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My car's weight and trailer advice

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I'm considering getting an enclosed trailer so I can take my car to some shows. My first question is does anyone know how much a 1930 60-Series coupe actually weighs? I presume it's north of 4,000 lbs.

 

I'm starting with nothing at this point, so I'm open to any advice. Unfortunately, I don't own anything to tow it with when full, so I'll probably be renting something for that purpose. I'd like to get the lightest trailer I can find so I can at least move it empty with a van I already own. Based on my car's size, what length trailer is best? Do I want something longer so I can position the car for optimal weight on the hitch? What features are important?

 

Any help is greatly appreciated.

 

Edited by Buick64C (see edit history)
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1 hour ago, JayG said:

Try this site for more info.  http://classiccardatabase.com/prewar-models/car-models-B.php

 

According to this a Business coupe is 3615 lbs and a Special coupe is 3695 lbs

 

Jay

Thanks for the link, that’s a great resourse. My car is a Sport Coupe which is listed at 4,433. That’s near what they list in the Specifications and Adjustments manual for the sedan, so I suspect it’s pretty accurate.

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Measure the car's height. You may not be able to fit it into a conventional enclosed trailer. Towing an enclosed trailer is like towing a load of bricks or towing a huge parachute behind you. I did it once and vowed to do it never again. You probably have your mind already made up, but consider an open trailer or consider driving the car to the shows. I know I will get lots of comments that disagree with me, but I don't really care.

Pete Phillips, BCA #7338

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4 minutes ago, Pete Phillips said:

Measure the car's height. You may not be able to fit it into a conventional enclosed trailer. Towing an enclosed trailer is like towing a load of bricks or towing a huge parachute behind you. I did it once and vowed to do it never again. You probably have your mind already made up, but consider an open trailer or consider driving the car to the shows. I know I will get lots of comments that disagree with me, but I don't really care.

Pete Phillips, BCA #7338

 

Good points, thanks. I have a few shows near my home that I plan to rent an open trailer to get to. The enclosed trailer is appealing in that it would protect my car from bad weather and keep it secure in places far enough from home that I’d be staying over night. I don’t mind driving the car, but the distances I’d need to go make it prohibitive. 

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My '29 Cadillac sedan fits in our 26-foot enclosed trailer without incident, and it's standard height. It's surely heavier than your Buick, and I'm sure you'll get more advice here to purchase the best trailer with the heaviest axles you can afford. Mine has two 10,000 pound axles and it's an aluminum trailer, so it's light and heavy-duty and will carry the heaviest cars that will fit inside. I bought it used from a friend, and such deals are common so keep a lookout. I'm very pleased with it and it tows very well behind our 3/4-ton Suburban. The Suburban sometimes works pretty hard in the hills, say, when going to Hershey, but on flat land, it's great. A diesel dually is obviously the best choice, but if you can't afford that, at least get something bigger than a 1/2-ton truck or van to pull an enclosed trailer with a big early car in it. A 1/2-ton anything is inadequate for any enclosed trailer, no matter what's inside and no matter what they claim it will pull.

 

Your towing equipment can never be too heavy-duty. It can easily be too light-duty. Get more than you think you need and you'll be fine. 

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I used open trailers for years, and there was a constant threat of damage to the old car's top flapping in the breeze,even lowered. I enjoy the security of my enclosed trailer, and have ordered a new one with an 82" high ramp door to accommodate my taller cars.You just need a tow vehicle that has lots of balls to pull it around.The '46 1 ton had the balls but not the speed.The '72 3/4 ton does the job OK.

