The purpose of this Blog

This blog is to detail my 43 years (1973 - 2016) with a 1928 Chevrolet tourer, affectionately called "The Red Chev".

The acquisition, restoration, improvements and my experiences over the years are covered in as much detail as I can remember.

Some of the later postings include car club outings and other vintage car items that I hope will be of interest to people.

If you have the time, scroll back to where it all began in 1973 and follow the journey so far.

Thanks for dropping by.

Regards Ray Dean

See my new section "The Red Chev - Repairs, Improvements, Maintenance and Technical Details" located on the left hand side of the screen.


Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Leo The Tear Drop Caravan (A Work in Progress)

Let me tell you the story of Leo the Tear Drop Caravan, as told by his owner John.

11th June 2012

Well I would like to introduce you to my newly aquired Teardrop and project. I finally got it home last week after weeks of trying to work out how to get it home.

I called it Leo for two reasons.1 because it came from Leopold in Victoria and 2. Because Im a leo and this teardrop resist coming here from the time I paid for it until trying to get it off the trailer.Stubborn as me I think.

Well its her now and I have already started stripping it to check out the construction. I was told it was built in the 50s and has faired pretty good I think.

There is some water damage on the door side so Im removing that straight away. A new drawbar is needed and glad I didnt try to tow it home.

It has a home made drop down axle which I will leave as its part of the vans character along with the galvanised cladding which will go back on. Im happy with the buy so will spend many hours rebuilding as well as on here looking for advice and help sourcing parts.

I plan to build in a back kitchen as lift up hatch as well.

A new door and windows are on the list as well.

Enough of the yapping and I ll post a few photos to show the beginning of this relationship.

 The Arrival

The Tow Vehicle

Getting Aquainted

Stripping Down

Well thats where Im at the 11th July 2012.

I plan on removing the drawbar and wheels and axle over the weekend and do up a list of jobs to start with. I didnt buy it to make it look new so Im keeping the same apperance, wheels etc but new guards.

The only thing I want to do is add some decent windows and a good entry door, so if anyone has some ideas on where to get hold of some without breaking the bank would be appreciated. I think this is where the water problems started from so want to eliminate them first go.

It was good to get it here in the shed. My FE Van has been sitting in that spot for 11 years so it will be a good combination.

Work takes up 6 days a week so not a lot of spare time left to do other things. But Ill put the effort in on this one.
12th July 2012

The poor old Holden is scared of caravans. The last time I drove it 11 years ago I towed a caravan home with it and cooked the motor so its been confined to the garage since.

Im sort of assessing the little van at the moment so I can get a list together of the bits I need, Just finding doors and windows may be fun. Im half tempted to make my own wooden ones, but proper made would be nice.

Well I couldnt pull it apart any more. It looked so good under the tin but got a bit worse as I pulled it apart.

Not put off as it old and made mostly of wood. Im now at the decion making time. Do I rebuild the chasis by replacing the bad timbmer of make a steel chasis. The timber comstruction is one of the reasons I wanted it.

The springs are had it so will be replaced. Im keen to keep the old home made axle and drop down axle even though it is a bit out of square. I like the wheels as well.Without a drop down axle the teardrop would sit too high.

The draw bar was a clasic and not sure how it stayed on the teardrop but I suppose it was made with limited resourses.

Im also of reskinning the teardrop with new ply as at least that way I can put the door on the otherside and put a decent window in it as well.

Would I be able to just resheet over existing ply on the roof as it has a pretty good seal from the weather.

Not sure on ply sizes and where to get it from a but that will happen in due time.Im going to start reading a few of the rbuilds on here and get some ideas.

Well heres the lates photos from today.

15th July 2012

The more I dig the bigger the hole is getting. I noticed a bit of moisture and some ants under the the gal claddding so I decided to remove it for a look.

Once that was off the floor ply looked a bit sad, so now I have removed the teardrop shell from the camper and left with the chasis, wheels and axle and plt flooring. Just about to check out the axle and subframe but looks like a bir of dry rot as well.

Looks like a ground up rebuild. Thought of replacing all the ply and getting rid of the gal cladding all together and ust paint the van.

There are some odd sizes so will now be looking for ply.

Im glad I have taken it right back to ground level. I will post a couple of photos of th the reamains of the teardrop.

This drawbar was a bit crude. I sure would have taken a flogging thats for sure. Glad I didnt go for the 1400 km tod job.

Home made drop down axle. Looks solid thats one think I suppose. A bit out of square though.

27th July 2012

Just a quick update. I havent to active on the old teardrop.Since I stripped it down its all been mental planning and ideas on how to do things. Work keeps me away from my pleasures.
I have decided to ditch the old axle,springs and wheels,the axle is bent and wheels all out of alignment and one spring 50mm higher than the other.I have ordered a ne drop down axle,springs,hubs and spring kit.The hubs will are for 13 inch holden wheels so will be the same as the FE Van.
Just a matter of getting all the bits together and attacking it soon. My wife is dragging me away for two weeks holiday in Tonga so I will have to suffer until we get back. ::) ::). Looking forward to the warmer weather though.

7th September 2012

Well Im back from tonga and looking to get back into the Teardrop.

I got hold of some Kiln Dried hardwood for the chasis ans some gal angle and pipe to help hold it all together.
Looks like the springs and axle are shot and wouldnt be registerable anyway, so a new dropdown axle,springs and hubs to suite FE holden rims on order.

A bit of work tomorrow and Ill post a few pics of where Im up to. :)
 September 9th 2012

Well its starting to look a bit better now. Just about finished the chasis frame, Put the drawbar on yesterday and now waiting on a new set of springs and a new axle and hubs.

Once I get the axle on I can add the floor and finish off the drawbar. Got some new ply for the floor and a bit of paint to seal it all with as well.

Just looking at the old springs and one was about 50mm than the other. I can only imagine after 50 years it would start to wear a bit.

Just a couple of photos as to where Im up to.

1st October 2012

Still playing the waiting game. A work friend is in the process of ordering a set of springs and a dropdown axle for the teardrop. Taking an awful long time so not a lot has happened.

I really need to get the body back on the chasis so I can start rebuilding.

The chasis is ready for the floor and frame so I can start planning a bit more. In the mean time I took a lot more of the outside ply off, put another door in and braced the whole thing up again.

Not sure if i will put extra windows in or just make windows in the doors.

I took a couple of photos today and there isnt much left of the van now all the ply and gal cladding is gone. If I dont get the axle and springs soon there wont be anything left to restore. ;D ;D

October 7th 2012

Well I finally got the point where I cant take anymore off it.I spent the day putting in supports and braces using the old timber.

Im still waiting on the dropdown axle and springs to arrive before putting it all back together.I sat the frame on the chasis and pre drilled all the mounting bolts so it will all fit back together.

Once I put the springs on I can put the on and seal it all up as well as insulation. Put the frame back on and start rebuilding the van again.

Hopefully I might see the springs and axle this week.

Stay Tuned The Adventures of  "Leo The Tear Drop" will be Updated As They Occur

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