Author Topic: Next years project, or I wonder if it would make a good toad behind the '04?  (Read 3908 times)

Offline Rick59-4104

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 I picked up this little 1972 Grumman Kurbmaster Aluminum Van on eBay a while back... It was in Arizona and I am in Arkansas so it took a while to get it home. Plans are to finish the conversion into a camper. I plan to do the interior in the style of the 1920's house cars...lots of oak frame and panel cabinets with appliances from some of my left over 1940's Travel Trailers.. It should be fun for a quick weekend of camping.....Not serious about the toad comment.  

MODERATOR...... If this is too off topic feel free to move it or delete it!

 It has had the area over the cab made into a observation/cargo area with low railing. The section of roof behind the cab has been raised about 1 foot which gives it a unique look I think.

 The Kurbmaster has a built 1970 500 CI Cadillac Engine with a 400 turbo transmission and a heavy 1 ton rear end. As you may be able to tell from my earlier posts I am a old Hot-Rodder, this little van with the big block Caddy engine will light up the tires.....
 That thing mounted on the drivers fender above the wheel well is a Corona bottle opener, my wife said that was the only reason I bought it...

Rick
« Last Edit: November 17, 2010, 02:16:04 AM by Rick59-4104 »
NW Arkansas
1959 GM 4104  No. 4115
1972 Grumman Kurbmaster Stepvan Conversion
1957 Airstream 13 panel Overlander

Offline Busted Knuckle

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  • 6 Setras, 2 MCIs, and 1 Dina. Just buses ;D
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Kweellll! Have you tested the bottle opener yet?
;D  BK  ;D
Busted Knuckle aka Bryce Gaston
KY Lakeside Travel's Busted Knuckle Garage
Huntingdon, TN 12 minutes N of I-40 @ exit 108
www.kylakesidetravel.net

;D Keep SMILING it makes people wonder what yer up to! ;D (at least thats what momma always told me! ;D)

Offline rv_safetyman

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Wow Rick what a neat project!!!!  What does it weigh?

We have often thought about some sort of toad that would serve as a small camper for the more remote areas where we could not get the bus in.  Have always like VW bus type campers (had one and went on two trips to each coast when the girls were smaller). 

However, this one would really work well for that purpose if the ground clearance is not too low (for two wheel drive forest roads). 

There should be a ton of these types of vehicles around - Grumman produced a ton of these over the years.

Keep us posted on your project and post more pictures!!!

Jim
Jim Shepherd
Evergreen, CO
’85 Eagle 10/Series 60/Eaton AutoShift 10 speed transmission
Somewhere between a tin tent and a finished product
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Offline bevans6

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I know a couple of guys who used these as tow vehicles for their vintage race cars.  I think one had a Cummins 5.9 in it.  I have a friend who runs a company that modifies vehicles for the factories, makes the police cars, etc.  He had one in that he was putting a whole new GM chassis under the body!  Being aluminium and on a full truck frame, they might last forever!

Brian
1980 MCI MC-5C, 8V-71T from a M-110 self propelled howitzer
Allison MT-647
Tatamagouche, Nova Scotia

Offline Rick59-4104

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 Not sure of the weight, I will find out the GVW and weight it before, during and after the conversion to keep myself within limits....It is on a 1 ton Chevy Frame so if I watch myself no problem... With the Aluminum body that will give me more weight to work with. I have to sit down with paper and pencil and come up with a list of what we want and the layout..
 If you look at the roof line behind the cab and above the windows you can see where the roof was raised. It has about 7' of head room. I don't know if it was the factory or a PO who raised the roof but the rivets look factory and they all line up very well.
 I have researched it and a couple of Grumman nuts (yes they have a following) think it may have been a factory order this way, but I think it really gives it a neat look with the platform above the cab and the raised roof line behind.
  These were build with  on different makers chassis's over the years, the ones from the 50's and early 60's are really styling IMHO. I kind of was looking for the 1 ton Chevy/Gm combination due to parts availability.
 I build cowboy bits and spurs and do some jewelry and engraving, I am going to build in a small work area in the van and we plan to do some shows and Canton Texas First Monday's market in her plus some of those area campgrounds the bus is too big for..

She really starts yelling "camp in me" with the awning out.

