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The Little Toaster That Could.

Sunday, June 6th, 2010

Summer is upon us and soon we’ll be heading to the beach for the weekends.  My wife’s family owns some great beachfront property where we camp out a few weekends out of the year.  Usually we start around Memorial Day weekend but this year has been a bit too rainy even for the Pacific Northwest. It’s not too bad but when you’re expecting to sit out in the sun, tip back a few cold ones, or take some snapshots down at the beach;  it’s a bit disappointing.

That being said we’ve been thinking about getting a tent trailer, camper, or RV.  My wife ruled out a tent trailer right away because she thinks it’ll get wet and moldy when folded down.  That and we don’t have anything to tow it so a camper is out of the question too.  That only leaves us with buying an RV.   NEW RVs are expensive and  gas guzzling. So now we’re down to finding an older RV and cleaning, restoring, or doing whatever it takes to get it livable and on the road.

My wife did quite a bit of research into what would work best for the three of us.  After a few weeks of searching online we decided to restore a Clark Cortez.

1965 Clark Cortez

The Toaster

The Clark company is known for making forklifts but for a few years back in the fifties and sixties they made these little Cortez RVs.  They look like a toaster on wheels.   We found one for sale in a  small town out on the coast of Washington State.  A few days ago we drove it home with only one slightly scary situation.  I expected the brakes to work a little better than they did. Almost took out a stop sign…  Luckily we were still pretty far from any city and there wasn’t anything else to hit but trees.  Although that only got me thinking more and more about the traffic we were going to be driving through in Olympia, Tacoma, and Seattle.

Clark Cortez Grill

Clark Cortez Grill

Clark Cortez

Clark Cortez

Clark Cortez

1965 Clark Cortez

1965 Clark Cortez Dashboard

1965 Clark Cortez Dashboard

1965 Clark Cortez interior

1965 Clark Cortez interior

Interior of 1965 Clark Cortez

Interior of 1965 Clark Cortez

To my surprise it wasn’t as bad as I expected.  We took our time and at about 55 miles an hour;  we got our little toaster to it’s new home in Woodinville, WA.  So for the next year or so i’ll be posting photos of the progress of our little project.  For a more detailed view of all the actual work that’s going into the Cortez you can read my wife’s blog A Dash of That…