There’s no doubt that classic trucks look cool—even the ugly ones. Problem is, cool looks won’t keep you from burning up inside the cab during the hot months. For that matter, hot rodding your classic won’t necessarily keep the winter cold out, either. Factory air conditioning in older trucks is as scarce as truth in Washington, and unheard of in real classics. And 40- or 50-year-old heaters probably aren’t the hot items they used to be.

If you already know all that, you probably also know that there’s not a whole heck of a lot of room in vintage engine bays and cabs for bulky air conditioning or heating components.

That’s where Vintage Air (VA) can make your life a lot easier and more comfortable. VA’s ComPac Heat/Cool/Defrost unit is just what the name implies—a downsized package that easily fits into most vintage trucks and street rods but still delivers very efficient air conditioning, heating, and defrost.

The Vintage Air ComPac system comes with practically everything you need for a complete installation. And basically the job is just a matter of bolting on the four major components—evaporator, condenser, compressor, and drier—and then connecting the hoses and wires according to the illustrated instructions.

But is it a do-it-yourself project? That depends on the skills and tools you possess, your specific truck, and how modified it is, especially under the hood. Decide for yourself as you follow along while Clay Mullis of Full Tilt Street Rods in Grand Junction, Colorado, installs the VA ComPac in a ’42 Dodge truck that’s been repowered with a Mopar 360 V-8. The problem-solving issues and Mullis’ expert tips apply to just about any classic truck or street rod.

Vintage Air
10305 I.H. 35 North
San Antonio
TX  78233
Full Tilt Street Rods
2944 I-70 Business Loop
Unit 313
Grand Junction
CO  81504
Ron Francis Wire Works