If you love cars, trucks, motorcycles—or any other wheeled vehicle for that matter—odds are you either have or considered owning a secondary vehicle that keeps your hobby alive and well. And that’s precisely the notion we discussed in the Hagerty Community when Guitar74 asked, “What are YOU using for a parts hauler?”
Read the full article on Hagerty.com:
I can say the Denali is by far the best. I can toss an engine in the back it it is just fine going down the road. As for the 72 Sprint SP. It was fun but I recall dropping a 428 Pontiac in the bed and with a 402 BBC up front it was a strange driving dynamic.
But from a collectors stand point I still wish I had the very rare Sprint SP.
I had a really nice GMC pickup for years that I used for "industrial" activities but as the years went on, I found myself driving the truck less and less. Eventually, I decided to let it go to another owner. To replace the "industrial" capacity of my former truck, I had an aluminum trailer built with an 8x5' bed.
The trailer is actually a far better hauler than the truck. The bed is down very low. It has a loading ramp and the trailer, topping out at 400lbs (with a 3500 lb. load capacity!), is easy to park and store at my house.
Recently, I had to pick up a pallet of windows from the local big box store and having the trailer as opposed to the pickup with its high bed, was a far better choice.
I tow my trailer with a Honda CR-V. Great combo.
Which is something I considered, but I'd hate to mess up that interior with some of the oily, stinky used parts (and used fluids) I get from the junkyard. Same issue with a van.
We need to bring back the Toyota Hilux. Truck's have gotten too big. They don't fit in a parking place. Nobody can see around them. Fuel won't be cheap forever. Their exhaust stinks, really stinks. And oddly enough, the bigger the truck, the smaller the driver gets, or at least it looks that way.
I own a '86 C10/Silverado. Longbed. Hauls engines, transmissions, wood, mulch, plants, anything you can ask for. The 305/700R4 was swapped with a 5.3L/4L60E, with a tonneau cover and the new motor, I get 27 on the highway, and can burn the rear tires off it, anywhere I want.
GM built the truck for injection (the '87 R10), so swapping to an LS was easy.
Great vintage looks. Drives as nice as most new vehicles. Still sized for normal humans (I'm 6'2" and can barely lift items into the bed of a modern GM/Ford truck over the sidewall, and I don't need a step to get in it.)
Rides nicer than most of my friend's new GM and Ford trucks. Doesn't have lane departure assist or massaging, heated cupholders. It's a truck for pete's sake. Has a bench seat, as God intended trucks to have. There's great aftermarket support, and some nice ones if you're willing to look south.
Great brakes, suspension, and hauling ability for it's time, and even now. And it's 90% of what I need (It tows a single car, enclosed trailer, easily) My wife has a modern SUV has better hauling/towing capability if I need to go that last 10%. Though I'd rather not show up in suburban mom's SUV, thanks. 🙂
These or the GMT900s are the best Trucks GM built for daily use or work, IMO. I aim to die with my Squarebody; she's perfect for a guy who doesn't need to tow a bulldozer daily. And I don't.
Plus, this thing has out-appreciated most of my American or European classic sheetmetal; because people seem to be agreeing with me. Try that with a new truck.
I have a 2005 GMC Envoy XUV V-8 4x4
I love the retractable roof option and the fold down rear seats. I bought in new and has been a reliable tough SUV. Still looks and runs as new!
Ditto the Ram 2500 Mega Cab w/ 6.7L Cummins. I have a '15 in Laramie trim. It's my first truck. Best part of it is: 6-speed manual, which you could option through the end of the '18 model year. So not only is its 660 lb-ft more than adequate to pull my classic Ferrari and Maserati, but as the last stick-shift full-size heavy-duty truck, it will hold its resale value as good as any truck out there.
I have a 2010 Tacoma 4x4 extended cab with a 5,000 lb towing capability. I also have a half-ton trailer with a 4x8 bed for hauling lighter stuff. I upgraded the wheels to let me haul a 1,200 lb trencher a few years ago.
