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Old school towing vehicle revisited!

9711 Views 20 Replies 12 Participants Last post by  nailhead425
Recently I made a thread about a cheap, reliable, and capable vehicle to tow my 19' Bayliner with a grand total weight of no more than 3k lbs.

I got talking to my dad about it earlier, and being that he was and always was a fan of Vista Cruisers, suggested I get something like from the '70s that can be found as a fixer upper pretty cheap (below $2k) and that would actually increase in value.

The classic picture of a Vista Cruiser or Electra Estate or full size Caddy towing a 30' Airstream Land Yacht in my head makes sense. A 445 or 500 CI would move things easily :D What do you guys think? As mentioned I had in mind a Vista or Custom Cruiser, Electra Estate, maybe a Ford Country Squire or whatever the Mercury version was.

I suppose an Electra 225, Fleetwood, Deville, etc would do fine too. Would a boattail Riviera or a flippin Eldorado convertible be okay? Or Mark IV? Toronado? I mean hell they've definitely got the engine and trans to do it. Wheelbase? Heck aren't they the same as modern 3/4 ton trucks these days? I don't know the factory towing capacities of these things but I figure as long as they have front discs they should be just fine, right?
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Using a classic vehicle to tow a boat is one of those things that's fun to talk about but horrible to put into practice.
Why would it be horrible to put into practice? Most of the 70's wagons had disc brakes and came pretty loaded from the factory.

My family had a 1973 Chevy impala station wagon when I was a kid and they used it to pull a camper all the time. It had a 454 with a turbo 400 tranny. It had pwr windows, locks, seats, cruise, air, tilt. It got like 10 mpg but could pull anything a truck could. It weighed over 5,000 lbs too so it wasn't like the trailer was going to move it around.
Mainly because it's a '70s wagon... I mean, seriously. A 30+ year old vehicle to tow a boat? I'll pass.
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