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Towing it home...





I recently acquired a 69 2002 with an unusual history.  This car was converted to electric in the 90s and slowly updated through the 2000's and 2010's until I bought it with a DC Brushed motor, Lithium Phosphate battery and controller capable of 100+kw.   




The acquisition of the car was a bit of a project, and I made it more of one by getting married in Vegas on the trip from Illinois to LA.  The trip also gave me an opportunity to meet the builder of the car and understand what I was getting myself into.  So the fiancé and I headed off with a tow vehicle and good intentions and high spirits.  

Somewhere in Colorado we met a couple who had recently purchased a Studebaker Starlight and were 4000 miles into a road trip and on their way home.  They had a couple dogs in tow and looked to be enjoying taking their classic across the country.  


The trip west went smoothly and before we knew it we were having dinner with the wonderful couple who had been caretakers of the 2002, and prior owners of several uniquely built vehicles.  The vehicle was as described and the documentation impeccable, detailing early versions of the car with lead acid, and rudimentary controller, and later upgrades including a 1000amp 300v controller capable of roasting the glorified forklift motor attached to the stock gearbox.  It got too late to head out after dinner, so we got a hotel and sorted out the process of loading up the spares and working over the lighting and tow details.  The builder made provisions to tow this vehicle via flat dolly and included with the purchase was the quick disconnect hitch.  


Before towing the car on the almost 2000 mile journey home we noticed the front right brake was seized but not before it got a bit too hot.  I quickly found a place to park on the freeway, and yanked the front right caliper and was back on the road, the damage to the wheel bearing, caliper and rotor turned out fatal.  In hindsight I should have repacked the bearing on the corner that got scorched before heading home, but we had to get back to Vegas to get married first.



I had a home base in Vegas at a longtime friends house where we were able to inspect the car and go over things before the tow.  The builder had provisions to directly power the vehicles lighting system via the onboard battery and dc to dc charger but the battery was not currently in service so some temporary lighting was provided by Hazard Fraught and reinforced with some tape.  The trip was mostly smooth sailing, but there were some quirks with flat towing; they don't love zig zag movements, the steering can freewheel and bang the lock if your movements are not careful.  At low speed its best to give the wheel a slow and intentional moment to come to center and not overshoot before making the next movement, or accelerating.  


A week later we were home, it was a great cross country trip, the lady and I got married along the way, and the car got home safe.  The car would be parked as winter would follow us home and so would salty roads, but the planning started immediately.  










Edited by joshgoreworks


Recommended Comments

On 4/27/2024 at 5:55 PM, Georges said:

Great story. I can't open the links.

Thank you, was a fun trip, and the cars turning out great. I think I have fixed the photos. 

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