Some of you avid readers may know that I swapped the stock dash in my 1959 Chevy Apache to a 1964 Chevy Nova II SS dash. What I was always dreading was the day that I would put A/C in the darn thing. Because of the A/C's space constraints I was uncertain that any aftermarket unit would fit under the passenger side of the dash. I guess I got lucky one day when we had an open house at our CLASSIC TRUCKS HQ and because Rick Love, vice president of Vintage Air and one of the nicest guys on earth, peeked his head under dash. It only took Rick a second to say that he had a universal unit that would fit great and he even had Nova II dash parts that would fit in the stock location.
I was blown away by the discovery, but I still had a few more questions for Rick. I asked about air-conditioning, autocross, and drag racing since those are trends going with truck enthusiasts. Rick said that most A/C compressors while shut off could handle high rpms because the compressor's clutch is disengaged and that the internals were not spinning. However, they do offer a wide-open-throttle switch that disengages the A/C compressor if you decide to floor it.
Since my personal truck will see lots of miles and autocrosses this was good to know. The overall A/C case, hoses, fittings, condenser, and accumulator don't really add a ton of weight and in fact I found the parts rather light. Adding weight to any truck, especially toward the front end, makes the truck feel sluggish, but this was not the case for our Vintage Air unit.
Remember the old days when they said by turning the A/C unit off you would lose tons of mileage? Yeah me too, but nowadays the gasoline is better, we have better compressors, and in some cases fuel injection. I'd rather be in comfort than be sweaty driving through Texas in the summer, wouldn't you?