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Old 10-28-2020, 02:14 PM   #1
Carrottop
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My Dads setup from mid 70s

Found this picture of my Dads olds Wagon (at least I think it was an Olds) and our Swinger trailer. That setup could have used some serious weight distribution. Click image for larger version

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Old 10-28-2020, 02:27 PM   #2
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John, I'm betting on a three/four day week-end that the back of that Olds was packed to bursting, almost to the axle, headlights pointing into the sky. The single axle RV would sway to beat heck at about 55-60, and nothing could wipe the smile off everybody's faces. Those were the days. DW and I both love the 'chops' on your dad's face!
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Old 10-28-2020, 02:45 PM   #3
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Yep, those were the days. Nothing to worry about but going to have fun! Great pic and thanks for sharing.
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Old 10-28-2020, 02:54 PM   #4
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Reminds me of my cousin in WV. He had a mid to late 60's "Tag A Long" that looked at lot like that. It had LP gas lights inside and IIRC a gas light by the door. He pulled it with a 1969 Ford LTD that was special ordered with a 390 c.i. and a 3 speed manual trans. Didn't even know it was back there going up the mountains but going down ....
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Old 10-28-2020, 03:26 PM   #5
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Back then there was no talk of load leveling, sway control, or payload ratings...just hook up, hang on, and go. Good times! Like a lot of things the need for increased capacities and safety measures increased with the size of the towables and number of injuries. People get hurt and new laws/requirements emerge.

I love the good-ol-days but back then you wouldn't find most of the behemoths we are towing today. I gotta say I do enjoy the larger trailers. Sigh...trade offs
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Old 10-29-2020, 07:35 AM   #6
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In the late 60's we had a 1966 Chevy wagon, 283 cu in, 3 on the tree, pulling a 21' Aladdin TT. Towed it from Oregon to NC one summer. We did have a WDH though.
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Old 10-29-2020, 09:24 AM   #7
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Growing up, Dad towed our 21ft Boone TT with the 1975 Chevy Impala wagon with a 350 / 3 speed auto trans. When we were all loaded in it and had the A/C on,.... Dad could not get the setup over 55mph!!!!!! That wagon was guttless!!!!!
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Old 10-29-2020, 10:51 AM   #8
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Growing up, Dad towed our 21ft Boone TT with the 1975 Chevy Impala wagon with a 350 / 3 speed auto trans. When we were all loaded in it and had the A/C on,.... Dad could not get the setup over 55mph!!!!!! That wagon was guttless!!!!!
The 350 was so detuned back then it was pathetic. Like 145 hp and I think 250 ft lbs of torque. The same block Mercruiser used for the 260 hp boat engine.
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Old 10-29-2020, 12:43 PM   #9
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When I read the word 'de-tuned' I immediately remember DW;s 1984 E-250 Supervan. For the E-250 vans the 2V version produced 150 horsepower at 3,200 rpm and 280 foot-pounds of torque at 1,800 rpm. There were occasions when tractor-trailer rigs passed HER when she visited in West Virginia! What were the engineers thinking?
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Old 10-29-2020, 01:03 PM   #10
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When I read the word 'de-tuned' I immediately remember DW;s 1984 F-250 Supervan. For the E-250 vans the 2V version produced 150 horsepower at 3,200 rpm and 280 foot-pounds of torque at 1,800 rpm. There were occasions when tractor-trailer rigs passed HER when she visited in West Virginia! What were the engineers thinking?
Detroit killed the industry back then attempting to meet EPA emission standards by basterdizing the engines instead of redesigning them. I remember a cousin that had I think a 1969 Torino with a 200 IL6. It had a "smog pump" with more piping than a Mississippi Steamboat calliope.

