Bill
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Old 01-19-2009, 08:04 PM   #19
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Bill,

Your Lincoln and Liner look great together. This is the way I remember seeing Airstreams on the road in the sixties and seventies. Behind big cars and station wagons. I don't think I ever saw one behind a truck going down the road until the late eighties when trucks had been significantly upgraded. Then I started seeing older trucks being used as well, but up until then, in my little part of the world, it was cars that were used. Lincolns, Caddies, LTD and T-bird models, Caprices, and the big Chrysler products.

My friends father had a 1971 LTD, 429 engine, and pulled either a 28 or 30 foot Airstream all over the country and never had an ounce of trouble.

Barry
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Old 01-19-2009, 08:35 PM   #20
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Barry,

Up until the 1980's, pickups rode like an oxcart, I know my PowerWagon does. With the down sizing of the cars and the lower CAFE standards for trucks, Detroit started making the pickups more civilized and they were used. Except for the Suburban and International Travelall which have been tow vehicles for some time.

Bill
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Old 01-19-2009, 09:41 PM   #21
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My grandparents used a 1968 Dodge Monaco (V8-440/3.23 Sureflite) to pull their 27' Streamline, and my parent first TV for their 1975 Silver Streak was a 1976 Cadillac (V8-500/3.21 posi). The Streamline was a good deal lighter than the S/S, and the Dodge was by far the superior towing vehicle due to it's lighter weight, unibody construction, lower center of gravity -- and better F/R balance -- as well as having a ripsnort engine. He also had his hitch rigging better sorted than my Dad, but he also had the advantage of being a full-timer.

I'd stay away from old trucks as they handle like turds . . . it's a real backwards step unless, of course, one has a modern chassis underneath. And the steering is as numb as can be. Not a vehicle to run the roads of today, IMO. Yes, I've driven them and, no, I disagree that they make good TV's today. But I'd say the same about any pre-1965 car (really, pre-1968 when dual chamber master brake cylinders became mandatory, and disc brakes up front were at least optional; and, yes, I've owned 4-whl drum brake cars. It ain't so easy to keep the adjustment perfected on all four wheels).

That Sub/Arg combo is gorgeous! And the right way to go for the "vintage" appeal. Got shoulder harnesses and a collapsing steering column on it?

I'd enjoy doing up a Suburban, a DESOTO Suburban on a modern truck chassis.

DeSoto Suburban - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

1951 DeSoto Suburban cars - long term report / car review with trailer towing
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Old 01-19-2009, 10:45 PM   #22
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I'd stay away from old trucks as they handle like turds . . . it's a real backwards step unless, of course, one has a modern chassis underneath. And the steering is as numb as can be. Not a vehicle to run the roads of today, IMO. Yes, I've driven them and, no, I disagree that they make good TV's today. But I'd say the same about any pre-1965 car (really, pre-1968 when dual chamber master brake cylinders became mandatory, and disc brakes up front were at least optional; and, yes, I've owned 4-whl drum brake cars. It ain't so easy to keep the adjustment perfected on all four wheels).

That Sub/Arg combo is gorgeous! And the right way to go for the "vintage" appeal. Got shoulder harnesses and a collapsing steering column on it?

I'd enjoy doing up a Suburban, a DESOTO Suburban on a modern truck chassis.
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I agree, my 50 in it's original form would have made for a poor TV. It was in bad shape before i started, so hopefully i haven't offended any purists with my hybrid.
The steering column is from the 82' w/tilt. The seats are out of a 2001 Suburban with integrated safety belts (nice not to have to find mounting spots for the shoulder straps). Leather and 6 way electric are nice too.
That Desoto looks like it would be a great project.
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Old 01-19-2009, 11:25 PM   #23
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74Twinky,

Thats way beyond cool.

Mike
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Old 01-19-2009, 11:54 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by REDNAX View Post
My grandparents used a 1968 Dodge Monaco (V8-440/3.23 Sureflite) to pull their 27' Streamline, and my parent first TV for their 1975 Silver Streak was a 1976 Cadillac (V8-500/3.21 posi). The Streamline was a good deal lighter than the S/S, and the Dodge was by far the superior towing vehicle due to it's lighter weight, unibody construction, lower center of gravity -- and better F/R balance -- as well as having a ripsnort engine. He also had his hitch rigging better sorted than my Dad, but he also had the advantage of being a full-timer.

