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ddavidv
ddavidv PowerDork
1/24/21 4:09 p.m.

Warning:  this is truly a First World Problem thread.

Having owned many pickups I've learned they are nice to have around. I currently have one, but I'm not in love with it. My prior truck was a pretty nice 5-footer, a 1965 F100 Custom Cab I bought in NC (I'm in PA where they have all long evaporated). I owned it for ten years and really liked it but two things conspired that had me sell it. One, it had some rust issues on the exterior that would require expensive paintwork (the usual undercarriage issues were not present). Two, I'd moved from just playing with track cars to racing them and needed something better to tow with. While the old truck did fine I had some issues with the column shifter (surprise) and vapor locking. Coupled with the manual steering, no a/c, etc and the charm was quickly vanishing.

I wound up buying a '93 Lightning (non-SC model) and sold the '65. The Lightning had all the power toys, real cloth seats, a/c and auto trans that made towing not hateful. It has not been without it's issues, however. Reliable, but annoying fluid leaks and a particularly poorly placed cab water leak (that I think I finally fixed) made me not love it. This one came from KY and has not a speck of rust on it but the non-clearcoat red paint is beyond reviving with a buffing pad. The truck also has 170,000 miles though it uses no oil between changes. While it does have electronic ignition and EFI it also has a computer you can't buy anymore as well as some Lightning specific unobtainium parts that cause worry. I bought it right and it has doubled in value over the time I've had it. Much like some cars, this truck and I have never 'gelled' and I could cheerfully sell it tomorrow.

As much as I like the 65-66 trucks like I had before there are certain parts issues I'd rather not endure. I like stuff that is cheap to fix and easy to get things for. I've been browsing mid-70s 'dentside' trucks as the styling appeals to me and they are essentially the same underneath as my beloved '65. And, you can buy virtually anything for them. With a nice set of wheels I could make it look cool and would have something I'd be 'into'.

But, vintage trucks prices have gone INSANE. Stuff I used to pay $3500 for is now $7500. A good five footer is nearly ten grand. As a guy who can't abide rust and wants nothing to do with repainting a vehicle it's very hard to find a nice driver quality truck that isn't $15k or more. If I sold the Lightning I could pay for most of a five footer. If I could find one. Or, I just keep the paid-for Lightning for doing truck things (which, honestly, I don't do all that often now), let it appreciate more and hope it doesn't need an unobtainium part while wearing it's hopelessly faded paint.

Or, I sell it and just buy a utility trailer for the times I need to haul something.

Final consideration:  the truck is tagged and insured as a collector vehicle so doesn't really cost me much to own.

ETA:  I no longer have a need to tow a car trailer. Both race car and trailer got sold this past fall.

SVreX (Forum Supporter)
SVreX (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
1/24/21 4:27 p.m.

So, you're wanting something somewhere between a 1965 F-100 and a 1993 Lightning?

That covers a LOT of territory!!

Steve_Jones
Steve_Jones HalfDork
1/24/21 4:34 p.m.

Sell the truck before it breaks and buy a trailer. Option 2 is just rent a truck if you need one.  Renting a truck or cargo van 4 times a year is not a bad way to go. 

Mr_Asa
Mr_Asa UltraDork
1/24/21 4:37 p.m.

Till I got to the "no need to tow" part I was going to suggest a 70s body on a 7.3L Powerstroke frame.

Still not 100% clear on what you want though.  Just an old truck?  Something to hotrod? Other?

Largest part of the price issue is COVID, I think.  If you can wait till summerish they might start going back down 

rattfink81
rattfink81 Reader
1/24/21 4:46 p.m.

I was in sort of the same place last year. Having had a 64 F100 and a few 70'-80's pick up's in the past and being sort of unsatisfied with the 08 dodge pick up we had.

I ended up keeping the 08 as its 4x4, 4 doors and fits the whole family and most importantly paid for. But I picked up a $1000 20 footer 1990 chevy to mess with as "classic" truck prices are crazy in Pa. 

