southpaw52

sorry, I need some help again..

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Hi everyone,

we are building a teardrop camper to take to shows with Rosie (56 Buick Special) as the tow vehicle.  The trailer will weigh about 1000 pounds, with about 100 pound hitch weight. Am I better off to use a bolt on bumper hitch that can be taken off for judging or a fixed mount receiver hitch that would stay in place for judging.  I know ars are supposed to look like the "just came off the line".  So if points are lost for permanently mounted hitch, how many points am I looking at losing?

Thanks,

Anne

OUR TD BUILD3  7.1.16.jpg

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I'm guessing it would be a point or two in judging. 

 I would install a frame mounted hitch for safety, as well as the obvious trailer brakes and trans cooler.

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Receiver frame mounted hitch after boxing the rear frame.  Those frames at the rear are extremely weak and even with boxing you are depending on body for a lot of the support, so new mounts are also recommended.

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I think I'd want a frame-mounted hitch rather than a removable bumper hitch, anyway, because I wouldn't want that nice 1956 bumper to get scratched up or bent!

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Not to be a downer, but your upholstery doesn't look factory correct, either.  I guess the question to be asked here is your primary concern.  Do you have the car to please yourself, or to please car show judges?  

 

To me, a receiver hitch that bolts to the frame would be ideal.  It would be strong, safe, and completely undoable (just in case you sell it to someone who cares about pleasing judges).  Pull the draw-bar out and it's not very noticeable.

 

That dinky little trailer isn't going to overtax the drivetrain, so I don't know that I'd worry about brakes or trans coolers, but you will need to hook up some lights.  Now, your pig tail can be stuffed away in the trunk, but it is another mod.

 

If your goal is to please judges, you need to consult the judge's rule book.  What will get you where will change from class to class, show, to show.

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Thanks everyone.  And to Matt, you have good eyes to notice the upholstery!!  That will be changing as soon as I can afford it, though it's in nice shape and I hate to waste it, but I know it's not correct.  The car is for mine and my hubby's enjoyment, but it would be fun to get some judging points on er while still doing what we want.  I have light and wiring ready to go, doors and back hatch are ready and some really neat trim too.  I'll post her pictures again when the trailer is ready to go on the road. 

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For the weight of the trailer, you should be in "Class 1" hitch territory, which is a ball hitch which bolts to the frame, although there are similar capacity "receiver" hitches (1" square, as I recall . . . think "golf cart trailer").  You can build your own our of 1/2" x 2" steel plate.  Box the frame rails, as Old-Tank mentioned, then have a cross-bar between the rear frame horns, bolted on from the bottom.  Then weld a "draw bar" in the middle, maybe with a bend or two to drop it below bumper level, with the hole for the Class 1 hitch ball (probably a "large shank" would  be best, with a 2" hitch ball if possible).

 

Once you get it all welded up, you can be it black power coated so it won't be "chrome".  In one local indoor show I went to, my stock car got classified as "mild custom" as they counted the chrome hitch (as I described above) as "a chrome accessory".

 

Get the captive nuts on the inside of the frame rails "tacked" in place for ease of installation/removal of the hitch.

 

If you use a "clamp-on" hitch, it can do more harm to the bumper other than just "scratched chrome"!  Many of those 1950s bumpers look massive and strong, but they don't quite live up to that suspicion.

 

Looks like an interesting "period correct" project. One of our former chapter members has a "real one" that his family went camping in when he was growing up.  He as a '40s-era Buick he pulls it with.  Makes an awesome combination!

 

Also, check out the web site for Spartan Aircraft Corporation of Tulsa, OK and the trailers they built from the later 1940s to the early 1960s.  "Spartanette" is the style similar to what you're building.

 

Keep us posted on your progress.  Proceed at your own risk.  What I mentioned was usually how the basic trailer hitches we sold in the 1970s appeared to have been built.  At that time, they were all chrome.  There might be a trailer hitch place that has some Class 1 ball hitches you can look at to get an idea of the metal dimensions and such.  The similar receiver hitch would be a "Class 1", also.

 

I know that GM Accessories had some "factory" hitches for the Chevrolets in the earlier 1970s, which BOLTED together rather than being welded together.  They looked to be of similar construction, but everybody wanted the welded ones from the aftermarket.  Don't believe the particular GM hitch was chrome, other than possibly the drawbar?