I have had 3 Chevy S-10 pickups, all V-6, 4WD, and 5-speed (1984, 2001, 2002). The first two have been used to a point where "there was nothing left." (The 2001 was so good that, rather than buy a new replacement in 2016, I bought a 2002 rust-free western truck with only 100K miles on it.) I have personally hauled > 2200 pounds in each on several occasions and I use it with my tow dolly to haul various cars around. They are very robust vehicles. Other than professionals contractors, I'd say that my % capacity of use is very high compared to the majority of the population with full size pickups. They are easy to drive, visibility is great, gas mileage is not bad, performance is fine, and tires less expensive than full size trucks. The down side is that they aren't too good in 2WD in the snow so I have to put in 400 lbs of something in the back so that limits my winter loads somewhat. The upside is that, with the 5-speed, most people who want to borrow your truck to haul stuff can't. HA! But the down side to that is that then they still want to borrow it but I have to help.
Been through a lot of support vehicles over the decades; 1st, El Caminos, then pickups for their bigger capacity & brakes. Last 20 years, it's my Dually or K10, or my little utility trailer pulled by a '93 Pathfinder if there's a possibility of damaging the truck beds. Had a 4-cyl Ranger once: not enough power for itself, and pretty frustrating with a load. I had no idea a golf cart would fit in an Econoline ! Never owned a van, but can see the appeal. Agree on too-huge current trucks; new half-tons weigh more than my '89 Dually !
If I'm going to get something big, heavy, dirty I'll take my 1958 GMC 100.
If it's just parts I'll take my 2006 Honda Accord Coupe, fold down the seats and there's lots of room.
I went to the drag race track years ago. I was impressed by an over-20-year-old turbo Dodge Caravan (remember those old turbo 2.2's or 2.5's?). Wasn't that pretty. I was initially impressed because it was running like a 13.79 quarter. When I went to the pits to ask about it, there was the wife and like 6 kids running around. The seats had been removed for weight. The owner said they use it for everything. Family car, hauling wood inside, drag racing....
Older but not ancient S-10's and Rangers are a good economical choice. The van choice cracked me up, but actually a great choice too. I like the S-10 and Ranger because they can look (and be) Grampa fresh. Coworker has a low mile king cab ranger with matching top, bought it from an older man- well kept, low mile, 5 speed for kicks, and 'cheap'.
VW gave me a generous amount of money for my Jetta Diesel. I immediately turned it around for a GMC Canyon Diesel. It's twin the Chevy Colorado. I wanted Red, i should have made them haul the Red 4 wheel drive one out of Florida, some 650 miles away.
Per the EPA the fuel economy of this truck is identical to my VW GTI. The GMC is the usual long haul vehicle due to the Premium/Diesel price difference.
Hauling my '72 & '73 cars from TN to PA, I was impressed. 21 mpg & 23 mpg. Now to get the camping trailer and live my dreams...
While working for a company that made automated warehousing equipment I did the electrical installation supervising the crews & when the job was complete, I was the last to leave the job site. There were always things left over when the job was done & what I could use, I brought home in my 72 Chevy van. It had a 400 small block turbo 350 & a 10" posi. It was a long wheelbase & would hold about anything. Still have steel pieces, nuts, bolts & washers from 30 years ago. Best part, everything stayed out of sight, high & dry when staying at motels.
I havd a 1994 GMC 1500 with a V6/auto that I bought 15 years ago for $3200 with 100K on the clock. I use it for everything including pulling my 10' utility trailer. I have made a few minor repairs and have done all the maintenance plus new tires/brakes and she still runs like a top with 166K on her. I never plan to buy another truck.
We moved back to the desert after time living in some more civil and some colder settings. Of course I needed a desert driver for exploring vast spaces of New Mexico. My choice was a 2003 Porsche Cayenne Turbo. This one is #63 off the assembly line. It is faster than my Boxster and delivers a whopping 14 mpg on the road. Most people don’t take them off road but the air suspension and low range with a locking differential make it work really well. The neighbor took a look and said, “Well, you are from California.”
