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Open Roads Forum  >  Tow Vehicles

 > Tow vehicles in the 60's...a few of my favorite things

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lesmore49

canada

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Posted: 12/26/10 03:46pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

This holiday season I was reminiscing with others about the 'old' days of camping and towing and we touched on some interesting history and historical tow vehicles and of course the trailers they towed.

My family has been camping since about 1955....we first started trailering in 1959.

My parent's first trailer, was a 15 foot trailer (can't recall the brand) pulled by a '59 Chevy wagon, with a 2 speed power glide and the inline Chevy 6. We towed across the prairies , through the Canadian Rockies to Vancouver and back...that first year.

We had 5 in the Chevy and that Chevy six never uttered a complaint.

Then we had a '61 Chevy Nomad (Impala) wagon, 283, and power-glide transmission...this time towing a 16 foot Shasta...what a nice trailer...Shasta wings [emoticon] and all.

My favourite combo wasn't something we owned, but something my dad , and I, back in the mid '60's thought was the best combo of trailer and tow vehicle available back then.

It was owned by a retired Sears Executive and his wife, who we met at a Minnesota campground. They traveled much of the year. They had a 3/4 ton, International Travelall, 4 door truck wagon (IH's answer to the Suburban)...V8, 4 speed standard....towing a tandem axle Airstream.

The man was justifiably proud of both vehicles. I'm not sure how many of the younger towers are aware of the IH Travelall , but it was quite a vehicle.

IH trucks used the same gas engines as their medium duty commercial trucks and they were tough units.

Also unusual back then, as most people didn't tow with trucks, but used one of the many makes of large cars.

My favourites from the 1960's.....what are yours from the 1950's and 1960's ?


lesmore49

SoCalDesertRider

Arizona desert

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Posted: 12/26/10 04:07pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I remember well the 60's/70's International Travelall and pickups. There were a few of them around our mountain town. My family had a '78 Scout with I think it was the 345 V8 and 4spd manual with granny first gear. That Scout is still running and driving to this day, owned by family friends who have used it on their farm and for winter transportation in N.AZ, OR and NM over the last 30 years.


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skipnchar

Topeka or somewhere else

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Posted: 12/26/10 04:31pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

First tow vehicle that I drove, towing an 17 foot "GO Lite Lark" was a 1955 Buick Special four door sedan with a three speed standard tranny. We towed that trailer through every state west of the Mississippi and a few East of there. I have no idea of the weight of that trailer but it wasn't very much and that old Buick made a pretty good tow for it be it in mountains desert or on the planes. Put a lot of happy miles on that rig, mostly two weeks at a time.


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BUFFALODAN

Buffalo NY

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Posted: 12/26/10 05:57pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Quote:

International Travelall, 4 door truck wagon (IH's answer to the Suburban)...V8, 4 speed standard..


http://www.oramagazine.com/pastIssues/0907-issue/index.asp?article=oldiron

very cool indeed


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Gunpilot77

Killeen, Tx

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Posted: 12/26/10 06:00pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We have come a long way since pulling a rented pop-up with a '68 Datsun SW from VA to OR and back. The station wagon carried me, the wife, mother in law and three small children. After that trip you couldn't give me a pop-up. What a hassle.,


Fifth wheel pulled with a pick-up

wilber1

Abbotsford B.C.

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Posted: 12/26/10 06:08pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

When I was a kid, my father decided he was going to tow a 13 ft boat and motor filled with camping gear, up the Fraser Canyon with four people and dog in the car. The car was a 1953 Hillman Minx convertible with a 1300 cc flathead engine. At the time they were building the Yale tunnel and there was a very steep gravel hill as part of the diversion. There was no way that little car was going to pull that hill so the boat got unhooked, the gear reloaded into the car and hauled up the hill then unloaded. Next, the boat got pulled up and last the family got their trip up the hill, at which point everything was loaded up and away we went.

I loved that little car and a few years later learned to drive with it. Pretty little thing, black with a dark red interior. Wish I had in now.


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jim87vette

Arizona

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Posted: 12/26/10 06:20pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Great stories,I don't have one but appreciate all the others.Maybe one will come to me?


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Apple

El Dorado, KS USA

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Posted: 12/26/10 06:54pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I remember my parents pulling a 19 ft. trailer with a '64 Olds 88. We went all over the place in that set-up. I also remember racing that car around as a teen-ager - it would run all night. For some reason, the transmission went out on it as it got older - pretty sure I had something to do with that!


Steve

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Posted: 12/26/10 07:04pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

In 1960, my folks took us kids on a 3-week tour of the Western US in a VW MicroBus towing a 14' Little Ceaser camp trailer. Even went up & over Monarch Pass on Hwy 50 in Colo.. 1961-1965 the TV was a 1957 Chevy station wagon w/283, towing a couple of different TT's.. The next TV was one of the first Dodge Vans, slant 6, 4 on-the-floor, factory set-up for camping, w/ice box, sink, stove, and bed in the back. The Dodge made many trips to Mex & back before being traded in on their first truck, a 1970 Chevy Camper Special.


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W4RLR

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Posted: 12/26/10 07:13pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Our family had one of the very first Jayco popup trailers, towed by a huge Mercury Marquis Colony Park wagon that seated nine. That was necessary as we kids always invited our friends to go camping with us. On top of the popup was a rig my dad and uncle made to hold three bicycles and a twelve foot boat, and inside we stored a Honda Trail 70 minibike. More fun than a barrel of monkeys, and we always slept like logs in the central Florida campsite we frequented.


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