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Old 06-21-2021, 03:53 PM
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vertigto vertigto is offline
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Default Inexpensive / alternative tow vehicle suggestions...

I've thought about getting a truck lately, but with the ridiculous prices of new/used, I'm considering alternatives for general hauling/light duty.

I used to drag around my 19' Scarab with a S-10 pickup, but that was out of necessity. I doubt a small pickup would be able to handle a car/trailer, if I ever wanted to haul the GTO to a national event.

Thought about either going older (like an El Camino/wagon with a V8) or maybe something like a Dodge Magnum. Not sure if either would be able to handle the load or be dependable enough though.

So...any unconventional ideas that won't break the bank?

May be better to just wait out the current vehicular trends, as I am in no great hurry.


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Old 06-21-2021, 04:01 PM
nbn nbn is offline
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not very unconventional, but find a clean 95-99 suburban. Maybe an older Excursion. There are some low mileage gas units out there still and for about 1/4 of the price of a truck.

Anything on a car chassis after the 70s won't pull more than a lawnmower, I don't think.

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Old 06-21-2021, 04:03 PM
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Wide open range of options.

My tow vehicle for loads like you mention is a 1968 F-100. Engine 450 HP 390 CID coupled to a 4-speed truck transmission.

Installed an electric brake controller, and overload rear springs. Truck has power brakes. (Stopping is probably the most important criteria).


"Good carburetion is fuelish hot air".

"The most expensive carburetor is the wrong one given to you by your neighbor".

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Old 06-21-2021, 04:51 PM
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Formulabruce Formulabruce is offline
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There are many more 2wd good towing choices than 4x4.

Old 06-21-2021, 05:19 PM
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Half-Inch Stud Half-Inch Stud is offline
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Challs III hitch drive the need for a good frame, V8 and Overdrive.

I chose the 95 Lincoln, yet is underpowered when tsking on highway hill climbs.

AFTERALL, MPG while towing matters.

12.24/111.6MPH/1.76 60'/28"/3.54:1/SP-TH400/469 R96A/236-244-112LC/1050&TorkerI//3850Lbs//15MPG/89oct

Sold 2003: 12.00/112MPH/1.61 60'/26"x3.31:1/10"/469 #48/245-255-110LSA/Q-Jet-Torker/3650Lbs//18MPG 94oct
Sold 1994: 11.00/123MPH/1.50 60'/29.5"x4.10:1/10"/469 #48/245-255-110LSA/Dual600s-Wenzler/3250Lbs//94oct

Last edited by Half-Inch Stud; 06-21-2021 at 06:18 PM.
Old 06-21-2021, 05:40 PM
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Gastiresandoil Gastiresandoil is offline
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Look at a used Uhaul box truck. They used to run in the $3-4K. If you're lucky, like I was, you'll be able to find one with a service replacement engine with low miles

1968 Pontiac GTO Verdoro over Ivy Gold 400/4-speed/3.08

2004 Pontiac GTO IBM over Black LSx 440/6-speed/4.10 SRA
Old 06-21-2021, 05:45 PM
max 93 max 93 is offline
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3/4 ton vans are an option

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Old 06-21-2021, 06:11 PM
sdbob sdbob is offline
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I like a long wheelbase and hd brakes. Gives a feeling of security in a 'situation'.

Old 06-21-2021, 06:22 PM
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padgett padgett is offline
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How big and how big a car being TOAD ? I've had my '12 Jeep Grand Cherokee since new and is the best tow car I've ever had. Was bought with RWD and the Towing package which includes a class III/IV frame inserted (not mounted, inserted into the frame channels. U--Haul will rent anything it has.

With the V6 it gets 24mpg on the road and is rated for 5,000lbs. With hemi is more but I like V6s. Laredo has everything except excess bling and RWD gets 1.2 MPG more than 4WD.

the Mercedes chassis began for 2011 and the Pentastar is remarkably similar to the Mercedes V6.

Great GT car for 2 with a lot of luggage space and is only an inch longer than my Caddy CTS coupe.

Try one.
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Old 06-21-2021, 06:36 PM
1965gp 1965gp is offline
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My 99 suburban was a great tow vehicle- has 190k on it now. They seem to need transmissions at about 120-150k.

Old 06-21-2021, 07:23 PM
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72projectbird 72projectbird is offline
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99-07classic GM truck.

You can find a regular cab 2500 with the 6.0 4L80E for not too much money. It'll pull anything you put behind it and then some.

"Those poor souls have made the fatal mistake of surrounding us. Now we can fire in any direction"

1970 Trans Am RAIII 4 speed
1971 Trans Am 5.3 LM7
Old 06-21-2021, 07:54 PM
Skidmark Skidmark is offline
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I picked up a 2006 1 ton ford e 350 van w/ 5.4 gas tow capacity #6700 installed an elec brake controller. 6000k purchase price and they're everywhere since they are used as fleet service vans.

Old 06-21-2021, 08:09 PM
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Sirrotica Sirrotica is offline
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91-2001 6.5 turbo diesel in any LT (1/2-1 ton) chevy/GMC chassis. Early ones (91-93) are mechanical injection pumps, 94-2001 are electronically controlled by an ECM.

