BRINGING IT ALL TOGETHER.... A's, G's & E's


Rescued: 69 G20 108 Display, Project or Parts?

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GregO

Number of posts : 8
Location : Kingston, WA
Age : 61
Registration date : 2018-08-04

Rescued: 69 G20 108 Display, Project or Parts?

Post by GregO on Sun Aug 12, 2018 12:29 pm

I wasn’t looking for a van; I was just returning a tool a friend had loaned me. On my way to his house I notice this old travel trailer in the yard of one of his neighbors. I have been collecting and restoring vintage trailers for a few years and am always on the lookout for them.  So I asked my buddy, if he ever catches his neighbor home to ask if he would consider parting with the trailer.

A couple weeks go by and we end up making a deal on the trailer (free). While digging out the trailer I notice this old van tucked up under the trees in his back yard. I’d been thinking about a van as a tow vehicle for my trailers, although I had a late model in mind.  I‘d also been toying with the idea of a classic pick-up truck. I had never considered an early van, yet during the time it took to collect the trailer I couldn’t get that van out of my head. Before leaving with the trailer I asked the owner what’s the story on the van.

The van had been his job truck, he was a tile setter, but more so his hunting and fishing rig. This guy used to live out of the van for weeks at a time, hunting, fishing, and exploring while driving that van all over the Olympic Peninsula. The van’s engine had developed an intake manifold leak; it is a rebuilt 327 out of a 1968 truck so he says. He had gotten the manifold removed but that was it, and that’s where the van sat for the next 30 years. It was easy to understand why he had hung on to it for so long.

Lately he had begun to accept that he would never get the van back on the road. He offered the van to a few of his buddies, with no takers, and was about ready to call the crusher hoping to get a couple hundred bucks for it. He is a simple man, a bit ornery, never married, doesn’t have a cell phone, never has, doesn’t own a computer, wouldn’t know what to do with it, and didn’t want to hassle with running an ad or anything like that.

Well, after giving me the trailer he had wizened up. He had wanted to go through the contents of the trailer before letting it go, so we spent a couple days emptying it and literally spread the stuff all over his yard. He offered me the van for $200, and for $250 I could help him sort out the van parts from his junk and he’d take care of the junk. At that price I didn't think I could go wrong, so we shook on it, and for $250 it was mine.

Here's how she sat when I spotted her. This is what caught my eye:



After cutting back some tree branches we could get a better look:



Up to the bumper in tree droppings:







That tow rope has been attached to the front bumper since 1988.

A couple pics of the back end:





The seller enjoying a coffee, a smoke and a few memories:

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GregO

Number of posts : 8
Location : Kingston, WA
Age : 61
Registration date : 2018-08-04

Re: Rescued: 69 G20 108 Display, Project or Parts?

Post by GregO on Sun Aug 12, 2018 4:46 pm

Getting it Home

Now I had to get it home. First thing was to clean out the crap. Inside was a built in sleeping platform with an old mattress on it, on old futon and piles of the typical junk you toss into a convenient storage container when you have no other place for it. After pulling everything out, ripping out the platform and sorting out the van parts we needed to see if it would roll.

We put an air nozzle to the old valve stems and surprisingly all four tires took and held air. We checked the parking brake; it wouldn’t budge, so I could only hope the brakes hadn’t been set. There was only one way to find out. I got behind the van with my 93 Toyota pickup and using the old rope that was tied to the front bumper, I gave it a tug and it rolled out from under the trees easy as pie. It was a roller!

I figured I had two options to get it home. I have a friend that lets me borrow his flatbed trailer, so I could use that, or I could tow it home. Trailering the van would have been the sensible thing to do, but I didn’t want to go through the trouble. I live in a semi-rural area only a couple miles from the seller and decided to take the risk of towing it home.

The road home is 90% uphill with only a couple of short gentle downhill sections. Since the van had no brakes, at first I was thinking of attaching a long tow line to give me plenty of room to keep the vehicles clear of each other. Instead I decided that it would be better to have some control over the van and at least be able to stop it. So I made up a short, maybe 6’ bridle, and tied off a couple boat fenders to the front of the van to cushion it from the tow vehicle. If they’re good enough for tug boats they should be good enough for the van.

I didn’t trust the old tires and had a good set of Toyota 4x4 6-lug tires and wheels that match the Chevy 6-lug bolt pattern. While changing out the tires I spun the hubs and they felt fine for the short trip home. My buddy whose tool I had returned wanted in on the action so I enlisted him to get behind the wheel of the van while I towed and the seller followed in his truck.

