Friday, March 9, 2012
I have a fondness for Dodge Travco Motor homes, especially ones built between 1962 and 1973. Travcos were the first Class A Motor home, they had a fiberglass outer body with a inner steel skeleton that rode on a Dodge HD truck frame. They had everything from the Poly-spherical 318 cubic inch V8 to a 440. When I talk to people about them, I relate their design to a Twinkie on wheels.
For a while now I had been looking for one. Trying to find a clean one is not easy here in the Midwest. One day last fall a 72 Travco was listed on Craigslist not a far from my home. So like putting a carrot in front of the donkey, I had to investigate it. With my luck, when I got there, it had already been sold. But the guy still let me look around and view the Travco and his other project.
This Travco was a 270 model, which meant it was 27 feet long. It had the “High Performance” 413 cubic inch Dodge V8 big block, with a HD 727 Torqueflite automatic transmission. In the back was the Onan 6500W generator that are still made to this day. She was in rough shape, had been well used and put away wet. It would require a lot of time and money to get her road safe. The interior needed to be redone as well.
Sitting next to the Travco was another of the owners projects. A 1971 Dodge Charger drag car with a fiberglass front end. There was no VIN on the dash or fender tag to see what the car was was originally. And I wasn't about to start tearing off the remains of the tarp to get at other locations with VIN numbers. But it looked like a nice project that I hope he finishes, or someone does. Before it is too late for the old girl. (Notice the sweet Caprice sitting in the driveway?)
Afterward I didn't think much of the Travco, looked at other projects and future barn find trips to spend my limited funds on... and then there it was on Craigslist again! The same damn Travco, and it was even closer to my house. It was even on my way to work. Was it sheer luck or fate that would draw us together? Unfortunately the new owner wanted too much for the old girl that I found out didn't even have reverse. So I passed on it and soon she disappeared.
Every once and a while my mind drifts back to Travcos... Imagining how cool it would be to travel around the country looking for Barn Finds in a classic old Dodge Motorhome. I really can't think of anything else more fun!