This chart of big block caddie engines tells the tale. Every year power output dwindled.
19681969 None None 472 375 hp (280 kW) @ 4400 rpm 525 lbft (712 Nm) @ 3000 rpm 4.300 X 4.060 10.5:1 33
1970 None None 472 375 hp (280 kW) @ 4400 rpm 525 lbft (712 Nm) @ 3000 rpm 4.300 X 4.060 10.0:1 35-40
1970 None None 500 400 hp (298 kW) @ 4400 rpm 550 lbft (750 Nm) @ 3000 rpm 4.300 X 4.304 10.0:1 35-40
1971 R 61E,Q 472 345 hp (257 kW) @ 4400 rpm 500 lbft (680 Nm) @ 2800 rpm 4.300 X 4.060 8.5:1 35-40
1971 S 61E,Q 500 365 hp (272 kW) @ 4400 rpm 535 lbft (725 Nm) @ 2800 rpm 4.300 X 4.304 8.5:1 35-40
1972 R 62E,Q 472 220 hp (164 kW) @ 4400 rpm 365 lbft (495 Nm) @ 2400 rpm 4.300 X 4.060 8.5:1 35
1972 S 62E,Q 500 235 hp (175 kW) @ 4400 rpm 385 lbft (522 Nm) @ 2400 rpm 4.300 X 4.304 8.5:1 35
1973 R 63E,Q 472 220 hp (164 kW) @ 4400 rpm 365 lbft (495 Nm) @ 2400 rpm 4.300 X 4.060 8.5:1 35
1973 S 63E,Q 500 235 hp (175 kW) @ 4400 rpm 385 lbft (522 Nm) @ 2400 rpm 4.300 X 4.304 8.5:1 35
1974 R 64E,Q 472 205 hp (153 kW) @ 4400 rpm 380 lbft (520 Nm) @ 2400 rpm 4.300 X 4.060 8.5:1 35
1974 S 64E,Q 500 210 hp (157 kW) @ 3600 rpm 380 lbft (520 Nm) @ 2000 rpm 4.300 X 4.304 8.5:1 35
1975 S 65E,Q 500 210 hp (157 kW) @ 3600 rpm 380 lbft (520 Nm) @ 2000 rpm 4.300 X 4.304 8.5:1 35
1976 S 66E,Q 500 190 hp (142 kW) @ 3600 rpm 360 lbft (490 Nm) @ 2000 rpm 4.300 X 4.304 8.5:1 35
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Old 10-29-2020, 02:35 PM   #11
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When we came back from many years overseas (1982) I had to buy a car. I was kind of un-initiated. I had $4k put away to buy a new car and went into the Chevy dealer in College Pk. Maryland (I think it was or perhaps just to the south on US1). Asked the salesman what kind of new family car I could buy for $4K. He asked me if I had been doing time... didn't know cars had gotten so expensive. He showed me a used Mercury Ghia Z7 Zephyr. (I think that was the full name). It was the color of a new penny and had a neat opera type vinyl roof and very nice interior. Can't recall the year but it was low mileage and was built during a gas shortage a few years previous. I took it for a drive around the parking lot and didn't mind the 4 speed tranny as I had never had an automatic. Anyway, we took a family outing to Ohio to visit my wife's Mom and found I couldn't get up hills on the PA turnpike in anything but 2nd gear with the missus and 3 kiddos in the car. It was embarrassing to have semis honk at me to get out of the way in the climbing lane. Turns out they had stuck a TINY 4 cylinder in that fairly large car and 4th gear was an overdrive. In 1986 the missus insisted we go back to the Chevy deal and trade the Merc in for a new, white 2 door Caprice Classic with phony wire wheels and a V8/auto. We hung onto that car through my wife's use then 3 daughters use (2 years apart each). Wish we still had the Caprice; large, plenty of go and rode real easy. My missus is now a confirmed Crown Vic gal and currently drives a 2003 with just over 50K miles and looks and feels new.
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Old 10-29-2020, 02:48 PM   #12
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George that probably had the same 4 banger Ford used in the Pinto. My mother had a mid '70's Pinto that she loved. It was fully loaded with 3 so auto.I drove it a few times and I recall going about 50 and turned on the air conditioner. The carnimediatly lost about 5 mph ( like hitting the brakes) and it downshifted into second gear. What a gem that thing was.
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Old 10-29-2020, 03:55 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flybouy View Post
It had a "smog pump" with more piping than a Mississippi Steamboat calliope.
Now THAT is funny!
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Old 10-29-2020, 04:56 PM   #14
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I recall going about 50 and turned on the air conditioner. The carnimediatly lost about 5 mph ( like hitting the brakes)
Reminds me of my first car, a 1960 pushbutton-transmission Plymouth Valiant. If I drove it over 55, it would overheat and boil. But I could run it up to 60 if I turned on the heater full blast. Ah, summers with the heater going, good times.
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Old 10-29-2020, 09:27 PM   #15
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Ahhh yes ... Young and bulletproof. How did we ever survive????
1972 Datsun p/u with a slide in truck camper. Relax, weight police, 2500 lb. payload. They drove them into the NYC auto show one inside the other. Door sticker Payload: 2500 lbs. Curb weight: 2250 lbs.
Load range E tires and rims.
Once it got rolling it did okay on highway. Second gear had it's own set of retarded points to keep it from pinging it's head off. (pun intended)
That's all the good stuff.
Next the stuff we didn't even think about back then.

Narrow wheel base and extremely high center of gravity .... High school Physics teacher would have been proud : I added dual wheel adapters and put all four wheels on the rear for an increase of slightly over 20 inches. They used a sixbolt chevy pattern wheel so the widest reverse rims for the fronts helped me achieve my outrigger canoe effect to keep us upright.
Final problem I could not overcome was inertia .... 4 wheel drum brakes would just barely slow you down so forget about stopping. In all fairness when it got older and the floorboards rusted out it gave me the option of dropping an anchor through one of the holes for emergency stops.
Ahhh yes, those were the good old days.
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