It doesn't have the same feel and fun factory in my book but it was better then day dreaming about $15k trucks.

bearmtnmartin (Forum Supporter)
bearmtnmartin (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
1/24/21 5:20 p.m.

I have had a pickup all my life.  But three years ago I bought a land rover lR3 thinking I would soon get my 1970 f100 back on th road. Turns out though that I don't miss having a pickup at all. I like my rover so much I am going to replace it with a newer LR4 or RR sport. I build a trailer with a 4x8 box and I can pack it full of crap I would never have wanted in my pickup. 

dj06482 (Forum Supporter)
dj06482 (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
1/24/21 5:46 p.m.

I sold my quad cab '06 Ram and replaced it with my 4x8 HF 1720lb (gross) trailer and a hitch for our Rav4 a few years ago.  There have been a few occasions where I missed the truck, but I haven't missed it nearly as much as I thought I would.  The collector market can be fickle and has big swings, so if you can double the money on your truck, I'd cash out. Doubly so if you're not in love with it.

Floating Doc (Forum Supporter)
Floating Doc (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UberDork
1/24/21 5:53 p.m.

Good time to sell, but bad time to buy. That's what's keeping me from doing anything!

Run_Away [FS]
Run_Away [FS] Dork
1/24/21 6:02 p.m.

Agreed with the others, if you're going to sell it then do it now. Otherwise hold on to it for another 2-3 years

Fueled by Caffeine
Fueled by Caffeine MegaDork
1/24/21 6:39 p.m.

For your use, I'd just get rid of the truck and get a utility trailer..   a small SUV will tow and haul just about anything you need.  Need a big truck, rent one.. 

ShinnyGroove (Forum Supporter)
ShinnyGroove (Forum Supporter) HalfDork
1/24/21 6:44 p.m.

You didn't really say why you want a truck, other than to say that you no longer need to tow.  If you just want a good tool for not much money, GMT800 extended cabs are about as cheap as they'll ever be.  They just work, no drama.

Woody (Forum Supportum)
Woody (Forum Supportum) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
1/24/21 8:26 p.m.

I would find a vintage Ford truck forum and offer up the Lightning in trade for a dentside. You might do better than you would trying to sell and buy independently.

 

dxman92
dxman92 Dork
1/24/21 9:00 p.m.

Sell it as it seems to be a buyer's market!

buzzboy
buzzboy Dork
1/24/21 9:10 p.m.
ShinnyGroove (Forum Supporter) said:

GMT800

In this blue oval thread, I too have come to offer the word of bow-tie.

dean1484
dean1484 GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
1/25/21 6:28 a.m.

Sounds like an SUV may be the way to go. 

Saron81
Saron81 HalfDork
1/25/21 7:00 a.m.

Sounds like you want an old body style Ford truck swapped onto a Crown Vic frame! 

ddavidv
ddavidv PowerDork
1/25/21 7:06 a.m.
Woody (Forum Supportum) said:

I would find a vintage Ford truck forum and offer up the Lightning in trade for a dentside. You might do better than you would trying to sell and buy independently.

 

Yeah, I'd thought of that. The true Lightning fanbois seem to not be interested in 'antique' trucks but it's not impossible.

To answer a few questions posed:

Why do I want a truck? I really don't need one. But I like trucks like some of you like Miatas and AE86 Corollas. An 'antique' pickup costs me almost nothing to tag and insure. I can use it to haul stuff, go to cruise nights or C&C and just have it as any other old, fun vehicle. I've always had a truck for the last...sheesh...20 odd years. It's more of a want than a need. I've moved to fixing and riding motorcycles so it could be handy for moving those around. Downsides are that loading bikes in the bed of a pickup is a PITA; a trailer would be way easier.

I'm browsing 73-79 trucks as they are the most appealing and have tremendous parts availability, kind of like an early Mustang. I wouldn't refuse a 67-72 bumpside but they command even higher prices and are more rust prone. In 1980 Ford changed to a completely new truck with a lot more plastic in the interior and thinner gauge metal.

