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Used car or truck purchase

Looking to buy a used car/truck that is essentially dumb apart from fuel injection and maybe ABS brakes. No side view mirrors that cost thousands to replace. No software updates needed from manufacturer. No airbags. Zero communications sytems ie GPS. Thinking early mid to late nineties. Any recommendations?

Wasn’t that the era of the strangler automatic seat belts?

This makes no sense at all. A vehicle like you want will either be so old and wore out that you will spend a fortune or it will be semi restored and that it will cost way too much to buy. If you want to avoid repairs consider leasing an inexpensive new vehicle every 3 years and you might spend the same amount of money.

Not a truck, but otherwise that’s how my early 90’s Corolla is configured. Bullet-proof electronic fuel injection, but no air bags/abs/tire pressure monitors. Ordinary dizzy, $2 spark plugs, but electronic ignition. Uncomplicated side view mirrors. Headlight bulb replacement around $12. Software updates? GPs? … this age of Corolla don’t need no stinkin’ software updates and no stinkin’ GPS either . :wink:

Careful, as you go later model years, even into the mid-90’s, you’re looking at more engine computer complications. You especially want to avoid stuff like coil-on-plugs, knock sensors, and anything complicating sounding associated with the idle speed control. Suggest to stick with early 90’s. That’s the golden age of modern cars.

BTW, if you live in England as your moniker suggests, take a look at the latest issue of Practical Classics magazine. One of the writers buys a newer model car and discovers it is so complicated that he hates it!!

If it has fuel injection and ABS it has software updates. If it’s 20 years old, the manufacturer is not issuing updates anymore. If its 10 years old, the manufacturer is not offering updates anymore. What is your issue with airbags? The high powered ones that used to hurt kids and small women we IN those early 90’s cars and trucks but gone by 2000. Replaced by lower powered bags intended for use WITH seatbelts.

As for expensive mirrors, or expensive anything else… need I say it? Don’t hit stuff.

As much as you think you want an uncomplicated vehicle, those complications make it a better, safer, more reliable vehicle.

If you feel burned by software updates, don’t buy the brand that caused you to have issues with this (Dodge?, Fiat? Ram?).

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I already own a 23 year old truck which I’ve had since 2000. I’ve never had expensive issues, just ongoing, religious maintenance and upkeep. Hardly any rust either. I don’t feel the least bit unsafe in it and plus I haven’t been in anything more than a minor accident in over thirty years. Yes there is an ECU comparable to a Commodore 64 involved but even with my limited mechanical skills I have been able to do basic tune-ups until recently when I decided my old back wasn’t up to spending a lot of time bent over the engine bay anymore. I threw this out there simply because I might be scaling back to a four door sedan now that our nest seems to be finally empty. I might just keep the truck because of its reliability. I have owned old cars in the past and it seems this might be the cheapest way to keep the hobby alive. Also it’s hard to part with something that constantly receives compliments and offers.

A nineties truck would be way too new. The clean Air Act was enacted in 1970, and it immediately began to effect vehicles. Federal safety laws began in the late '60s, the seatbelt law initially in '68. Nineties trucks are replete with a plethora of emissions and safety devices and systems.

I too would like a really basic truck. I saw a late 20’s-early '30s pickup recently in a parking lot, a bare-bones chassis with a body and radiator actually (no fenders) that had been restored complete with its original 4-banger and it was beautiful. The engine sounded great too. Apparently there’s a shop that specializes in rebuilding engines from the early decades of the last century, and they seem to have done a beautiful job. I’d love to build one like this. Ah, but to dream…

While airbags are not perfect, they prevent a lot of injuries and deaths.

I wish my 4 door 1973 Pinto wagon had had airbags.

The guy who hit rear ended me was doing at least 50 mph.

I have had constant neck pain ever since.

Have a great evening. :slight_smile:

Do you think airbags in the head rests would have helped?

Do you think that airbags airbags are only in the head rests ??

I ask because you have been here for around 6 years.

There aren’t airbags in the head rests, what sort of airbag will reduce the impact in a rear-end collision?

A steering wheel or dash mounted airbag will not deploy in a rear-end collision, force from the rear cannot be reduced by a punch in the face.

I had a bud rear ended in the Monroe street parking garage in chicago, rear ender hit their car, he bounced forward, cracked the windsheild with his head, then when their car got pushed so bad it hit the car in front, then airbags deployed, a lot can happen in a few seconds.

I wouldn’t want the airbag to deploy while my head was pressed against the windshield, something is amiss here.

Basic thing, air bags to not deploy for a rear end collision, but rear ended then causing a front collision caused the airbags to deploy (ps formerly waterboy due to inability to keep my name in previous website iterations as seen in this topic)

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The rebound from a rear collision shouldn’t result in a restrained person hitting the windshield. Windshields break from airbag deployment, occupants may misinterpret a broken windshield as head impact but it is usually caused by the airbags.

A couple of years ago, I posted a picture of myself standing next to a nicely-restored Hudson pickup truck from the '40s. Now that was a nice truck!

Hudson trucks were never a common sight, and now they are rarely seen. Needless to say, they are not as rare as 4-door Pintos, but they are definitely rare at this point. :wink:


Wow, glad the car didn’t burst into flames and/or cause your death. That’s a big hit, especially for the compact Pinto.

That seems to contradict the thought that these cars were the death traps the lawyers wanted you to believe.


Does Tridaq still have his 78 Olds? Maybe he’d sell it to you.

You are right.

Seems like a hit at that speed would have ruptured the fuel tank.

Though Pintos were money pits. I bought mine new.

Within 2 years:

  1. All four window knobs had broken off

  2. Went thru 2 or 3 starter motors

  3. Replaced 2 or 3 flywheels (I think that is what they were called)

  4. thermostat stuck and I had to rebuild engine

On the good side, my dad taught me how to rebuild an engine. :slight_smile:

Ah, the good old days . . .

Amazing that some guys pine for those days of yore :smiley: