We've had quite a few irons in the fire here at Babe's Auto for as long as I can remember. This one is another long story.
The old man and I began a build on a vintage truck with a late model diesel powertrain back in the pre shop fire days. Unfortunately that meant that we had a mostly assembled 1956 GMC 2 ton with a Duramax engine and running gear including the Allison LCT 1000 transmission, on that tragic day and it was lost along with many a station wagon. All in the past however.
To replace said truck we began fresh. Bigger bolder plans.
When you put on as many miles as we do, often on sub par highway surfaces you learn a few things.
One is that when you pull a trailer you get to feel every bump twice.
The other thing thats grown over the years is my love for the 6.6l Duramax engine and Allison transmission combo. Particularily the later models with their increased compression braking. It's a godsend on our local mountain passes.
After many hours staring at many different trucks I finally settled on, and promptly talked the old man into a Dodge L600. Specifically the one seen above. They share the shape of the classic A-100 vans and pickups but with a solid foot wider track width, galvanized steel cabs and heavy duty everything. They also offer maximum bang for the buck when it comes to useable area on a given wheel base since the cab hangs out in front of the front wheels. This is good because I wanted everything in one package. Cab. Living quarters. And a deck to haul a car. Enclosed. With big ol windows so the car is on display. Much like TV Tommy Ivo did back in the day.
I plan to stay with a single axle, and overall lighter weight. We aquired a 2005 GMC 3500 Sierra crew cab dually donor and plan to use all of the running gear. The van body will be constructed of aluminum with a mid mounted engine and seating above it with a second windsfield above the cab for maximum visibility. Think Scenicruiser. The frame and lower body will remain steel for strength and the body will be completely rubber mounted to avoid as much noise and vibration as possible. Of course giant 5x5' lexan windows on either side of the car hold are manditory. Sandwiched in between will be basic motorhome amenities like a washroom / shower and kichenette. Plans also include a retractable second bed over the hood of the hauled car, the first being the over engine seating in its folded down position. More photos to come. It will get clearer.
Dangerous Chris Carlson