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Towing with a Bel Air

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by BettyBones, Feb 4, 2013.

  1. BettyBones
    Joined: Jan 29, 2013
    Posts: 10


    Hiya all,
    I'm new to the forum but am wanting to buy a 54 bel air. My question is this please. Are they any good for towing caravans/trailer tents?

    I have a 68 VW camper at the moment and we have lovely family holidays so whatever I get has to replace it.

    I do love Bel Airs:D

    Ideally I'll get one on air:)

    Any pics will be greatly appreciated (towing or not, I'm not fussy:cool:)


    Si from the UK:D
  2. Moedog07
    Joined: Apr 11, 2011
    Posts: 188


    Welcome, some may want a formal introduction....

    About the question though,
    I would recomend sway bars front and rear and better Brakes if your towing with vehicle that old.
  3. EchoOfGecko
    Joined: Aug 4, 2010
    Posts: 254


    Sure thing, better than many modern "trucks" in fact. Old yank tanks have more in common with pick-ups than with cars, the body-on-frame construction makes for a great tow rig. The areas you probably need to double-check and maybe update to current tech would be the brakes, transmission, cooling, and maybe some upgraded rear suspension.
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2013
  4. BettyBones
    Joined: Jan 29, 2013
    Posts: 10


    Thanks guys, much appreciated.

  5. BettyBones
    Joined: Jan 29, 2013
    Posts: 10


  6. They will pull a popup or a tear drop just fine. They need to have a proper hitch and probably wouldn't hurt to add some helper springs or helper bags to one just to be on the safe side.
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2013
  7. BettyBones
    Joined: Jan 29, 2013
    Posts: 10


  8. Roger Walling
    Joined: Sep 26, 2010
    Posts: 1,145

    Roger Walling

    Boy did I make a big mistake once. I though it would be cool to tow my 71 Impala convertable to the muffler shop with my duce roadster.

    First corner I hit it did not want to follow me. So very slowley I proceded until I hit a hill. No problem as I have a 283 with a series 2 duntof cam. Wrong... I was going so slow it never got into the power range.

    I finally made it and the looks that I got was worth it, but I picked it up with a trailer on the back of my Truck.
  9. roughneck424
    Joined: Jan 10, 2009
    Posts: 1,084


  10. Rusty O'Toole
    Joined: Sep 17, 2006
    Posts: 9,473

    Rusty O'Toole

    It will work if the trailer is not too heavy and you don't want to go very fast. Move up one year to a 55 and you will have a much better tow vehicle with a V8 and other improvements.
  11. yetiskustoms
    Joined: May 22, 2009
    Posts: 1,930


    Upgrade your drive train and brakes and it should be fine. Use common sence too :) tent Trailers areusually lite. Check out The vintage shots from days gone by thread and you will see old cars pulling things that Trucks today would struggle with!
  12. BettyBones
    Joined: Jan 29, 2013
    Posts: 10


    Thanks a lot guys. All useful info:)
  13. Diavolo
    Joined: Apr 1, 2009
    Posts: 814


    It boils down to this...

    Trailer should not exceed 2/3 the weight of the car. All these people telling you to upgrade this or that... just have it in good mechanical order. My Mini Cooper can tow 2000#, FWIW. Use good sense and don't overload it.

    I sincerely hope the Bel Air has more power than a 68 VW...
  14. fearnoevo
    Joined: Nov 28, 2009
    Posts: 218

    from Iowa

    I pulled our 16 foot race trailer all over the united states hauling my drag bike and supplies, using a '64 bel air wagon. 283, power glide. Couldn't hardly tell it was back there.
  15. Tomkat39
    Joined: Mar 14, 2010
    Posts: 91


    Back in the early 60's I pulled a 2 horse trailer with a 57 chevy wagon ,283 stick shift with overdrive,all stock. Loaded probably about 3500 lbs.
    Pulled great then upgraded to 66 chevy wagon 283 with stick,with same trailer,no problems. Sorry no pict.
  16. black 62
    Joined: Jul 12, 2012
    Posts: 1,895

    black 62
    from arkansas

    the chances of getting in an accident go up quite a bit when towing so get it in tip top shape before towing---check with your insurance carrier on those stats
  17. cartoon14
    Joined: Jan 21, 2013
    Posts: 46


    my son and I ran a 49 style Line Deluxe bagged and chopped, drove it everyday and camped out of it for over 2 years. drive train is the only consideration in my mind as to pull'n a trailer (caravan) trunks big enough for 2 or 3 body's so no issue there.
  18. A Rodder
    Joined: Jul 13, 2008
    Posts: 2,477

    A Rodder

    This was Newfisher's trailer and its my wagon.
    I really didn't tow it but I wanted the photo.

    However, I fabbed a hitch on his '55 wagon and he towed it numerous times


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