Little Trucks, Big World

Back in the early 1990s I used to frequent a local junk yard near me. That place was amazing, it had two or three rows of 720 trucks in it, as it did most every make. This place specialized in only trucks, so they were able to keep more trucks longer before crushing them out...

Well, those days are long gone. Now when I go there, there might be 3 or 4 720's, mostly all stripped out and rotted away. The high demand and price for scrap metal has spelled the worst for those of use trying to keep these old trucks on the road.

Every problem is an opportunity waiting to happen. That's how I alway try to think. And in thinking about the problem with lack of parts for our beloved trucks I came up with an idea I'd like to share with you all.

If everyone who loves these trucks, I mean really has a long term attachment and would never sell thier truck unless it burns to the ground or is totalled, would consider the following...

Whoever has the land to store them, and no zoning problems to worry about, take the opportunity to buy any 720 you can, just one, or several. You can usually pick them up for $300-$500. You can sell parts off them or use them yourself for spares. You'll no doubt make all your money back because in addition to any money you make selling parts, it will always be worth something just for scrap price.

Then you can keep an eye on the buy, sell and trade forum here. If you see someone looking for something you have, let them know. Or list parts on eBay. If we get enough people doing this, we can support each other for many years to come and save a few 720s from the crusher in the process.


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Comment by TigerRacing on February 4, 2012 at 8:32am

Interesting point Willem, and when people talk about environmental issues regarding older vehicles and emissions, they tend to forget that keeping an old vehicle on the road that is in "fair" running order, saves all the carbon and energy which would be used in building a new vehicle.  And as you pointed out, many new vehicles, despite improved fuel economy vs. total payload capability, still don't get all that much more mileage than these old trucks do.  People (especially here in the USA) rarely use their vehicle's total payload capability, at least not on a regular basis.  I think economics play into more into this more than environmental issues, or actual facts.  Selling new cars keeps money changing hands, which means government revenues, and the importance of this was quite evident when the US government bailed out failing auto makers (and became owners of them)...

Comment by Willem Pienaar on January 31, 2012 at 5:27am

Sadly all the 720's are mostly gone in South Africa and turned into soda or beer cans,when carrying my recent buy, a 720 2300 swb on a trailer home,someone young asked me if it is an old type Chinese model?.Everyone spoke of environmental issues,but more efficient engines are being counter balanced by bigger and bigger body's , why do everyone wants  to have a truck with capacity  to carry  everything he owns in one load,surely we ain't nomadic anymore ???

Comment by 84Longrunner on July 10, 2009 at 12:56pm
Yes I constantly run into peeps that believe all vehicles are the same - just boxes with four wheels and drive. I get asked alot why I keep driving and maintaining my old 720. The newest stuff isnt the best stuff, and besides I have no interest in driving a big beast that is thirsty for gas (even though its supposed to be "green" and cleaner), which are the only things available. Im not into the toaster/appliance view towards cars - use it up throw it away - buy something new at a high price.

One question I always get asked - Why the small truck? Answer: I have a six foot bed - look at a F-150/RAM/Chevy - Humm - a six foot bed. I dont have any need to tow a house/yacht/pig iron/whatever.

The need for scrap steel just pushes pushes the buy buy buy new new new aspect. I have heard the new nissan frontiers of late are having sludging problems in their 4 cyl motors. I would say probably because the frames have gotten so big it is causing overheating as the motors work harder to drive (I could be very wrong). My motivation to buy is ....what...again? :)
Comment by TigerRacing on February 3, 2009 at 5:35pm
Cash for Clunkers with a Twist? SEMA Opposes New Program

Artical Here

Contact your Congressman to voice your opinion!
Comment by Patrick Smith on December 11, 2008 at 1:58am
My buddy here in Vegas has some property and has what I consider a private 72o junkyard. He has a 1981 king cab 4x4, a 1984 2wd, a 1982 formerly diesel now L20B king cab, a 1980 long box 2wd, and about enough parts for two more scattered about. He's who I go to for parts. We have been swapping stuff we collect. I keep the straight sheetmetal behind my shed in my small back yard, as well as the small hard to find stuff in the shed. He keeps a lot of what I have, but has more of the bulkier parts. We trade favors back and forth and have kept both vehicles on the road for a while. His truck started as a 1986 regular cab 2wd, but after several accidents, he pieced what he has. Right now he set a 1986 cab on a 1982 4x4 king cab frame and lifted the cab 1 inch overall. The bed was replaced by a flatbed off a 1 ton toyota. This truck is so tough he had a head on collision with an oldsmobile and practically drove away. We're building a .040" over Z24 for his truck and transplanting the Throttle body injection off a hardbody he just had laying around in his yard.


A wore out 720 beats ANY new vehicle you might find in the longevity department!!!
Comment by NIEZ 720 on December 6, 2008 at 9:59pm
so true... it's getting harder to find 720 parts..

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