Around 200 HP, but 430 FT/LBS of torque at 1800 RPM. I have a 93 K3500 4X4 dually, and an 95 C3500HD (15,000 GVW) box truck, both 4L80E transmissions. A good tow vehicle in my estimation, and because they're a turbo diesel, good fuel economy.

Parts are reasonable, and you don't have to be a diesel technician to keep them running. You'll have no problem towing a 7,000 lb car and trailer with one of these. Open the exhaust to 4 inch tube, and richen the pump up a bit is all you need to get some more power out of one of these trucks. Simple and cheap to modify for a little extra power. They made a lot of them, so they're not hard to find used.

The early IDI diesel, IH 7.3 engines, as well as the later Powerstroke turbo in light duty fords. Simple engines that put out decent power for dollars spent. I have an 88 IH 2 ton chassis wrecker (Ex U Haul straight truck that I shortened the chassis) with the 7.3 IDI diesel that pulls very well for a naturally aspirated diesel. I only paid $1800 for the cab and chassis from U Haul, with a fresh short block that has under 10,000 miles on it.

Brad Yost
1973 T/A 4 SALE (SOLD)
2005 GTO
1984 Grand Prix

100% Pontiacs in my driveway!!! What's in your driveway?

If you don't take some of the RACETRACK home with you, Ya got cheated

Old 06-21-2021, 08:18 PM
tom s tom s is offline
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used trucks and SUVs are crazy money now.Tom

Old 06-21-2021, 08:59 PM
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vertigto vertigto is offline
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Posts: 483

Actually thought about a van (and do a little converting), but never an ex U-Haul. That's some ingenious thinking, if there is one with a rebuilt/replacement engine with low miles. I assume I would need at least 5000 lb. towing capacity if I wanted to tow a 70 GTO and trailer.

I'm thinking a late 90s-early 2000s anything would still be some serious scratch.


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Old 06-21-2021, 09:03 PM
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71GP76TA 71GP76TA is offline
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Any mid 90's-early 2000's 3/4 ton pick-up. You should be able to score a nice clean 2WD for under $5000. 4X4's bring a premium.. Expect to pay $2000-$3000 or more for the same truck with 4 wheel drive versus a 2WD.

Here is a prime example..,

Current Pontiacs -

1973 Formula SD455 - #'s auto orig paint
1975 Trans Am - 4 speed 37k orig miles
1996 Trans Am WS6 - 25k orig miles
'66 GTO convertible - black plate car orig paint
1966 2+2 convertible - 421 4bbl automatic
1967 Grand Prix - orig paint 4 speed
a 67 ElCamino.. a '66 Corvette and a 21 Scat Pack

Last edited by 71GP76TA; 06-21-2021 at 09:13 PM.
Old 06-21-2021, 09:21 PM
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400 4spd. 400 4spd. is offline
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Originally Posted by vertigto View Post
Actually thought about a van (and do a little converting), but never an ex U-Haul. That's some ingenious thinking, if there is one with a rebuilt/replacement engine with low miles. I assume I would need at least 5000 lb. towing capacity if I wanted to tow a 70 GTO and trailer.

I'm thinking a late 90s-early 2000s anything would still be some serious scratch.

I think you would want closer to 7K at a bare minimum. You have pictures of your car on the trailer (rated 8000#) behind my Excursion (rated at 10K towing), and that is a 19' trailer weighing around 3K lbs. before my modifications (stone guard, boxes and winch). Heavier 4WD will cost you total weight capacity vs. 2WD.

Old 06-21-2021, 10:12 PM
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Chris65LeMans Chris65LeMans is offline
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Every used Uhaul truck Iíve ever seen has been beat to death.

1965 Pontiac LeMans. M21, 3.73 in a 12 bolt. The 435 ci, 96 headed stroker 400 blew up, so we're waiting on the new powerplant.
Old 06-22-2021, 12:56 AM
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dataway dataway is online now
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A ways back I built my own "mini" goose neck trailer. Not sure why you don't see them more often. The advantage being they are super stable and allow stable/safe towing of considerably more with a 1/2 ton or small pickup that would normally be the case. Since way more of the load is on the tow vehicle and centered on the rear axle stability and traction problems are all but nonexistent.

As mentioned above, good tow and trailer brakes are a must, and enough motor (or gearing) to do the towing.

Not a solution for you probably, but was for me for years.

Old 06-22-2021, 08:49 AM
TAKerry TAKerry is offline
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Posts: 850

I understand your dilemma. I am looking for a new to me work truck right now. Prices are stupid high. I only hope I can get a good price when I go to sell my current truck!

You already know what the deal is with anything pickup related. Anything that I would consider dependable enough to tow a car for hours to a meet will be hitting close to 20k. People are listing 01-06 era vehicles, Well IF you can find one with low miles that would be considered dependable you will still be paying 15k+. The guys with these think they are gold. Then theres 15k or so for a 20 yr old truck!!

I was looking for a second work truck a couple of years ago and like now used pickup prices were stupid. I ended up with a 2005 Expedition with right at 100k miles for around $4500. A comparible F150 was in the $15k range. Now with about 180k miles Exp. is still running great. It has the smaller engine and I would not tow a car with it, but you can get a later model suv for much less than the same truck.

If you want the work of swapping in a new motor buy my fx4 F150. Great truck, body is in excellent condition but with almost 300k miles the motor is a bit tired now. I can make you a great deal! LOL.


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