 

Slides from carousels 1970's 043.JPG

100_1290.jpg

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I agree with Matt,when my wife and I were drag racing we bought 2 Haulmark race trailers 26 ft x8  1/2 wide. One was 10k the other 7500. The extra width over the 8 ft made it easier to move around the car inside. The 7500 lb one did well,had no problems but doing it over I would go with 10 on both. Bigger brakes and higher tire ratings.Frame and body according to the manufacturer is the same. Haulmark (race) models have no options just basic trailer with luan walls and a white headliner. Biggest car I carried was a 70 Superbee fit fine. Definitely would not use a half ton.  Pulled one trailer with Dodge diesel and the other with motorhome. Plus if you take the car out when you get home there is always safe storage in the trailer. Have fun.

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The tow vehicle should be the easy part. Enterprise rents 1/2, 3/4 and 1 ton pickups. With the small amount of use it would get, I figure I’m better off spending money with them then having a truck that sits. It’s funny, I have no problem with money tied up in a parked trailer. But a vehicle more usable on a daily basis, that I won’t do. ?  I do think owning a trailer will end any hope I have of overcoming my case of Vehicle Acquisition Syndrome. The prospect of being able to “bring a trailer” when car shopping is really appealing.

 

 

 

Edited by Buick64C (see edit history)

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Just hook up your trailer and hit the back roads.You’d be surprised how many project cars look appealing when you have a way to get them home. Don’t forget the winch!

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1 hour ago, RiKi5156B said:

Plus if you take the car out when you get home there is always safe storage in the trailer. Have fun.

I had never thought about that I could buy 1 more Buick and keep it inside with a new enclosed 10,000 lb .I am planing on buying one this week for my 1925 M. Roadster . 

     The best part would be a new inside parking spot !!!! -- kyle 

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Yep, on both of mine I wired fluorescent lights overhead to a 110 plug on the front face of the trailer. When I got home I would park next to the person door on the side of the shop so I could plug into house power. That way I had lights and heat and could do minor maintenance without unloading the car. Plus my rollaway tool box was strapped in the right front corner. Very handy.

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I have a 24-foot 2000 Haulmark, rounded nose.  With a Reese hitch, lift bars and a anti-sway bar it tows pretty straight.  Watch out for tractor trailer trucks passing you.  They give  you a start a first.  They bow the trailer.  I just pulled it empty 900 miles to Virginia and the 6.0 three quarter ton Chevy Suburban got 9.7 mpg.  With a '39 Buick inside it typically can reach 8.2 mpg, but usually gets less.  With no trailer it typically gets 15.9 on such a trip and 10 or less around town.  So, don't plan to use your tow vehicle except to tow.  As for an open trailer, you might as well drive the car if it will drive 900 miles each way.  The point is, an open trailer will whip the top of a pre-War convertible.  Tractor-trailer trucks will throw stones at either a convertible or a closed car, to say nothing of mud, oil, gasoline or anything else on the highway.  All that said, since I am not showing my cars anymore, only touring, and I'll be 80 next October I'm thinking of selling the worn out closed trailer with at least 100k under the wheels and getting an aluminum open trailer, or just selling the Suburban and staying close to home.  The problem is, the only old car activity in, around, or near Sebring, FL is street rods.  What to do?  One last thing, figure on buying trailer tires very often.  The last tire dealer tole me, "when they get three years old, throw them away, no matter what they look like."

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7 minutes ago, Dynaflash8 said:

"when they get three years old, throw them away, no matter what they look like."

 

I'm hearing five years, but this is one of the most important pieces of advice here.  Ask someone who had 8 year old tires on a trailer, and on a 500 mile trip lost two tires, two fenders, and had an insurance claim for a fender hitting a truck windshield.  After the second one blew, and in case you didn't figure out that the "someone" was me, I found the closest tire store and bought four new ones.

 

A good friend just bought a spanking new closed trailer, I told him to take a magic marker and put the days date, five years into the future, in magic marker on the door.  On that day, buy four new tires and throw the others away.

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There are many variables when selecting a trailer and some are very specific to the owners needs. I suggest getting a trailer at least 4' longer than your car as a minimum to have enough room.

