Jeff Smith noon, March 8
- Community Blog
- Styleline Deluxe
Dreams of National Parks and Nostalgia
----- Perfect week for this chapter, Thanks Ken Burns! ----
It was a couple of months before I drove up to Long Beach to get my Styleline that my wife started looking for a 12 or 14 foot “can-o-ham” style travel trailer. After digging around on Google, Craigslist, Ebay and Flickr she had decided that if we were going to get an early ‘50s sedan, then we had to have a vintage family camper to match.
The Shasta’s were the cool ones, and it turns out, everyone that is into these things knows it. Way too desirable, all the ones that are listed anywhere are already restored and are very expensive. Way out of our league.
She would email sellers on Craigslist and never get a response. Not that we had the loot to pick one up… but I’m sure that if she found one that was reasonably priced and not a POS, we would have scraped the cash together to nab it.
You see, what she was thinking was this: Get a 50's Sedan. Get a vintage travel trailer. Pack up the boys and vacation at a National Park. Grand Canyon, Tetons, Jellystone. Sounds like heaven...
Fast forward a couple of months. I have the Styleline running on the stock driveline. The fuel pump fails. I get it running again, but I want to drive it around for a bit close to home just incase it decides to die on me. So, I’m tooling around on a street just a couple of blocks away from home…
There is this travel trailer sitting in front of a house at the end of a loop. Flat tires, dirty. Yellow. I pull past it and in the driveway is an all stock, rusty 1929 Model A Pheaton and a custom Ford Shoebox. The garage door is open, and inside are two more hit rods, a 1932 Ford pickup and a 30 or 31 Model A coupe… I gotta meet this guy!
I knock on the door, one of the kids inside yells “Dad, one of your friends is here” (I must have the “look”). When he comes to the door, I ask “Is that your travel trailer?”. “Yeah” is the answer.
“Wanna sell it?”
“No, man. You can have it”
Kick ass! We talk for a while and Adam (that’s his name) and I arranged for me to get the trailer once his family is back from Portland. Turns out he is relocating, and had no idea what to do with the trailer in such a short period of time.
I really wish I had met him a long time before that day. Nothing like meeting someone so into what you are into, that lives less than a mile from your house a month before they are leaving for good.
The last thing I did before leaving Adam’s house was to figure out the bolt pattern on the trailer’s wheels. They would have to be replaced. 5 on 4.5” - Early ‘70s Mopar… that meant a trip to Sweetwater Auto Wrecking.
Sweetwater is an interesting place, run by this guy Mark and his dad. They specialize in Dodge, Chrysler and Plymouth. I always put on my best “Yes, Sir” attitude when dealing with Mark’s dad (Mark is never around). Real proper, conservative… maybe a little of the old “Get Off My Lawn”. He gave me grief for parking the Chevrolet out front.
We make a deal, 2 straight wheels for $10 and a box of stuff I had left over from my ’63 Plymouth project.
Once they were sanded up and painted as close a blue to the Chevy as I could find in the spraypaint aisle at Home Depot, I was off to Welch’s Tires in Barrio Logan to get a set of used tires with the whitewall shaved wide.
It’s a 12’ 1965 Cascade. It needs work (a lot), but we are a step closer to the having our picnic basket stolen by Yogi and Boo Boo.