 

NTX5467

Edited by NTX5467 (see edit history)
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… for what it is worth, I know for 1957, Buick had an actual 'engineered approved accessory' hitch the Buick division made and sold through their Buick dealers.  Not  sure they had the same going for the 1956.  So with that said, and you want to be completely correct, there IS a factory correct frame mounted hitch setup that was available. There was a guy attempting to sell me one for my 1957 a few years ago, but when I got back to him, he had already sold it.  

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13 hours ago, southpaw52 said:

Thanks everyone.  And to Matt, you have good eyes to notice the upholstery!!  That will be changing as soon as I can afford it, though it's in nice shape and I hate to waste it, but I know it's not correct.  The car is for mine and my hubby's enjoyment, but it would be fun to get some judging points on er while still doing what we want.  I have light and wiring ready to go, doors and back hatch are ready and some really neat trim too.  I'll post her pictures again when the trailer is ready to go on the road. 

 

Your interior looks nice, and if you like it, don't fret about it.  Chances are that the only place you'd get dinged for your seats & carpet is a Buick show.

 

The seats in our '56 46R were incorrect for the first 20 years we had the car.  The front was amateurish and falling apart, and the back was out of a '55. Fair warning about SMS:  We about didn't make it to the national meet last year because we ordered polka-dot vinyl from SMS TWICE, and both times it was terrible.  Our seat backs should have polka-dots, but they are plain because SMS couldn't deliver.  If you start on the interior, plan do do EVERYTHING at the same time.  Otherwise you are likely to have dissimilar polka-dots between your seat backs, door panels, and headliner.

 

Back to the subject at hand... 20 years ago I went to haul a small trailer like yours (4'x8', 1000 lbs, max) with my little turbo (Pontiac version of my Skyhawk) and I was able to get a hitch that used a flat drawbar.  I don't see anyone making those anymore, so in lieu of 100% custom manufactured, I'd probably look at something like this.  It would likely require some fabrication/modification, but it's a starting point.  Still, a 1.25" drawbar hitch is WAY overkill for that little teardrop you've got...

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On 7/7/2016 at 10:24 AM, southpaw52 said:

Hi everyone,

we are building a teardrop camper to take to shows with Rosie (56 Buick Special) as the tow vehicle.  The trailer will weigh about 1000 pounds, with about 100 pound hitch weight. Am I better off to use a bolt on bumper hitch that can be taken off for judging or a fixed mount receiver hitch that would stay in place for judging.  I know ars are supposed to look like the "just came off the line".  So if points are lost for permanently mounted hitch, how many points am I looking at losing?

Thanks,

Anne

OUR TD BUILD3  7.1.16.jpg

 

  Southpaw, no need to be sorry. Always feel free to ask away.

 

  I like the tear drop. I have one I have yet to use. Will tow behind my '50. Looks like I will be in good company. 

 

  As far as the interior, don't sweat it. Personally , I like it better than the original style.  

 

  Ben

Edited by First Born (see edit history)
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1 hour ago, First Born said:

 

  Southpaw, no need to be sorry. Always feel free to ask away.

 

 

Thanks, Ben.  I was going to say the same thing but forgot.

 

1 hour ago, First Born said:

  As far as the interior, don't sweat it. Personally , I like it better than the "correct" style.  "Correct"  is overrated.

 

You like setting Dale up for a VISOR commentary, don't you?  :P

 

My dad has a particular attachment to the polka-dots.  One of the first things he said when I first showed him the 46R was how he remembered spending hours staring at those polka-dots from the back seat/window.  To him, "correct" is more about rekindling childhood memories than pleasing judges.  He didn't spend much time under the hood at that age, which is how I was finally able to talk him into an alternator conversion.  Why I couldn't talk him into a Bittersweet paint job, I'm not sure.

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Pete is the expert here on judging......my thoughts would be a professional looking hitch, either fixed or receiver would be a toss-up as to anyone judging noticing and deducting a point.

If you can provide documentation that a dealer approved hitch was available for your year Buick, have that document available when the car is judged (the owner is supposed to be with the car when it is judged)

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If you think that frame is a little light at the rear take a look at a '39 or '40 small series. But the bumper brackets on the rear of those years made me think that an option for a Reese style receiver could be mounted to the crossmember over the axle with removable bars, similar to '39 rear bumper brackets, Clamps and rubber blocks could locate it at the bumper. Then the whole thing would drop out for shows. Actually I have a similar, but smaller, set up like that on my garden tractor to pull my utility trailer around the yard. It's all fit and pinned and comes right off.