A bigger trailer is nice but the bigger they are the tougher it is to negotiate fuel stops and backing as well as potentially increasing tow vehicle spec requirement and fuel consumption.

There are a number of low budget enclosed trailers on the market such as ones seen all over on craigslist. Use caution here. A quality built 10 year old well maintained trailer will be better than one of these new budget units. For very limited use and short term ownership need and if able to store it under cover, the budget trailer might be OK but for extended use long term ownership you should pay up for a quality name brand either new or used. There are some great deals on used trailers if you can be patient and watch.

 

Agree with Pete, you wouldn't think there would be much difference pulling an enclosed vs open but there is. Me personally, I hate pulling an enclosed. So much so that I sold the trailer and gave up trailering to meets after a couple years. But I also admit the security of an enclosed trailer on long trips can be a very high priority depending on the car. To use anything else with some cars would just be foolish. Things like hailstorms or if you end up stopping for the night in an area unknown for crime you'll sleep sound knowing your car is secure. So yes there is a trade off, you just decide personally if worth it.

 

As for a tow vehicle. I've pulled with 1/2, 3/4 and 1 ton dually. I always felt the 3/4 ton with a 460cu in gas engine was awesome until I got a 1 ton dually diesel. The dual rear wheel arrangement and heavier truck SIGNIFICANTLY increases the safety margin and no comment is needed on the diesel engine. But will say a 3/4 ton gas is perfectly fine and if buying to tow less than a handful of times a year maybe under 4000 miles that's what I'd get. A diesel really shows its colors when you get in the mountains. But they ain't cheap!

 

 

 

 

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The situation with an enclosed trailer and a truck passing is the close distance between your trailer and the trucks trailer is that it causes the airflow between the two vehicles to funnel down and speed up which causes a drop in pressure, or vacuum so to speak which pulls the two units closer. When the truck passes by you will be pushed back to the right by the return to normal airflow mainly because you are counter steering a bit. Trailer towers and motorhome drivers are familiar with this. When I see a truck in my mirror coming up I ease over to the right a little and opens the gap. Just something to get used to.The reason I chose 26ft when the cars were 17 to 19 is I put my own cabinets and workbench up front 2 1/2 ft, plus the cars were 1 ft inside the ramp door which left me room in front of the car for the bbq,lawn chairs and cooler and 2 little pit bikes.

Edited by RiKi5156B
Text (see edit history)
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3 hours ago, JZRIV said:

There are many variables when selecting a trailer and some are very specific to the owners needs. I suggest getting a trailer at least 4' longer than your car as a minimum to have enough room.

There are a number of low budget enclosed trailers on the market such as ones seen all over on craigslist. Use caution here. A quality built 10 year old well maintained trailer will be better than one of these new budget units. For very limited use and short term ownership need and if able to store it under cover, the budget trailer might be OK but for extended use long term ownership you should pay up for a quality name brand either new or used. There are some great deals on used trailers if you can be patient and watch.

I agree.  I bought a 20' V nosed enclosed all aluminum trailer with torsion axles to replace my 18' steel/aluminum trailer with leaf springs.  The lighter weight allows heavier cars and cargo to be towed.  Torsion axles provide a smoother ride for you and your collector car and the trailer sits lower for better aerodynamics.  I still use an open trailer for my enclosed cars on shorter trips, but I always park my brass era cars inside my enclosed trailer overnight.

 

Calculating fuel mileage while towing... 

My 2013 GMC Yukon Denali Gasoline SUV gets close to 20 mpg on the highway unloaded.  It gets just under 10 mpg when towing a loaded enclosed trailer.  So, by my calculations (10 mpg X 2), when it is transporting two vehicles and a trailer, each vehicle gets almost 20 mpg!

Edited by Mark Shaw (see edit history)
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I towed my 1930 Buick Model 68 Victoria Coupe which is very similar to yours on a rented U-Haul trailer without any problem at all.   At most you might have to unbolt the front bumper for a bit more clearance, but I am certain it will handle the weight just fine.  Granted it is not an enclosed trailer, but will work OK in a pinch.

