Old Travelling Vehicle Photos

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Jim’s pickup truck

Back in the 70’s I didn’t own a pickup truck. I was young and stupid, accent on the pickup truck-less stupid. But, by saving up every paid holiday, vacation day and accumulating comp time, I managed to run out west every year for a couple or three weeks. Blowing straight across the country, or at least west into the Rockies, was a 2000 mile, 30+ hour non-stop drive.

Just drive dammit; get out there where things are interesting. Non-stop meant shift driving. And shift driving meant sometimes sleeping in the truck bed. Travelling companion Brian’s longbed Datsun had a cap, and I quickly learned to love a cap. Even bought his cap for my longbed Taco (finally wised up) when the Datsun finally died.

Travelling companion Jim’s truck did not, just a roll out, snap on tonneau cover for over the bed. We made it work, although everything needed to be stored below bedrail height in case of rain, and it could be a chilly night’s sleep on mountain nights or at highway speed.

EK_0026 by Mike McCrea, on Flickr

That unrestrained sleepytime position now seems like a death wish. But no more so than sleeping under a flimsy cap. Or driving the ’68 VW Camper, with just a thin piece of sheet metal between your knees and some immovable object.

(Mini-side rant: I believe that driving those kinds of tin foil vehicles; no power steering, no power brakes, no cruise control/lane avoidance/air bags/etc with manual everything made us oldsters better and more cautious drivers)

The scarier part was when it rained, and the tonneau cover had to be snapped closed. Jim was, quite frankly, a terrible driver. Encased in a pitch black tonneau covered coffin was not comforting. Especially when Jim’s attention was distracted and I awoke to the rumble of tires on breakdown lane. I didn’t get a lot of sleep some shifts, and occasionally awoke a tad grumpy.

EK_0033 by Mike McCrea, on Flickr
 
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Love the photos Mike! I wish I could find my old ones ... 30 plus years ago my wife and I lived in the back of my F150 as we traveled around the state for a spell. One of the best times of our lives. Cool thread.

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Frogpuddle.

I bought this '69 Bug in Salt Lake in 1981 and then drove from Salt Lake City to Bozeman through Yellowstone with only third gear, then from Bozeman to Calgary Stampede where I spent my 21st birthday (appropriately slept in a cow field by the car that night), then through Banff to Prince Rupert, BC (Halibut Capital of the World!), missing the ferry by minutes and living the next week in an abandoned hospital ten miles out of town before catching the ferry to Juneau where I lived in a tent at the base of Mendenhall Glacier. And that was just in the first month of ownership.

The picture here is in Kansas while heading to Colorado after having returned east from AK. A minute (or less) after this pic was taken we were pulled over for an illegal u-turn and had to follow the officer into the next town up the highway where we paid our fine in cash to the local magistrate.

Last seen, the car was on top of a pole at a used car dealer in Colorado Springs as an advertisement. Sure wish I had a picture of that.


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I bought this '69 Bug in Salt Lake in 1981

Clemency, that is a classic.

Friends and I did a couple of month long cross country trips in a ’67 VW camper, and I owned a ’68 bug. And the suction cup roof racks for it. You know we loaded a 15’ aluminum canoe on those racks. More than once.

Bonus points if you can identify this vehicle:

EK_0036 by Mike McCrea, on Flickr

(That is me at the Outer Banks, holding a sand shark)

Over the years my father owned every variety of VW; buses, pick-ups, panel vans, bug convertibles. All of them now highly collectible.

I have a thing for old VW’s, but on the whole I'd rather own a small pickup truck.
 
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No photos but a million memories. First strip across was in 1969 in a '57 Chevy on Route 66. After that 1960 Ford, 1965 VW 23 window bus, I used to drive across the country every summer while a college student. I spent a summer surfing in Southern CA and decided to move when I finished school at the U of MD in 1972. After almost 50 years of living in the West, it is still an adventure.

I have had a long string of Ford pickups since the 1970s always with a canopy. I still sleep in the back of my Ford F-350 diesel pretty often. It is the best vehicle I have had out of over 30. Bought it new in 2002 and still runs like it is new after 175 k miles.
 
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64 Belair station wagon with some funky photoshop?

Dingdingding, the judges will accept that answer. Not Photoshop; either that old photo elongated when scanned in, or I had a five foot tall blond afro when I was a child. I was always a bit of a radical, even at that age.