 Have not tried the bottle opener yet but I know it works.....I think my brother-in-law found it. There was a couple of caps on the ground under it the other day.  Any one else have a brother-in-law like this? Want one?  If you have an employed sister that can cook I can fix you up, looks are not real important

Rick
« Last Edit: November 17, 2010, 10:20:52 AM by Rick59-4104 »
NW Arkansas
1959 GM 4104  No. 4115
1972 Grumman Kurbmaster Stepvan Conversion
1957 Airstream 13 panel Overlander

Offline bevans6

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That's pretty low for a guy to use your bottle opener and not offer you a libation..    ::)
1980 MCI MC-5C, 8V-71T from a M-110 self propelled howitzer
Allison MT-647
Tatamagouche, Nova Scotia

Offline Jeremy

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I have a Chevy Vortec engine in my van that came out of one of those; I bought it on Ebay, and when I went to collect it found that the seller's yard was just outside the boundary fence of the Lakenheath US airforce base. Apparently he bought and cut-up a lot of the vehicles which the US airforce had brought in to use around the base - such vehicles were disposed of after a few years but, as they'd never been registered for use on British roads, they could only be scrapped and the parts sold to people like me.

Jeremy
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Offline Ed Hackenbruch

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A few years back we saw an old milk delivery truck from the 40's that had been restored and displayed at a county fair. I thought that it could be turned into a cool little camper and used to haul a sand rail or a couple of quads to the dunes. ;D
Used to own a 1968 MCI 5A with 8V71 and Allison MT644 transmission.

Offline steve wardwell

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  • 73 MCI 7 8/71T combo just happy to be here
just a tip : if your going to make $ in the "shop" and want to live under the radar don't put any  "I'm workin" logos on the sides of the toad.........nice nice rig....very cool beans.................s.....................
Sometimes the more I think about something the less I think about something.    As soon as I save a little money my bus finds out.                                      Why grab a plane when you can take the bus ?                         If I'm wrong 10% of the time how can the "Queen" be right 100%

Offline Kevin

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Hey Rick,

Saw this a while back when you first posted... Sweet! Always wanted to build one for a dirt-bike hauler/camper. Cadillac 501? Must pass everything but a gas station, eh?! It's worth it just for the "surprise" factor, IMO.

Very cool and unique. If anything ever happens to the Caddy (however unlikely -  them 501's is STRONG!) you can always slip in a Cummins 4BT or maybe even a DD 4-53T. Yeee-Haaaaaa!!!
Quartz Hill, CA

"To the gov!!!"

Offline Iceni John

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Here's a 1976 that was nicely converted (even if too dark inside for my tastes):
http://www.mrsharkey.com/forum/vwtp.php?t=1041
80MPH !

John
1990 Crown 2R-40N-552 (the Super II):  6V92TAC / DDEC II / Jake,  HT740.     Hecho en Chino.
2kW of tiltable solar.
Behind the Orange Curtain, SoCal.

Offline gmbusguy1

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Very Cool with the big power and Gas is a little less then Diesel right now

We have a KurbWatt by Grumman it is an Electric drive train with right hand drive it is from the USPS they built around 300 for testing

Chris

Offline Rick59-4104

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 The 72 Grumman KurbMaster has a 500 CI engine from a 1970 Cadillac, the stock Cadillac 500 has more torque than about any stock engine ever made from what I have read and scales in at just 40 lbs over a Chevy Small Block.  I have dual exhausts with flowmasters and the van really has a mean sound going down the road.

 The fuel mileage has me scratching my head...I used to own a 22' Barth Aluminum Motorhome with a 454 and a turbo 400, with a tailwind I was lucky to get 5 MPG, the Caddy 500 with the Turbo 400 in the step van gets 12 to 14 MPG if I keep my foot out of it. If I was to really get on it I do think I could burn the back tires off.  Of course I have a lot less weight on the van compared with the Barth..

  I bought a 1968 International Pickup a week ago and took the Grumman and a trailer to get it, 250 mile round trip and pulling the empty trailer one way and loaded with the pickup on the way back still got over 10 MPG.

 We have a little male Jack Russell, If I even walk toward the Kurbmaster he is ready to go, now I know why they call the engine cover a "doghouse."   He goes everywhere with me if I am in it, this is the only vehicle he has attached himself to. One of his ears sticks up, the other down, he sits up on the doghouse and checks out all the female dogs as we go down the road. :)

 I am drying some quarter sawn White Oak to build Mission (Arts&Crafts) Style Cabinets for the van, we are having a lot of fun with it.

Rick


« Last Edit: December 10, 2010, 08:05:53 PM by Rick59-4104 »
NW Arkansas
1959 GM 4104  No. 4115
1972 Grumman Kurbmaster Stepvan Conversion
1957 Airstream 13 panel Overlander