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Old Car Cool Air
By Larry Edsall

Old Air keeps your cool car cool on the inside
So you're restoring a 1957 Chevrolet, a vintage pickup or maybe a mid-‘60s Ford Mustang. While you're certain to have a very cool ride, you'd still like to be cool inside the vehicle on hot and humid summer days.

Chances are, however, that your car either didn't come with factory air conditioning, or that if it had such a system, it long ago breathed its last cool breath.

For two decades, Old Air Products of Fort Worth, Texas has been producing air conditioning systems for vintage vehicles.

"There are two facets to the company," sales and marketing manager Jack Horner said in 2006. "We have replacement parts for older or antique vehicles and a full line of aftermarket systems for cars that didn't have air conditioning."

Horner notes that cars such as 1932 Fords didn't offer a/c. In fact, such systems didn't start to become very commonplace until at least the mid 1950s, when some systems comprised evaporative coolers bolted beneath the dashboard.

Horner says an evaporative system runs around $800 while a full heating/cooling/defroster setup costs around $1000.

He said Old Air Products recommends have an auto air conditioning shop do coolant recharging, but says people who are restoring cars should have all the mechanical knowledge needed for systems installations.

Old Air makes kits specifically for vehicles such as 1955-57 Chevys and for 1948-72 Chevy pickups, and also offers its own Hurricane system that can be installed in seemingly any vehicle.

Horner notes that Old Air's business is good enough that the company just moved into new facilities. Yet, he added, the company has an interesting annual business cycle that is just starting to heat up as spring arrives.

"When the sun comes out, the phones start ringing," he said.

Old Air Products can be phoned at (817) 531-2665. It also provides lots of product information on its website: www.oldairproducts.com

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