Paula, there is a guy named MrSteve over on horsetrailerworld.com who is restoring an older 6 horse head to head trailer that has a lot of the features you like. He has posted tons of pictures of the progress and it's a really cool restoration. Just thought you might want to take a look.
Paula, I think that's too much money for what it is, FWIW. If you do decide that you like to become involved in such a huge undertaking, maybe offer him less money? In my mind, for $4500 it should run.
We had a circa 1960s 3 horse van when I was a kid. As I remember, it didn't go over 55mph. It also didn't have power steering. It is now sitting at the farm, where its been sitting since the late 90s. Something important died on it, and the plan was to put it on a different chassis, but it never happened, despite purchasing a suitable truck to transfer the horse box onto. Oh well.
I like vans, they used to be more common than they are nowadays. However, if you go to a multi day show, you need to bring a car, because you cannot just drop the trailer like you could with a truck/ trailer combo.
I have concerns about this becoming a real money pit. I restored my 1973 chevy caprice classic, and it ended up costing about 3X more than I anticipated.
I was just saying today how I should get a horse van with LQ. Then I wouldn't need an apartment, a car, or a boarding stable!
Just a pasture and a hookup. Maybe a gym membership for a real bathroom/shower.
You know, the first time I saw a trailer with living quarters that's exactly how my thinking went. Back in 2003 when I was designing my house I had found the most brilliant 700sq ft modular cottage (Nesting Bird Yurts had a 6-sided modular cottage package based on the Yurt design, but of permanent housing material). It would have been perfect for me. But I chickened out because of all the covenant and deed restrictions I was running into on lands for sale (if I'd known better I'd have just ignored it and built tiny anyway). As it is now, my 1008 sqft house has rooms I don't use.
He is total garbage! Quick! Hide him on my trailer (Petstorejunkie).
Paula- You'll find that horsetrailerworld.com is a great resouce for all things trailer and towing. I've learned tons of things from the many experience people who post. Enjoy MrSteve's pictures- it looks like he is doing an excellent restoration job.
BTW I posted the query on a country life message board I frequent because a few of the posters there love and restore old tractors and the like, and one guy said;
I think it would be great to have 1953 Ford F500 Horse Van. Those old Fords were fairly common so most parts should be available somewhere.
But, as the owner of a 73 year old tractor that I restored myself, before you buy a 60 year old truck that you are planning to put back into road worthy condition, I have one recommendation: Go to the bank and withdraw an amount of money equal to the purchase price plus another amount equal to about 3 times the purchase price. Get it in $20 Bills.
Make a pile with those $20 bills in the back yard, then squirt lighter fluid all over the pile. Then, light it with a match. This is probably cheaper than owning, and maintaining in road worthy condition, a 60 year old truck.
Unless you have a fairly extensive shop of your own, and a good bit of mechanical ability and experience, you will have to pay somebody else to work on it for you. And a 60 year old truck WILL require constant fixing, tinkering, and maintenance. I hope you like working on old trucks, because you will get to do a lot of it. Also you want to get on good terms with one of the antique Ford parts supply houses because you will be talking to them a lot.
I'm not trying to pee on your enthusiasm for this truck, quite the contrary, I love old tracks & tractors, but rather I want you to be fully aware of the reality of owning vintage machinery. I know many people who own, and use, vintage machinery. Each and every one of them will vouch for what I have said.
He's a fellow who loves these kinds of vehicles so I'm thinking what he says is worth listening to?
This, in spades. Admire it, love it, but unless you want a semi-functional piece of moving art- don't
Also had an antique tractor and getting parts was not about just running to the local auto store. You might not make it somewhere while waiting for that antique part and you might get stuck somewhere because there are no parts for it locally.
Metal fatigue- there comes a point with use and age that this is going to happen. We had it happen and it isn't pretty. No one was hurt but this was a tractor, not a van carrying horses down a highway.
This one brought us up short one day-
We had 1980's truck for a long time. That Ford just kept going and going. (YMMV, I think all makes of vehicles can have those gems if you get lucky) So, at the turn of the next century, because we keep vehicles a long time, we were taken aback to learn that the shop had to turn to a "Classic" parts dealer to get something for it. Huh??
If you want to, say, fix it up and take it to horse shows to run a business selling horse stuff out of it or whatever, I think it would be a great draw to run it out of a van like that.
Really use the thing? Well, nostalgia can cost a lot of money....
You're welcome. I find my inspiration where I can, and your bit about being proffy is outstanding. I just started some longe sessions to improve my seat so I am slowly, but surely getting my brain to match my will with regards to competing.
You've hit the nail on the head when you say, "the box aesthetic is just to die for". I have an interest in architecture, and I love things that are made with beauty in mind. The finish on the ceiling and the walls on the inside of these old vans reminds me of the teak finish on those boats from same era. http://www.peterfreebody.com/boat_details.php?boatId=51
What's that, Fairview? You have one of these?
The idea of "proffy" really resonated with me when I was a youngster, and still does. But I was raised (in the equestrian sense) in the military and fox-hunting traditions, so I guess that focus on exactitude . . . and the idea that the horse is WAY more valuable than me -- regardless of his / her breed -- stuck. lol. In fact, I've recently reconnected with my old trainer online recently and have been reminiscing about my early and painful longe lessons
I love the boats you posted, btw. My friend and I are trying to design some interesting stable things with a similar vibe -- something between the look of the Art Nouveau aesthetic, and late Victorian campaign furniture.