2007 Toyota Sienna XLE AWD is the present parts hauler and Home center runner.
It is backed up by a 2005 Scion xA. When I was younger a Honda VT500 Ascot did a fair bit of parts hauling for me on nice days and even on some not so nice days if it was desperate enough of a need.
In 1994 I purchased a new Chevy Astro van and liked it so much that in 2000 I purchased a new GMC Safari van. Both were AWD and each had over 240,000 km on them when traded and were the most versatile and dependable vehicles I have owned. Would have bought another in 2009, but GM no longer made them.
We are empty nesters so as second vehicles the vans primarily operated with the two bucket seats only. You could spread 3,300 pounds of 2 inch paving stones evenly over the bed/floor and make it home carefully. One towed a 6,000 pound boat from Ottawa to Kingston and back 3 times. Both scenarios over recommended numbers I know, but the vans were up to it.
In the ice-storm of ‘98, the AWD Astro van was the only vehicle that could negotiate the hills in to my vacation property and with a tow hook in the trailer hitch hauled a large maple tree down a rock face and off the road.
Needless to say the cavernous cargo area behind the dutch doors held many transmissions, engines etc. as a matter of course, and the vans were always in demand when “friends” needed a moving truck. You could close the doors on 10 foot lumber slid up between the front buckets and 4X8 sheets of drywall stayed dry inside as well. 16 foot lumber did need a red flag stapled on, but overhang was less than trucks with an 8 foot box.
They were so good at what they did that GM stopped making them ?????
Can't beat an older Chevy 4X4. My 1990 with bed cap and paint matching trailer (yes I have too much time on my hands) hauls almost everything I get myself into. 350 throttle body V-8, no air bags or ABS. Perfect! And at 30 years old it qualifies for classic plates in my state and can only be taxed at $500 dollars of value. What's not to like!
Chevy Astro Van EXT AWD. Bigger then a mini van, Longer then the standard Astro, AWD is killer in the Snow with it's weight, rear A/C, 8 Passenger seating, Remove the seats and you can haul so much. The only problem or irritation was the small windshield. I'm 6'3 and am looking out of the windshield practically at the headliner. Should have had a taller roof or shorter seat!
Have a 2020 Ram 1500 4WD Quad Cab ... bought it to haul people, logs, plants, lumber, etc. ... but it’s just too pretty to mess up, so I’m stuffing everything except people (wearing clean shoes and clothing) in my ‘08 Chrysler Town and Country. Holds almost as much, has more out-of-the- weather head room than under the bed cover in the Ram, gets better gas mileage, and I don’t worry about scratches and dings at Home Depot or Tractor Supply. Still, I LOVE THAT HEMI RAM!
Keeping the number to what I can garage, my daily driver is 2011 Toyota Venza does it all (Incl the recycling runs). AWD gets us through weather in a Northern climate. Always thought about the first gen Toyota Tundra, with the smaller back doors, never been a big truck full cab fan.
2001 Toyota Tacoma regular cab, 4 cylinder, 5 speed manual.
I have hauled a '48 Chief and a '74 Norton in the back at the same time. Another trip had 2 Indian Sport Scouts and a Triumph Bonneville in the back. It was tight but it was accomplished!
It has hauled several engines in the back such as a GMC 270 and GMC 302 inline sixes (at separate times!).
It does the job nicely! I plan on replacing it with a'53 GMC panel truck for a bit more securtiy!
When it comes to buying a pickup, be practical. I had, and wish I still did have a 69 Bronco that mostly fit my needs along with a small utility trailer when needed. When I decided to finally buy a pickup I wanted the highest GVW 3/4 ton I could get until a friend asked my why. I'm the type of man who wants to be prepared. When want to haul something I want adequate equipment. After telling him my intended use he said, "Get a 1/2 ton. It will do everything you need and is less expensive to operate; better mileage, tires less expensive, registration costs less, insurance may be less, etc. I followed his advice and am glad. Currently I have a 2010 F150 FX2 Supercab. I really wanted an 8ft bed but the 6.5ft does the job and will carry a strapped down 4x8 sheet with the tailgate open. I do have a 12ft utility trailer for larger loads, 20ft car hauler and 10000GVW dump trailer for occasional use. The way my truck is equipped, the GCVWR is 14900lb with a maximum trailer weight of 9500lb. Always look at those ratings before towing a trailer. I can't speak for everybody and I don't pull my trailers often but for those who do, you probably do need a bigger truck than me. But look at your usage before buying the biggest and baddest.
