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Do you still use a Tow Bar ??

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Jamoke, Aug 3, 2012.

  1. Jamoke
    Joined: Sep 1, 2011
    Posts: 698


    I was giving a thought of using a tow bar for my Nostalgia Car . Do you still use one or have you used one in the past? I drive it on the street but I really don't want to race and drive it to the track . Yea it would suck if I blew the diff, but at least I would have another vehicle with me to fetch a trailer . Just a thought ??

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  2. tommyd
    Joined: Dec 10, 2010
    Posts: 11,328

    from South Indy

    I installed tow-bar tabs on my Fairlane last year. I did it just for the proper look of a 64 drag car. One weekend at the dragstrip a guy says" whats that under your front bumper? You got some kind of snow plow that hooks on there?" Cracked me up,and gave us all a good laugh.:D
  3. gasserjohn
    Joined: Nov 9, 2008
    Posts: 1,219


    look at a tow dolly easier to use...........
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2012
  4. I have a tow bar and have used it for very short distance, like someone else said try to find a tow dolly, they are better. Or make a tow dolly.

  5. Fenders
    Joined: Sep 8, 2007
    Posts: 3,922


    Strap it down tight, friend bought a 54 Ford at a meet, put it on the dolly, taking corners the dolly fenders dented his 54 front quarters.

    I think a tow bar is better.
  6. Back in the Day I use to Tow my Race Car with a
    then I got a Trailer but I liked the Tow-bar Better
    Disconnect the Drive Shaft put Street Tires on
    and away you Go
    I use to Flat Tow 100 miles there & Back
    never had a Problem
    just my 3.5 cents
  7. gasserjohn
    Joined: Nov 9, 2008
    Posts: 1,219


    put rear wheels on tow bar...
    tie down steering....
    no need change tires ect.......
  8. I built a tow bar to pull the '32. Made from round tubing with a trailer neck (NAPA) welded on. Couple of safety chains too. It slides between the front frame horns and uses a length of all thread inserted from one side running through to the other side. one has a short handle while the other end has a hole drilled for a clip, cotter pin, wire etc. Saved my bacon a couple times. Just pull the thing home like a trailer - and hope none of your friends see ya...
  9. hrbhrb
    Joined: Jan 3, 2010
    Posts: 43

    from Polo,IL

    I flat towed to the track, about 65 miles one way. I put these tabs back on when I restored the car. Partly for the look, and partly to give folks something to scratch their heads and wonder about. These, as installed were not really adequate. I managed to tear my bumper at one of the seams. I then fabricated brackets that bolted to the frame. Seems like I was always a step behind the crowd. I drove to the track when everyone else was flat towing. When I could afford a tow bar, the others had open trailers. Today I have a nice open trailer and ....... I also had free-wheeling towing hubs which worked really well. This was much better than crawling under to drop the drive shaft. I planned my suspension mods to retain good highway handling. Since the race car always cornered better than my tow vehicle, it would follow me through any corner. It was easy to forget it was back there. Also, I made up a wiring harness to actuate brake and tail lights on the 57.

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  10. I used Street Tires because I didn't want to Ruin a
    good pair of Ripple wall Slicks
    when I used the Trailer it didn't matter
    the Race Car was a 64 Chevelle BBC

    just my 3.5 cents
  11. 39 Ford
    Joined: Jan 22, 2006
    Posts: 1,558

    39 Ford

    I have tow tabs on my coupe, they are on a one piece angle that goes between my inner bumper bolts. I have a folding tow bar that I bought in 1967, towed at least 50 cars with it, the longest was New Jersey to Fl. in 1968. That tow used clamp on brackets attached to the bumper no big problem towing it that distance.
    I use hitch pins in my current setup, on and off in 1 or 2 min.
  12. fuel pump
    Joined: Nov 4, 2001
    Posts: 3,620

    fuel pump
    from Caro,MI

    I did too. In fact the first year we raced (in the mid 60s) we towed 40 miles one way with a chain. :D
  13. Atwater Mike
    Joined: May 31, 2002
    Posts: 10,347

    Atwater Mike

    My brother flat towed his '29 Roadster Pickup 130 miles with a VW tow bar. Just hiked it up under his Super Bell and slid the pins in.
    Tow bar brackets were just out of the scrub line, as he has 16" wheels.

    He was warned...but he's just naturally smarter than the rest of us. (no safety chains, either)
  14. outlaw256
    Joined: Jun 26, 2008
    Posts: 2,023


    aint that 'wrinkle wall slicks" only ripple i know about comes in bottles and taste like shit! lol
  15. Roger Walling
    Joined: Sep 26, 2010
    Posts: 1,144

    Roger Walling

    I went to a local car show once with my 32 roadster. It was a short distance so I put my AA/D on a tow dolly and drove away!

    Heads normaly turn when the roadster goes by, but several people got a double head snap when they noticed the dragster on the back!
  16. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 28,153


    It never ceases to amaze me that before the 80's we used to flat tow cars for hundreds and maybe thousands of miles without giving it a second thought but come 2000 and something all the sudden it's a novelty and some "expert" will always jump up and scream how dangerous it is.

    Personally I'd rather flat tow with the old ex tow bar I have out in the shed. I've probably towed a hundred cars with it in the past 30 years and had less hassles than towing with the tow dollies that I rented.

    Still just the same as towing any trailer of any size or a tow dolly the tow vehicle has to be up to the task.