Bernie

 

Oh, on the points, if you find yourself saying "Damn, 399 points and one point deducted for that hitch!" That's the time to worry about judging.

Bernie

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I would consider a trailer hitch an "accessory" in the judging. Post-War accessories are supposed to be those that originally came on the car when it was new, or installed by the dealer before it left the showroom (such as Buick floor mats). There isn't any guidance in the judging manual on trailer hitches, but I do know that Buick sold trailer-towing equipment because I have a 1960s Buick parts box with the trailer wiring harness and the part number on the box. Somewhere I have a 1956 Buick trailer-towing brochure, which might illustrate the correct equipment, but most BCA judges really have no way of knowing what is an official Buick trailer accessory and what isn't, unless the owner produces one of those brochures. I think most judges will overlook a trailer hitch if it is installed discreetly, is in good condition, has a uniform finish (chrome or paint), and isn't all rusted or scratched up.

Pete Phillips, BCA #7338

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Don't know about your insurance but if you have a collector car license on your car you cant tow anything and still be covered. at least that's what Washington state law states.

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gmeyer316, not an issue with my insurance or wih Oregon license.  Thanks though for the heads up, I did have to check to be sure.

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"As far as the interior, don't sweat it. Personally , I like it better than the "correct" style.  "Correct"  is overrated. - Ben "

 

… Ben, "Correct" is not a rating.  It is the calibrator. The standard.  The correct standard, is not something that is rated but rather serves as a benchmark reference. Something that we indexed to.  Without correct, then what would be our standard calibrator index on which to refer all other "interpretations thereof" toward - A Resto-Mod ?

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6 hours ago, buick man said:

"As far as the interior, don't sweat it. Personally , I like it better than the "correct" style.  "Correct"  is overrated. - Ben "

 

… Ben, "Correct" is not a rating.  It is the calibrator. The standard.  The correct standard, is not something that is rated but rather serves as a benchmark reference. Something that we indexed to.  Without correct, then what would be our standard calibrator index on which to refer all other "interpretations thereof" toward - A Resto-Mod ?

 

 

  Fixed it.  Happy?

 

  Ben

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1 hour ago, First Born said:

 

 

  Fixed it.  Happy?

 

  Ben

 

No, I'm not happy. I think you were "correct" the first time, and now you've made an aftermarket change to your statement and it's less authentic.

 

I'm trying really hard to refrain from escalating a semantics argument.  I think I'll go paint some SCALLOPS on a VISOR instead...

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I will continue the off topic discussion. Whether or not something is authentic or original, if it is in good shape, I would spend my money elsewhere until the seats REALLY needed to be replaced or REALLY bothered me. 

 

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… Happy ;) , Personally, as per the topic of the OP, we think he should use anything to get that little trailer down the road, safely and reliably.  However with that said, and please, not to rain on anyone's flower moment  but our off topic point is ….. Being OEM correct in and of itself is by definition, not a semantics argument and it should never be construed as subjective either - not that anyone here needs schooling, right ? ...

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1 hour ago, buick man said:

Being OEM correct in and of itself is by definition, not a semantics argument and it should never be construed as subjective either - not that anyone here needs schooling, right ? ...

 

I don't think anyone is unclear about the meaning behind the terms factory correct/original or OEM; only the value placed on such.

 

Being overrated, by definition, is to have a higher opinion of something than it deserves.  I think Ben was simply stating that he has a higher opinion of Anne's seats than the original design, and that some people have a higher opinion of the simple state of being "correct" than he thinks it deserves.

 

Ben, if I'm off base here, tell me to go back to painting SCALLOPS.

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Being that I love my old cars and like to have them on the road and use them and let other people see them, all this "this is not OEM" stuff makes me laugh. I am not a "Purist" but I do like to not alter a car away from it being able to be returned to factory, but the post is about a tow bar. Do people

actually care if a tow bar is fitted? I dont get my car judged mostly because if some old snooty nose bloke came and said my car was "less worthy" than someone elses car because it had a tow bar fitted, I would be less than happy with that person, same as seat patterns and so forth. Much prefer to see a classic car on the road and alive than sitting in a garage in pieces because the seat fabric is incorrect and the paint daub to say the diff is good isnt there.

Want to put a tow bar on your car to tow your van, go for it and enjoy your car and van and unless you like snooty old men picking holes in your pride and joy, dont get it judged :)

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