B430 New Reader
9/9/11 7:16 p.m.

looking through the local classifieds i see a lot of classic trucks (1950s-1970s) in the $3-6000 range that claim to be daily drivers. obviously these are not show trucks, but they got me thinking...

I'm just wondering how practical it is to use such a vehicle as a daily driver? i know they are pretty basic, not much in the way of luxury or performance, but are they something that can be lived with on a day to day basis? i'm thinking straight 6 with a manual trans. i used to have a 92 f150 300ci/5 speed that i really liked. how would an older truck compare?


fyi this is the ad the put this thought in my head, i love this truck: http://calgary.kijiji.ca/c-ViewAd?AdId=310795318&MessageId=MSG.VIEW_AD.REPLY_TO_AD_SENT&mpname=R2S&mpname=Activity-R2S&mpuid=1700199%3B122%3B310795318%3B-845389289%3B%3B&secev=AQAAATJGVXwAAM0AAAACACIxMzI1MGI1ODhiYy5hMjBiMjY2LjVhMDcyLmZmZmVmZTQ0AAAAABKGXDYBAAAAAgAAAADuaygAjESJCb6K2TiiOK3IUrx2nGdlcxw*

AndreGT6 Dork
9/9/11 7:58 p.m.

Oh that is awesome.

Specially if you could do a transplant.

Modern under pinnings.


ddavidv SuperDork
9/11/11 5:53 a.m.

I recently replied at length somewhere on the GRM board about this topic, but of course I can't find it. As a guy who tows his car to the track with a mostly stock '65 F100, it's certainly do-able. There was a shift in trucks during the 50s away from the 'fat fender' look into a more streamlined body. '55 for Chevy, '57 for Ford. The cabs are substantially larger and V8s were easier to come buy. However, the underpinnings were still rustic; drum brakes all around and solid beam front axles. Column manual shifters are pretty much a given. Fords became 'modern' in my opinion in '65 with independent front suspension and the available 352 FE engine. They also offer almost ceaseless swap-a-bility with any truck up through '79 for brakes and drivetrains. Adding discs to mine was a weekend bolt-on affair, and I wouldn't tow without them. Sway bars are available, and I still need to add those.

Downsides to driving an old truck are what you'd expect: non-supportive seats, no seatbelts, noisy (no sound deadening), heavy slow steering, clunky shifter and they didn't know what galvanizing was so rust runs rampant. You've got to plan ahead driving and allow more room and less speed for typical maneuvers but they aren't horrible (to me, anyway).

Upsides: no depreciation, super simple to repair, non-cosmetic parts are typically inexpensive and easy to get, roomy cabs with no consoles in the way, nobody will ask to borrow it because they can't use a column shifter and everyone loves an old pickup.

AndreGT6 Dork
9/11/11 6:01 a.m.

Lets see her!

I mentioned something like this to my wife and was well shot down.

"The last think you need is another machine to work on."

She is errr anti-project as of late.


914Driver GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
9/11/11 2:55 p.m.

Like Ddavidv, I replied to a similar question over at GRM but can't find it .....

This is my 1952 Dodge B3C-116, a one ton long wheelbase high bedside with a flat six and six volts. After I got hit broadside I used the opportunity to put the '52 body on a 1987 3/4 ton frame. It has a 360, 727 tranny, Dana 60 rear, 12 volts, power steering and HEAT.

Driving it as a stocker flat six with 4.78 : 1 gears out back sucked. I could tow a building around the block but wasn't comfortable over 45 mph. A similar vintage truck in 1/2 ton form would be OK at 55 mph. If you wanted to keep the stock appearance rear ends could be swapped and no one would know.


TGM New Reader
9/11/11 8:14 p.m.

In reply to B430:

I drove a 1968 Plymouth Valiant as a daily driver a few years ago for about a year. Here are a list of pros/cons of driving an old car (or truck) as a DD:

Pros: 1. Lots of fun to be in a classic. Makes commuting more of an adventure. 2. Everyone loves to see the car and thinks you are cool for driving an old car. 3. Easy to fix yourself, off-setting the additional repairs and maint required in older cars. 4. No depreciation, the car may actually be increasing in value as you drive and maintain it!

Cons: 1. Simple maintainance and repairs may be easy, but if something major goes wrong, you may not be able to get it fixed in a timely manner (most mechanics don't want to touch old cars and don't have parts to fix them). You may need to order parts online and wait while you have no transporation. 2. Safety may be an issue. Yes, old cars can be built like tanks, but they don't have good seat belts or even good brakes for that matter, so accident avoidance, if nothing else, will be inferior to anything newer. 3. You must accept the inconveniences of missing creature comforts. The ride, the seats, the climate contols, the lack of power options, the effort to drive, etc., are all going to make your commute more tiresome. If you have a short commute, this may not be an issue, but a long commute can be a real chore in an older car.

Overall, I'd say go for it. What have you got to lose by trying? My commute was too long (and I had kids to take to school as well), so I ditched the Plymouth after about a year as a DD. I don't regret trying it.

tuna55 SuperDork
9/11/11 8:57 p.m.

I DDed my 72 GMC. Mine had a 350, 3 on the tree, manual brakes, manual steering, lap belts and no exhaust. I eventually put in a 3.73 gearset, which actually helped as the original tranny did not have a ton of gear reduction. This truck had no options. When you open the door and the dome light comes on? That was an option, and not one that I had. It was really fun. I loved it. No swaybars, leaf rear end. The 72 got really decent brakes, and the quadrajet never had an issue. I converted to HEI, but left everything else as-is until I tore it apart for rust repair/restoration. It was amazing, I would do it again in a heartbeat.

Rogue New Reader
9/12/11 1:29 a.m.

1963-66 Chevrolet trucks can use up to 1987 suspension. They would make a great daily. I have a 1964 and while I have the suspension done, I am toying with adding a LS/T56 to the mix. Looks, Horsepower, and Mileage, whats not to like.

ddavidv SuperDork
9/12/11 5:24 a.m.
AndreGT6 wrote: Lets see her!

All my more recent photos of it are on Facebook which I can't figure out how to link here, but here's Big Red a year or two after I got her.

kreb GRM+ Memberand Dork
9/13/11 11:24 p.m.

My '53 chevy was a geat deal of fun, and a fine dd but for three things: The brakes required you to get into them long before you would on a modern vehicle. The windshield wipers sucked, and the weak inline 6 made freeway merging a scary proposition.

And I'm sorry that I sold it. There are relatively easy fixes for those three ailments, and there are few vehicles around with that sort of character. I'd say that it's a fine idea!

Andy Reid
Andy Reid Auction Editor
9/14/11 8:48 a.m.

I used to tow my weekend race cars with a 1965 Ford F100 long bed. Worked great. A friend is still using it as a tow vehicle for his modified.

AndreGT6 Dork
9/14/11 7:31 p.m.

All lovely, but I could never put something like that through an Ontario winter.

It would be a crime.

ddavidv SuperDork
9/15/11 5:31 a.m.

Yeah, pre-galvanized trucks last about as long as British cars once they start spreading the salt around. Such fantasies should only become reality if you live in a non-snow area.

914Driver GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
9/15/11 8:03 a.m.

My Dodge was surprisingly rust free when I bought it. Someone told me it was because of the positive ground system.


cyncrvr New Reader
9/17/11 6:34 a.m.

There seems to be a lot of interest in older trucks recently and that includes me. Been casually looking for one for a few months now but oddly enough I am torn between getting one with an older "patina" or one that's shiny and clean. Typically I am the detail guy where everything is perfect but I am liking a little wear on a truck. Go figure.

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