    Just as it wouldn't be prudent to tow a 56 Chevy Gasser with a Model A coupe on a trailer it wouldn't be prudent to tow the same car with a tow bar behind said Model A coupe even though the coupe might have a bigger engine than the 56.

    The worse thing about flat towing race cars is wear on certain parts of the race car. If you don't have tow hubs the rear end still turns even after you disconnect the drive shaft.

    Back in the mid 60's I'd often see Ernie Sanchez go by the house in his J/SA NHRA national record holding Pontiac towing Ross Kincade's early 60's Corvette on a tow bar to Madras Oregon for the drags on Sunday mornings. Ernie would tow the Corvette down, drop the tow bar and put a tune on the Pontiac and go out and run on or set a new national record and then when the day was over turn around and hook back up to the Corvette and tow it back to Toppenish. To this day I think that Corvette still has more miles on it behind that Pontiac than it ever got on it's own.
  17. nwbhotrod
    Joined: Oct 13, 2009
    Posts: 1,243

    from wash state

    I flat tow our car to az from wash state every year whats the big deal
  18. Have flat towed hundreds, thousands of miles with nary a problem beyond a flat or two. I have a '48 Hudson that's been 200 miles with no motor, trans, or front clip in/on it. If you do it right, it's no big deal.
  19. fms427
    Joined: Nov 17, 2006
    Posts: 864


    Built a tow bar for the Crosley, and have towed it a lot in the last several years. Crosley has a Muncie, so no driveshaft disconnect. Many tows were 1000 miles or more - no problem. I've used a tow dolly, and hate them !! Do the tow bar.

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  20. Truckedup
    Joined: Jul 25, 2006
    Posts: 3,923


    When did a chain go out of style? :D I flat towed many miles at hiway speeds.But that was years ago when the roads seemed less crowded and generally people drove a bit slower.I still have a tow bar.
  21. 327Eric
    Joined: May 9, 2008
    Posts: 1,515

    from Diablo Ca.

    Another case of lost knowledge. I last used a tow bar 20 years ago. My Dad and Granda worked at a Marina that also sold trailers, and towed everything imaginable, so of course i learned some things that are frowned upon now. My first tow was a VW on a lawnmower trailer,(which i used for many cars, up to a 67 Buick) then I ran a single axle home made trailer for years, no problem with any of them. The biggest problem I have seen lately, is C.H.P. Commercial cops, pulling over anything other than 2 axle trailer.
  22. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 47,480


    that's how we got the street cars home from the races when they broke
  23. 49F1Jeff
    Joined: Oct 24, 2011
    Posts: 184

    from Oregon

    My dad towed hundreds of cars with a clamp on tow bar in the 60's & 70's doing repo's for his bank. That old tow bar is still up in his garage attic and I am probably going to use it to tow my '49 to out of town meets. Either that or put some tabs on the '49 frame and use a detachable tow bar. I love the thought of driving my old truck, but anything over an hour and I will probably be taking my new truck and dragging the old one.
    Joined: Jul 22, 2009
    Posts: 431

    from KS
    1. The Gas House Gang

    This tow bar was a production bar modified to use. Bolted tabs to holes in front axle of the truck. Works perfect, towed about 3000 miles.

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  25. Rattaxi48
    Joined: Feb 26, 2010
    Posts: 81

    from ohio

    dad towed one of his beetles to billet proof this year in michigan only because it tops out about 40 -45 but never had a bit of trouble i have had to go rescue him on occasions no different than pulling a trailer
  26. TurboShadow
    Joined: Feb 1, 2009
    Posts: 187

    from Prosser wa

    Ive used a homemade towbar to tow my OT 4000lb Jeep probably a thousand miles. Before that, it was on my dads Jeep and I couldn't tell you how many thousands of miles it had put on it. Really simple and cheap.
  27. Engine man
    Joined: Jan 30, 2011
    Posts: 3,476

    Engine man
    from Wisconsin

    We towed a circle track car for 2 years back in the 70s before we got a truck to haul it. We had to replace a broken spindle at the track one night to bring it home from a track 30 miles away.

    It might have more to do with the laws and the way cars are built including more automatic transmissions. In 73, every vehicle had to have energy absorbing bumpers so you couldn't connect to the bumper or you would pull it off.
  28. BobF
    Joined: Dec 30, 2004
    Posts: 230

    from Poway, CA

    My then 7 yr old son and I towed our Model A from St.Paul to O'side, CA a little over 2K miles with a home made tow bar behind my not optimal tow vehicle 70 1/2 Z28, no problems at all.
    Back in the day very few low buck guys had a trailer so you either drove em or towed em. If you ran a automatic usually a drive shaft removal was necessary, and in some cases like a 6.13:1 rear free wheeling hubs were used to save the rear gear wear.
  29. Ive used tow bars a lot. they worked quite well with older cars with manual steering and bias long as the pulling vehicle weighs more than the one being towed and you drive slow. I now have a 71 chev 3/4 ton with a 402 & flatbed. It pulls and stops very well with a gooseneck trailer. I load about 12,000 lbs of scrap car bodies (2 or three) at a time and can drive 60 mph no sweat. The law wants you to have brakes on the trailers and heavy tires. I still will keep my tow bar just in case.
  30. Mr. Jean
    Joined: Dec 13, 2007
    Posts: 604

    Mr. Jean

    Did it back in the 60's without any problems, but did add some tow hubs later when traveling further away.


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