That would make a unique camper-wagon conversion. Maybe tricky in a cross wind, a pop-up version would be better. Bet it’s been done.

I have had a long string of Ford pickups since the 1970s always with a canopy. I still sleep in the back of my Ford F-350 diesel pretty often. It is the best vehicle I have had out of over 30. Bought it new in 2002 and still runs like it is new after 175 k miles.

9700 miles a year? It helps to already live out west.

I’ve probably had 30 vehicles as well, including a lot of old hoopties when I was young, from a ’72 Fiat Spider to a massive ’68 Chrysler Newport. Best vehicle I’ve owned for sheer driving pleasure was an early 70’s Audi 100LS, although the Fiat was close on corners. When it ran.

I’ve now had three Toyota pickup and have loved every one. The plain vanilla basic 80’s Hi-Lux long-bed may be my favorite in memory, just for the dozen+ cross-country trips with various shift driver companions; Jim, Brian, Theresa, Kevin, the Taylor Sisters (3 people on that long strange trip, someone always had to be in the bed. Sarah didn’t know how to drive), the Missus (uh, long after Theresa and the Taylor Sisters).

My ‘90’s Taco was just as much fun, same set up as the Hi-Lux; cap, hitch, winch, tricked out bed with sleeping quarters and storage, but with a mini backseat, so when the boys were little we could travel in it.

EK_0030 by Mike McCrea, on Flickr

DIY trailer. The notched panels twist-toggle in to block the center storage compartment where the yellow kaya. . .boat resides. The open side “pockets” held all of our paddles and tarp poles and other long stuff and balanced the tongue weight. With just two boats on the trailer (and two on the truck) we could drop four bicycles in those open sidepockets, two on each side.

That was a great trailer, fun to design and build. More SS eyebolts for various tie points than you could shake a stick at.

And I hated dragging a trailer just to carry four boats at once. Plus it was overbuilt heavy with welded steel body plates, and I sold it for what I had in the stake body to a paddling friend with a young family who admired it. I think it is still on the road today.

Bonus points if you can identify any or all of those boats.
 
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EK_0030 by Mike McCrea, on Flickr

DIY trailer. The notched panels twist-toggle in to block the center storage compartment where the yellow kaya. . .boat resides. The open side “pockets” held all of our paddles and tarp poles and other long stuff and balanced the tongue weight. With just two boats on the trailer (and two on the truck) we could drop four bicycles in those open sidepockets, two on each side.

That was a great trailer, fun to design and build. More SS eyebolts for various tie points than you could shake a stick at.

And I hated dragging a trailer just to carry four boats at once. Plus it was overbuilt heavy with welded steel body plates, and I sold it for what I had in the stake body to a paddling friend with a young family who admired it. I think it is still on the road today.

Bonus points if you can identify any or all of those boats.

That long yellow one, is it a Sawyer Saber? That'd be a great MR 340 boat.
 
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That long yellow one, is it a Sawyer Saber? That'd be a great MR 340 boat.

It is a Saber, 20 feet long, 24 inches wide. Bought used in great condition for . . . . $125. Traded to a Texas Water Safari team for a Northern Light solo.

I think the little one in the foreground is either a Peter Hornbeck or a Bart Hathaway.

It is a Hathaway, an Old Town Rushton model, 10 feet long, 18 lbs. I spotted it at a marina when looking at a couple old beater Grummans and asked how much. $100.
 
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Ok, sorry it’s not a canoe, but still it’s cool. I met this boat in Colorado and took the lines for plans. The family had owned it since the ‘30’s and had a lot of photos. I donated this one to the Adirondack Museum.
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Posted before I think but always good for a repost

This is my family in 1955, I'm not in the picture being only age 1 at the time......that's my mother up on top securing the (red of course) Peterborough canoe. Hard to believe but during that period there were 5 of us sleeping in that Dodge Fargo during our summer camping trips (it was retired 1961 and replaced with a Ford Falcon van (rebranded as an Econoline the next year), what a giant piece of junk that was in comparison to the Dodge (but it came with two seats! and the centre mount engine which created "bench style seating)


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I don't have a pic of our Falcon but it looked like this one (with dents, paint chips and within a couple of years quite a bit of rust!).

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