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African Caravan - 1959 Chevy Scout Truck - Capetown to Cairo


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#1 gasser59

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Posted 04 August 2013 - 01:07 PM

A friend of mine was the Advance Scout for the Airstream Caravan that traveled from Capetown, South Africa to Cairo, Egypt in 1959. Wally Byam, the founder of Airstream travel trailers, undertook a never-before-attempted feat of a caravan of over 100 people from ages 4 to 80 on a caravan of the Dark Continent in 1959. Often times, there weren't any roads, Wally's gold colored Airstream trailer had a military escort through one of the countries because the natives thought it was actual gold, vehicles would have three and four flat tires a day, not to mention other more severe breakdowns. The stories go on and on.

 

My friend, PeeWee, is Wally's nephew and was hired by Wally to be one of the two advanced scouts for this extended caravan. Wally bought three 1959 Chevy Apache, six cylinder, 4WD trucks without the truck bed and shipped them to the Airstream factory for the camper to be custom made for the three trucks. One truck was for the scouts, another for the photographer and the last was for the mechanic who also traveled with the caravan.

 

This is such a fascinating story and one I'd like to tell by building a replica of of PeeWee's living quarters for over 7 months while traveling the African continent in 1959.

 

Here are a few photos of the truck and the reference material I have been given from PeeWee.

 

Here's the truck waiting to be loaded onto the ship.

[image]http://i437.photobuc...zps3c9e7f1a.jpg[/image]

 

Being hoisted onto the ship, headed for Capetown.

[image]http://i437.photobuc...zpsd625c1f1.jpg[/image]

 

Here Peewee is playing music with a battery powered record player for the African native children.

[image]http://i437.photobuc...zpsd7d5f0b2.jpg[/image]

 

Peewee is sporting his new on-the-road haircut given by one of the Caravanners along side the Scout Truck.

[image]http://i437.photobuc...zps77341d3e.jpg[/image]

 

I've started with two of the AMT mid-50's pickups because I needed to lengthen the chassis and need another drive axle for the front to make it 4WD. Also have the '58 Chevy cab from Bob Zettleman of Modelhaus which is very well done. Thanks for your interest and any comments.


Edited by gasser59, 15 January 2014 - 01:56 PM.


#2 gasser59

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Posted 04 August 2013 - 01:10 PM

OK, so why didn't the photos show up? I followed the same procedures I've done hundred's of times.



#3 Tom Geiger

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Posted 04 August 2013 - 06:06 PM

This looks like the start of a very cool project.  I remember reading an article about the Caravan, maybe it was in National Geographic of the era?  I'll be watching.



#4 RodneyBad

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Posted 04 August 2013 - 06:23 PM

Here ya go 

 

TruckInCaseSm.jpg

 

PassSideRear.jpg

 

CutSheet.jpg

 

PassSide2.jpg

 

AtDock_zps3c9e7f1a.jpg

 

Fantastic Build..



#5 gasser59

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Posted 04 August 2013 - 06:26 PM

Thanks Tom. Yes it was in a National Geographic because it was a Nat'l Geographic photographer that went along on the trip.



#6 gasser59

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Posted 04 August 2013 - 06:28 PM

Thanks Rodney. Funny you should post those pictures. I build that for PeeWee a few years ago and its what got me back into the hobby. I used the incorrect year for the cab since I didn't know a correct resin one was available. This one's going to get rivets from Scale Hardware so they won't be so big. The aluminum was from a roll of flashing from one of the big box stores. This one I'll be keeping for myself.


Edited by gasser59, 04 August 2013 - 06:30 PM.


#7 PappyD340

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Posted 04 August 2013 - 10:11 PM

Very interesting!  will be watching also!! :D 



#8 southpier

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Posted 05 August 2013 - 12:12 AM

too cool. please post pictures of the process.

 

thanks



#9 James2

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Posted 05 August 2013 - 12:27 AM

Great subject, great story, great model!



#10 ChrisR

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Posted 05 August 2013 - 01:08 AM

Great build!



#11 alanr

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Posted 06 August 2013 - 05:54 PM

beautifull



#12 Davewilly

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Posted 07 August 2013 - 06:42 AM

Very cool!



#13 gasser59

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Posted 12 August 2013 - 06:19 AM

A bunch of bench time in this weekend and was able to get the chassis extended, axle height adjusted/mounted and rear shocks made and installed. Its currently sitting on four wheels although the front axle needs to made to steer. This chassis is a combination of three chassis from the same kit.

 

Here's a couple of pictures.

 

IMG_0446_zps634d26be.jpg

 

IMG_0447_zps5c6c6199.jpg

 

This shows an original frame next to the 'adjusted' one.

IMG_0448_zpse8cd8cdf.jpg

 

Here's the aluminum tubing shocks and showing a bit of putty yet to be sanded.

IMG_0449_zpsd08711db.jpg

 

Next is to work on the functioning steering on the front axle.

 

Comments welcome and thanks for your interest.



#14 Mooneyzs

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Posted 15 August 2013 - 08:07 PM

Brad.... Am excited to see another build on your bench. This I'd looking great so far. Nice work on the chassis. Looking forward to more.

#15 crazyrichard

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Posted 15 August 2013 - 08:35 PM

thats awsome :)



#16 Wonderbread Kustomz

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Posted 16 August 2013 - 07:14 AM

Wow! Very cool!

#17 Sixties Sam

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Posted 16 August 2013 - 04:02 PM

Very unique and cool! Looks  like a tough but fun project!

 

Sam



#18 gasser59

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Posted 18 August 2013 - 06:31 AM

Thanks for your comments guys. They're really appriciated. Got the front shocks done and mounted as well as the U bolts. Now I need to find a Chevy in-line 6 cylinder that'll fit the engine bay as the one I have from the '53 Chevy is too large and would require moving the firewall back and that's not something I really want to do. The holdup on finishing up the frame is where and how to mount the transfer case and that is held up on sourcing the engine.

 

Pix of the front axle later today. Its yard work time before the temps get unbearable outside.


Edited by gasser59, 18 August 2013 - 06:32 AM.


#19 Danno

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Posted 18 August 2013 - 02:24 PM

Attn. Mr. Brad:

 

Your order for a Chevrolet inline 6-cylinder vintage '58-'60 has been processed by the Danno Midnight Miniature Auto Supply Fulfillment Center and is ready for shipment via the next route truck to your neighborhood.

 

Stand by for prompt delivery.



#20 gasser59

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Posted 18 August 2013 - 07:05 PM

That's awesome Danno and delivery too. I just wonder what I can repay you with?