What are some of the most reliable old vehicles?

#46
You're on the SW so rust isn't a big deal. I would go with older Chevy/GMC was some have mentioned. Easy to get parts. Reliable, flexible meaning you can build it a bunch of different ways to suit your fancy. Good luck.
 
#47
Look, if you don't appreciate that the state with more cars than the entire US, and over 10% of the population ( and over 10% of the idiots and lawyers) might need some extra smog laws, then that's fine. But smog rules and socialism are unrelated. No state in the US is socialist. Its Russian trolls that say such things. Can't we get along with out calling each other socialists? Hate the smog laws, not the people.
Frustration is known to cause cancer in the State of California
 

Happy Joe

Apprentice Geezer
#49
Look, if you don't appreciate that the state with more cars than the entire US, and over 10% of the population ( and over 10% of the idiots and lawyers) might need some extra smog laws, then that's fine. But smog rules and socialism are unrelated. No state in the US is socialist. Its Russian trolls that say such things. Can't we get along with out calling each other socialists? Hate the smog laws, not the people.
Didn't say anything about smog; all my builds have always met all of the smog rules for their year (or better) besides having better braking and handling...and performance... since I do not like the reduction in personal freedoms due to government regulation I will never live in an overregulated state... having spoken to many transplants I am not alone.
I do not hate any one.. hating is too much work for only a negative return. I also do not promote unfounded stereotypes (much) either...(except maybe to tweek someone that is overly sensitive...)

Enjoy!
 

Comanche Scott

Expedition Leader
#50
Model A Fordor, about as simple as it gets

I want to spend more refurbishing something mechanically simple than buying new (unless someone were to actually cater to this), even if I was a billionaire. For instance, my buddy has an old 1990 Toyota pickup, super simple engine with the 22-RE and a manual trans.

This is the sort of thing I'm looking for, but Toyotas.... They cost so damn much these days, even when they're 25-35 years old. It's kind of outrageous, really, and it is only getting worse.

Did no one else make anything close in terms of reliability and simplicity? Especially if there's something that maybe has ONE well known weakness that you can be prepared for or replace with a better aftermarket part.

Main interest is any pickup or SUV that has back seats that allows me to sleep in the back (i.e. inside a topper for the pickup).
Model A Fordor. Incredibly reliable and simple. It's a 4 door with a very comfortable back seat.
An excellent restored example sells for between $15K and $20K with the updated water pump (the one long distance traveler weakness).
All the parts are still available with next day air shipping.
Requires a bit more maintenance than a newer vehicle, but the parts are cheap.
Very little electrical to worry about, no airbags, traction control, ABS, etc.. It is also extremely mechanical, right down to the mechanical actuated drum brakes.

Heck for about $27K to $32K you could get the Model A Fordor, and a really nice travel trailer. :)
https://www.hemmings.com/blog/2017/12/21/hemmings-find-of-the-day-custom-built-camp-trailer/
 
Last edited:
#51
Mr socal Tom, if I may ask, are/were you in the public service field?
Not trying to be rude, it seems as though you have a need to educate people about regulations in CA on a thread that is about reliable old vehicles.
Not everyone on this thread is from Cali.

Your last sentence is correct.
 
#52
straight 6 Ford pickup, as someone mentioned. Nissan Hardbody 4 cylinder pickup is called the poor man's Toyota, but I've always preferred mine to the '92 Toyota pickup I had for several years.
 
#54
straight 6 Ford pickup, as someone mentioned. Nissan Hardbody 4 cylinder pickup is called the poor man's Toyota, but I've always preferred mine to the '92 Toyota pickup I had for several years.
No doubt that straight 6 will last but parts are more of an issue for Ford. Ford changed thing more often than Chevy and parts aren't as available, at least out my way.

If you are wanting to go old school and keep something running it is hard to beat a Chevy 350 small block. You don't have to go far to find parts for them.

Too many Ford trucks have that goofy-*** front twin I-beam suspension crab also.
 
Last edited:
#57
Lots of good points made so far for sure. You can make any older iron new again if you replace every part. This is easy and affordable with small block powered GM products and Dodge products, I don’t have much experience with that era Ford. The important part is finding a solid frame and rust free body to start with, which is difficult as far as older Toyota’s go. This may also be why if you find one they tend to command a premium. But in my experience that price difference isn’t really ever lost because you tend recoup if you sell it. With gas prices these days though, four cylinder mileage vs. V8 could be a deciding factor too.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
 
#58
6.2 CUCV would get you a full size square bodied GM pickup with a (gutless) fuel efficient “ish” diesel... then again if you’re not going far, need to haul anything, or stand taller than 5’10”, then a Samurai is a fun, affordable, fuel efficient little beast worth considering.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
 
#59
Lots of good points made so far for sure. You can make any older iron new again if you replace every part. This is easy and affordable with small block powered GM products and Dodge products, I don't have much experience with that era Ford. The important part is finding a solid frame and rust free body to start with, which is difficult as far as older Toyota's go. This may also be why if you find one they tend to command a premium. But in my experience that price difference isn't really ever lost because you tend recoup if you sell it. With gas prices these days though, four cylinder mileage vs. V8 could be a deciding factor too.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
My son had a 1986 Toyota P/U 4x4 with a 4-cylinder. It used a lot more gas than I expected. It did better than my 1ton but not much better than my Jeep.
 
#60
Steyr 12M18 - USA legal

If somebody is looking for a USA legal heavy type expedition camper chassis, look at www.excap.de
They take ex Austrian Army Steyr 12M18s and completely refurbish them, also very useful upgrades like intercooler with hp increased from 177 to 220-240-300, roof rack, larger tires, better shocks, etc. 9 spd ZF synchro transmission is standard. No computers, mechanical engine. The trucks were originally built in late 80s-early 90s so they are importable.
Obviously there's a price to be paid, and he's booked up about 2 yrs in advance right now.