search  current discussion  categories  events - fairs & shows 

the perfect show vehicle - and, too,

updated sun 24 oct 04


pdp1@EARTHLINK.NET on sat 23 oct 04

incidental verses intentional...

Hi Steve,

You make a good point about the brakes on small light

But as long as the Trailer they are towing were 1000 lbs or
so it should not make too much trouble for most of them (
well, a Geo-Metro might suffer, or, should be made TO suffer
anyway, as with most of them, where, say a little 'Neon'
might just hold it's own pretty well, and be kinda sweet
doing it too...but I do not know modern Cars much to say..)
depending on the loading of the Car itself, it would not be
too much more, or any more, than if the Car had five or six
people squeezed in it and no

But as you mention, anyone with such an outfit should know
about Brake-fade and have some idea of what kind of
situations they can expect it in, or what to do when they do
get it ( pull over if you can at the first symptom, and let
'em cool a-while, and if there is not where to pull over,
and you are facing a long downhill sojourn, well, God be
with ye...or, say yer prayers...)

Horse Trailers are very heavy in themselves, and would be
way above, or double at least, that 1000 pound mark with
nothing in them...but
they do have a good looking way about them usually, and are
well made.

But, a surge Brake ( for those unacquainted, being
basically, a master cylinder accomidated on the Trailer's
tongue that in
sufficient deceleration of the Car, compresses, and applies
the hydraulic pressure to actuate the Brakes of the
Trailer just like your Brake-pedal does...pretty simple and
direct) would be easy enough to
have on any Trailer ( where you would keep the Drums and
backing plates and so on of
course, if you made the Trailer ) and are a good
address for that concern.

Except fo the 1986 Chevrolet Van I bought from a neighbor
last July in an extempore moment or decaying urban
playfulness and wackyness, I have never had anything, from
the beginning,
but 'old' Cars or Trucks, and I was entirely happy with them
in every way. But yes, working on them yourself is best for
lots of reasons. ( Or, sadly, now, few of them 1920s or
1930s babys would be other than a hazard on the Interstate
Freeways, where, in the '70s, you could still keep to the
'right' more-or-less...or pull onto the shoulder to drive
'there' a while, at a full clip even sometimes, to let the
long lines of bastards get past...sigh...)

But, for simple utility and price, it is aweful hard to beat
an older Van.

Sam in Daly City mentioned his Ford Van that he was very
happy with. Believe him! It is a good way-to-go.

Even if you buy ( a low miliage, garage-kept, clean, snug,
1970 something) one for $1,500, or $2,000, and over time put
another 1,000 into it, well...meanwhile, some other poor
pilgrim is making payments of a nut fifteen times that or
more, for something much much more expensive to insure,
maintain, get parts for or have work done on, and overall,
which will not outlast the older one, all things being equal
from that point on as for the care it will get.

In fact, my neighbor has another one now, neat-as-a-pin, a
1980s Dodge, nice paint, nice everything, and he'd likely
take $1,000.00 for it. Where mine, with all them silly
windows on the sides, Bird poo streaks, and in mood overall,
is really seedy looking in it's shabby piant and missing
hubcaps and so on, like from some side street in San Pedro
or something, or Watts maybe, so if I drive through 'North
Town' here, all the brothers are shocked to see so pale a
fellow at the wheel. It's true! Ohhhh...funny old
world...other day, a black guy knocks on my door looking for
the fellow that owns that Van 'cause he wanted to buy it...I
say, "I'm him!" and he seems suspicious, incredulous, and I
say, "I really do, that is my Van..." and he accepts it,
then says, "I though that Van belonged to a Brother" and he
is kind of a little pouty and upset about it, so I say,
"Well, we all be Brothers, anyway, or least as a passing
mood-thing now and then, no?" (and I am twinkleing in my
way) and he thinks about getting mad but walks off...oh

If I just wanted a really good practical modern
'intentional' Road cruiser for Highway Travel to haul stuff
to shows, I'd look for on old Highway Patrol pursuit cruiser
Station Wagon as had the full 'pursuit' upgrade package. A
friend of mine had one that I liked a lot, that was a
Chrysler ( a 1964 model I think) which really would go too
( 130 or 140 or something, ex Montana Car or something) ,
and stop on a dime with really huge Brakes...and you could
haul a lot in it too, or tow about anything you wanted.