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12 hours ago, trimacar said:

 

I'm hearing five years, but this is one of the most important pieces of advice here.  Ask someone who had 8 year old tires on a trailer, and on a 500 mile trip lost two tires, two fenders, and had an insurance claim for a fender hitting a truck windshield.  After the second one blew, and in case you didn't figure out that the "someone" was me, I found the closest tire store and bought four new ones.

 

A good friend just bought a spanking new closed trailer, I told him to take a magic marker and put the days date, five years into the future, in magic marker on the door.  On that day, buy four new tires and throw the others away.

My four new Goodyear Marathons won't be 3 years old until May or June, but I'm keep the truck (a Suburban is a truck to me) down to 65 on I-95.  It's really draggy, but I'd like to get this furniture back to Florida with now blowouts.  So Radial tires are so much more safe, huh?  Tell me another lie.  I've run bias tires bald, some for 30 years and only had one blow out in my life with them.  I can't count the number of radials I have blow out.  Scarry I'll tell you that.

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21 hours ago, michaelod said:

I towed my 1930 Buick Model 68 Victoria Coupe which is very similar to yours on a rented U-Haul trailer without any problem at all.   At most you might have to unbolt the front bumper for a bit more clearance, but I am certain it will handle the weight just fine.  Granted it is not an enclosed trailer, but will work OK in a pinch.

 

Thanks Michael. Renting a Uhaul is my plan for the first show since it's only 25 miles from my house.

 

And thanks to everyone else for the expertise.

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4 hours ago, Buick64C said:

 

Thanks Michael. Renting a Uhaul is my plan for the first show since it's only 25 miles from my house.

 

And thanks to everyone else for the expertise.

 

I like your signature but I switched it around for the really old Buicks. Anybody have any idea when the switch happened? Mine's a '17 with this shift pattern:

 

2   R
├─┤

3   1

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Speaking to fuel mileage when towing a box, I used an air deflector that you can get at Camping World, at the rear edge of my canopy. Really helped. Mileage went from 15 towing 12,500 lbs to 17. This is with a 90 Dodge cummins. Stabilized airflow around the trailer made it feel solid as a rock.

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If you decide to look into an enclosed car trailer, check out Montrose trailers in Michigan http://montrosetrailers.com or Jimglo trailers in Arizona https://www.jimglo.com.  I have a 20' enclosed Montrose trailer for my 1934 66C.  The all aluminum trailer weighs slightly more than 2000 pounds - much lighter than steel/wood trailers.  Of course it costs more but you get better mileage,  and the reduced weight is easier on the tires and brakes.  I tow it with a diesel Cayenne (which has a 7700 pound towing capacity) and get about 15 mpg while towing (and almost 30 mpg when not towing).  (VW Toureg is the same platform as a Cayenne.)  I didn't want a pick-up or big SUV just for occasional towing.   It's easier to rent a pick-up for towing than it is to rent an enclosed car trailer.  It's great have your car in an enclosed trailer when you will be gone for several days. I keep a spare tire/wheel for the trailer in the trailer, and I bought another wheel and tire for the Cayenne - which I also keep in the trailer (so in the event of a flat, I'd have something better than the small Cayenne spare.)   The furthest I've trailer my Buick was from the Chicago area to concours on Kiawah Island, SC - no problems going up and down the Smoky Mountains between Knoxville and Asheville.   I highly recommend the Montrose trailer (I'm just a satisfied customer).  The front opens up' there is a large side door which makes getting out of the car on the trailer very easy.  Also easy access to install Mac tie-downs over the wheels and onto the track.  It's a bit of pain to drive with a trailer - but it's nicer when you have a good set-up.  It's nice to get these old cars out to the various concours, AACA/BCA meets and other shows that you would not want to drive your old car to.  

IMG_1191.JPG

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