I decided to move the van at the crack of dawn on a Sunday morning when the roads were most likely to be empty, especially of the local law. We got everything lined up the day before so the next morning we quickly hitched up and pulled the van out onto the street. It was the first time it had seen pavement in 30 years. I first made a couple of test stops, the system worked fine; we rounded an easy corner and stopped to check in on my buddy, he was good to go. Our lines all looked good so I pulled out and made the slow uneventful trip home. Success!

Prepped for towing:







My buddy ready for action:



Safely home:



The wife is going to love finding this in front of the house when she wakes up:













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vanny
Moderator

Number of posts : 10448
Location : Ashburnham, MA
Age : 59
Registration date : 2012-09-22

Re: Rescued: 69 G20 108 Display, Project or Parts?

Post by vanny on Sun Aug 12, 2018 5:23 pm

Congrats on getting it home safely! And you've got the pics to prove that it really did happen too! Those balloons look a little lop-sided. If you had bumped the tow vehicle, you may have had a matching dent on the passenger's corner lol!

Glad to hear you made home safely.


_________________
“The future will soon be a thing of the past."

http://public.fotki.com/Vintage-Vans/vintage-vans-es/ruff-diamond-1/?cmd=fs_slideshow
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jrdunn96

Number of posts : 441
Location : Cashion, OK
Age : 57
Registration date : 2016-01-01

Re: Rescued: 69 G20 108 Display, Project or Parts?

Post by jrdunn96 on Mon Aug 13, 2018 3:51 am

And people say vanners are crazy??? I might have opted for the trailer but I have been bitten by the "tow scenario". JM2C. I do love an adventure, though. Congrats on the find!
Jim
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67VanHelsing

Number of posts : 118
Location : Los Angeles, CA
Registration date : 2014-03-04

Re: Rescued: 69 G20 108 Display, Project or Parts?

Post by 67VanHelsing on Mon Aug 13, 2018 8:17 am

Can't go wrong for $250! Great beginning to this story, I'll be tuning in for the progress. Good luck!
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Scott

Number of posts : 1576
Location : Anoka, MN
Age : 48
Registration date : 2008-05-20

Re: Rescued: 69 G20 108 Display, Project or Parts?

Post by Scott on Mon Aug 13, 2018 9:40 am

Great rescue story, looking forward to see where it goes from here.
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Falconvan

Number of posts : 96
Location : Festus, mo
Registration date : 2017-10-24

Re: Rescued: 69 G20 108 Display, Project or Parts?

Post by Falconvan on Fri Aug 17, 2018 5:17 am

Nice! power wash it, do the mechanicals, and drive it as is.
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Scott

Number of posts : 1576
Location : Anoka, MN
Age : 48
Registration date : 2008-05-20

Re: Rescued: 69 G20 108 Display, Project or Parts?

Post by Scott on Fri Aug 17, 2018 12:30 pm

6 lug makes it a 3/4 ton..
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GregO

Number of posts : 8
Location : Kingston, WA
Age : 61
Registration date : 2018-08-04

Re: Rescued: 69 G20 108 Display, Project or Parts?

Post by GregO on Wed Oct 10, 2018 5:48 pm

Wash and Assess

My 2018 summer was spent catching up on various overdue home projects so no progress was made on the van. I’ll soon be bringing it into the shop so I gave it a wash and quick assessment. The windshield frame is completely rusted out, which resulted in water leaking down the A pillars, rusting them out, and also down the front into the interior, rusting out the front floors. So basically the whole front of the van is rusted out. All the door bottoms are rusted out plus the bottoms of most of the door skins. The rain gutters could possibly be salvaged although there are a few rust bubbles along them as well. That’s just the worst of what is easily visible, there is much more.

I know if I were to go after it I’d find tons more rust, and then there’s getting it into shape mechanically. So considering my skillset, finances, and the time it would take to just get it dry and drivable, not to mention paint and a driver quality restoration, for now it will be considered a parts van.
 
I’ve decided to call it “The Mule”, since it is my first early van and now my test mule to acquaint myself with the early vans. I plan to bring it into the shop, pull the engine and transmission, remove the interior, pull some parts and see what I can use on a 1969 108 G10 Sportvan Delux I’ll be picking up in a few days.

Minus 30 years of grime:







A few rust shots.

Windshield:







Floor:



Roof has nice patina:



Drivers Side Front Lower Corner:

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vanny
Moderator

Number of posts : 10448
Location : Ashburnham, MA
Age : 59
Registration date : 2012-09-22

Re: Rescued: 69 G20 108 Display, Project or Parts?

Post by vanny on Thu Oct 11, 2018 4:08 am

Sounds like a good plan...can't wait to see your new project! Too bad so much rust...cleaned up pretty good.


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Re: Rescued: 69 G20 108 Display, Project or Parts?

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