Going to a trailer is not without some pitfalls. One, I'd have to keep it in one of my garage bays as there is no place on my property to leave it parked outside that it wouldn't be in the way. Two, my other vehicles are decidedly inadequate to tow one (06 Mustang, 10 Jetta wagon). Yeah, they could tow but I'm not putting a hitch on the Mustang and the wife's Jetta is...well...her car.

One final factor is that I'd like to do one more project/vintage car and am also browsing 60s Falcons. I could own/garage two classic Fords at the same time but only can have one 'project' which is why I don't want a beater truck.

Fueled by Caffeine
Fueled by Caffeine MegaDork
1/25/21 7:41 a.m.

In reply to ddavidv :

I think I I understand your position. For grins. I'd offer up your truck for a trade snd see what's available. If you get something awesome cool,  if not keep what you got. 

03Panther
03Panther SuperDork
1/25/21 7:56 a.m.
ShinnyGroove (Forum Supporter) said: 
 GMT800 extended cabs are about as cheap as they'll ever be.  They just work, no drama.

While a trailer (behind ‘bout anything) will do a lot of what a truck will, I can’t imagine not having a truck AND a trailer around. Done it a couple times here and there, but not for long. 

While being a ford truck guy (many dent sides, few older, few newer) the GMT 800 is prolly going to be the cheapest to buy, and cheapest to own. 

Just my opinion, ymmv - and all ...

03Panther
03Panther SuperDork
1/25/21 7:58 a.m.
Woody (Forum Supportum) said:

I would find a vintage Ford truck forum and offer up the Lightning in trade for a dentside. You might do better than you would trying to sell and buy independently.

 

This, also, is about the best suggestion I’ve heard!  I wouldn’t have thought of it, but I’m sure you’ll find something ya like that way. 

ddavidv
ddavidv PowerDork
1/25/21 9:44 a.m.

Y'all can stop suggesting the GMT800. Just not a GM guy. I couldn't handle the abuse from my GM pals if I strayed from the Blue Oval either. Plus, those things are super rusters around here. I'd have to travel to get a clean one and if I'm going to that much trouble...

John Welsh
John Welsh Mod Squad
1/25/21 10:31 a.m.

If you don't NEED a truck, I think a '93, box Lightning is a great truck to have. 

Doesn't tow that much, but you don't need it to.

Doesn't haul that much, but you don't need it to.

But, even if a little haggard and aged, it is still a mighty cool truck that will continue to increase in desirability.  

I'd keep the Lightning until you have a NEED for more truck.   

Gearheadotaku (Forum Supporter)
Gearheadotaku (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UltimaDork
1/25/21 10:49 a.m.

My take on this is that you simply want an older truck. They are more fun than modern stuff and you can justify it easier because you can do truck stuff with when needed. Sell the Lightning and slowly, carefully shop for the nice older rig you want. Leave enough in the budget to add A/C, fuel injection, and an overdrive trans. That will make it much more pleasant to drive. 

WillG80
WillG80 GRM+ Memberand Reader
1/25/21 11:13 a.m.

If you don't love the Lightning you should sell it. You're not going to "fall in love" if you haven't done so by now. I hate owning cars I don't love. 
 

How about shopping for an older truck out west of you think you'll hang onto it for a long time. Yes it's a hassle, but worth it in the long run. Plus, a nice old rust free truck should fetch good money there if you ever want to sell. 

Mr_Asa
Mr_Asa UltraDork
1/25/21 11:23 a.m.
John Welsh said:

If you don't NEED a truck, I think a '93, box Lightning is a great truck to have. 

Doesn't tow that much, but you don't need it to.

Doesn't haul that much, but you don't need it to.

But, even if a little haggard and aged, it is still a mighty cool truck that will continue to increase in desirability.  

I'd keep the Lightning until you have a NEED for more truck.   

I agree with this, however I also know the pains of driving a vehicle that you didn't really connect with, which is what he's fighting with the Lightning.

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