I am often incidental or whimsical in many things, but
intentional, is real-good...and if I had enough reason, I'd
find an old 1960s South Dakota or Idaho or Montana or
whatever of Highway Patrol pursuit Car Station Wagon and be
a happy boy too...dual spot-lights, whip-antenna, some big
honkin' engine with the dual or tri-power intake and the
extree-big 12 Volt Generator and extreee big Battery...the
expanded metal 'grille' between the front seat and the
back...dual gastanks...big dual heaters for the front seat
area...factory tinted glass...foam filled 'Mud-n-Snow Tires
maybe, the no door handles inside the back seat, shot gun in
the vertical front rack (well, the rack would be there, but
you gotta supply the other'n, and a '97 Winchester 12 Ga is
my favorite)...Motorola two-way Radio with no one on the
other end any more to talk to...some leathery Rand McNallys
in the glove box...Hmmmmm! Ooooooo...Nice!...what
fun...rub-out-the-paint, (well, you gotta delete or cover
the 'seal' on the door of course) tidy-it-up, wear them
aviator sunglasses with the mirror lenses and a billed cap
set to one side and a few days of whiskers, sit back, have
my arm on the window ledge and a cigarette danglin' from my
mouth, and...go...just "go" baby...just blow the cornflakes
outta that old muffler...and go...

Maybe later...after I, that is

el ve

----- Original Message -----
From: "Steve Slatin"
Subject: Re: The perfect show vehicle

> Phil et. al. --
> One issue with homemade trailers is the effect on
> braking characteristics for the towing vehicle.
> Some modern vehicles are poorly designed in this
> regard -- the power braking system works fine on
> the car and driver plus maybe 400 lbs. additional
> passengers or cargo; but the brakes can overheat
> and fail if towing a trailer without active braking.
> Where I live old horse trailers with braking are
> cheap, and tend to be light and have the capacity to
> carry lots of cargo.
> The issue with modern vs. older vehicle repair is
> possibly even worse than Phil suggests. I replaced
> the voltage regulator on a modern van (1993 Mercury),
> tested a few voltages, and some were off. Checked
> the alternator, it was spot on. Started testing
> circuits and found one was way off -- the one that
> carried the wholly ornamental light bar at the front
> grill. Some of the sockets were partially melted,
> had to be replaced, all of the bulbs had to be
> replaced, some of the wires were feeling crinkly so
> I replaced them, and when I was done I'd spent 4-5
> hours and over $60. When I was done, the voltages
> were all on target again. The voltage regulator
> (which is realistically speaking serious business)
> took much less time and cost than the light bar. And
> I didn't even care if it worked.
> Phil's approach regarding older vehicles makes sense,
> but more so if you can do at least some of the work
> yourself and especially so if you live near a good
> junkyard.
> -- Steve Slatin
> --- pdp1@EARTHLINK.NET wrote:
> >
> > Delete brake drums...find a light, thin, Rim and
> > Tire
> > option...
> >
> > And a 4 x 7 foot Trailer with two foot sides could
> > likely be
> > assembled which could weigh 300 ish...put 700 into
> > it and
> > you reach your 1000 lb tow limit for the Car...
> >
> =====
> Steve Slatin -- Lies told, whiskey hauled, widows tended.
> Sequim, Washington, USA
> _______________________________
> Do you Yahoo!?
> Declare Yourself - Register online to vote today!
> Send postings to
> You may look at the archives for the list or change your
> settings from
> Moderator of the list is Mel Jacobson who may be reached