I'd stay away from old trucks as they handle like turds . . . it's a real backwards step unless, of course, one has a modern chassis underneath. And the steering is as numb as can be. Not a vehicle to run the roads of today, IMO. Yes, I've driven them and, no, I disagree that they make good TV's today. But I'd say the same about any pre-1965 car (really, pre-1968 when dual chamber master brake cylinders became mandatory, and disc brakes up front were at least optional; and, yes, I've owned 4-whl drum brake cars. It ain't so easy to keep the adjustment perfected on all four wheels).

That Sub/Arg combo is gorgeous! And the right way to go for the "vintage" appeal. Got shoulder harnesses and a collapsing steering column on it?

I'd enjoy doing up a Suburban, a DESOTO Suburban on a modern truck chassis.

http://www.fmm.co.za/userimages/Deso...rban_1_big.jpg

DeSoto Suburban - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

1951 DeSoto Suburban cars - long term report / car review with trailer towing
Love the story of the long term DeSoto Suburban. I've seen it before. Note, he powers that 6000 lb whale with a 251 cu in 116HP flathead six (later bored out to 269 cu in and a whopping 130HP) AND tows a 15 foot trailer (GVW of car and trailer, 8490lbs) all over the west, from Death Valley to Yellowstone park. Favorite quote, "at high altitude and 70MPH it smooths out like a turbine" also he had personally put 180,000 miles on at the time of writing.

So much for needing a 400HP truck to tow a trailer LOL.
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Old 01-20-2009, 10:38 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by safari57 View Post
There are quite a few folks I know of who tow their Airstreams with mid 60's Suburbans as well. There are suspension kits, disc brake conversion kits, and swapping power trains is very simple. They take well to later model interiors, lots of room, look good, and can usually be bought for a reasonable price. Check them for rust though, as depending on how it spent its life.........

Barry
Here is an example of a "60's Suburban". It's a nice riding rig and you can still get parts and lots different of upgrades. This old school SUV has disk brakes, 454 with a th400 and a solid drive line. Ive also added adjustable rear airbags. The Burb is not the show stopper that 74"Twinkie" has but, we like it. The interior of 74"Twinkie"s Argosy is also something to see.
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Old 01-20-2009, 11:24 AM   #26
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I think we're all a bit spoiled. I had a '52 Chevy truck as a daily driver. It wasn't bad, though I will readily admit modern rigs are a bit more comfortable. And they tend to handle better. I think the key with a vintage rig is just moving more slowly and taking a bit more care.

When I restored the '52, I kept everything original. I understand the concept of putting a vintage body over a modern chassis, but there's something about it that doesn't feel quite right. Maybe I'm just old fashioned.

My wife and I have gone back and forth. If I had the shop space, I wouldn't mind picking up a vintage truck, but right now I just don't have the room... nor do I really have the time to take on another serious restoration project. Maybe after the Overlander is road ready, we'll think about it. I'll keep my eyes open for a later model 3/4- or 1-ton utility body 4WD truck. A "work truck" won't be quite as comfortable as a plush SUV or truck, but it's not quite like rolling back the clock.
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Old 01-28-2009, 01:00 PM   #27
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safety first

My wife and I have MVS (multi-vehicle syndrome) that includes several vintage/classics. After our '76 became un-road worthy, we got an '06 SO. Naturally we wanted a classic TV. Long story short, I got this '55 Chevy Grumman (3/4 ton) to put a duramax/allison combo in. The SO has gvw of #9100, so need the power and torque. I would do all the upgrades to make it comfortable and safe.
Even if I did all of that, I decided not to go ahead with the project because the wheelbase, at 125", is too short for my comfort level (and I don't want to cut up the Grumman).
We can and should be cautious at all times, but there's always "the other guy" and the unexpected. It is in those times that we need to be ready and our TV's can rise to the occasion.
I would have no trouble using it for the "76, but with the weight of the '06....not gunna do it.
To each his own...but always, safety first.
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Old 01-28-2009, 01:58 PM   #28
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Bygone tow vehicles

Alternative towing methods.

Pee Wee
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