4WD or not? I lived in Colorado for several years an the only 4WD I ever had was my trusty 69 Bronco. And I bought that mainly to ensure my wife didn't get stranded because, at the time, we lived so far out of town. Unless you live in snow country or go off road a lot, you just don't need it except bragging rights. But so many people have it there is nothing to brag about. And again, the cost; more expensive to buy, more parts to wear and more expensive repairs. And in some states, insuring a 4WD is higher. When I bought my F150 friends asked why I didn't get a 4WD. I now live where it doesn't snow and I don't go off road other than on my property. And then only when it's dry so I don't need 4WD. If you need it, then you need it. But be honest with yourself, do you really need that?
I wouldn't worry about the lack of 4wd either. I don't know if you've ever had to correct a slide when it's locked in, but I have. I learned very quickly to pull it into N.
These days I gotta have a 4x4. We raise cattle and some of the trucks I've had will get stuck in wet grass and the stuff cows leave behind. Our ford F250 with the 6.2 L gets the jog done.
Love the golf cart in the van! My regular part vehicle an daily Spring/Summer/Fall driver is a '64 Chevelle more door. I have a 2000 S10 for a more practical bed and Winter beater. When I need something really big I have several buddies with trucks and one with a big Ford Van. I also have two El Camino's, but not much gets put in their beds, because they have been repainted recently. 🙂
I'm sixty eight and have had many trucks in my life, as far as the best truck it had to be the S10s, I drove them for years, I got totaled in one and survived without a scratch, after that I went to the dealer and bought another new one, my son needed a work truck so I gave it to him, I bought another one, I recently drove it to the boneyard because it was so badly rusted.
2006 Chevy Silverado STD cab, 7 foot bed, "WT" package. 4.3L six, rubber floor, 5 speed, 2wd. Dependable, cheap to own... only down side is typical GM frame rust. They'll run until you have to crush it.
Still driving my 1996 Dodge Dakota Sport, std cab, short bed, 2wd, 318 V8, 4 speed auto, 3:50 sure grip rear end, all black with no chrome that I special ordered it in late 95. Still gets 18 -19 MPG. Easily towed my 20' 4 wheel trailer. As some else said, had to put weight inside the tail gate in the winter for better traction in the snow. The only problem now is getting parts for it because of it's age.
My 1965 F-100 Camper Special has served me well over the last 24 years...I saved it from being 'scrapped' in 1996 for $100. It ain't "pretty" (sports the patina of being 55 years in service) but starts and runs every time I need it! I gave it a "heart transplant" when the original FE 352 got 'tired'... https://youtu.be/Td9iJKPexmg
(No, it's not insured by Hagerty like my '70 Bronco - it's considered my "Daily Transportation" vehicle since I don't own anything 'newer')
A 1951 Chevy one ton dually with a 6 liter, 4l80e, power steering, power brakes, AC, 3.72 rear diff. and towing set up. Nice around town. 2018 F150 crew cab for the long hauls.
You can see it here:
Have a 1989 S-10 4.3 2WD extra-cab that I just love. Recent acquisition, 2003 Silverado 1500 4.3 2WD extra-cab. The '03 is in outstanding shape now that I have done a thorough cleaning of the interior. The '03 will be my daily driver and the S-10 is the trash hauler. I am 70 and live in Nevada, so no rust concerns and I don't drive much anymore. At about 3000 miles a year on average the mediocre gas mileage on the '03 is not a big concern. My little Saturn coupe was just getting to hard to get in and out of with the bad knee. The trucks are much easier to access.