Thinking about pulling a trailer with your new 1976 Chrysler or Plymouth? You’ve come to the right place. With the Heavy Duty Trailer-Towing Package-A35, you’re good to tow up to 7,000 lbs with a Chrysler or Gran Fury, when equipped with the 440-CID V8 (6,000 lbs with the 400-CID). And there’s other Plymouths ready, willing and able to tow too.
This used to be so important to my father who towed a large travel trailer a month out of each year for vacations. He used a 67 Galaxie 500, 1970 New Yorker, 1974 Dodge Royal Monaco Wagon, before finally buying a Suburban for the job. He towed throughout the Rockies, Cascades and Sierra Nevada, and there were many times when towing correctly was a vital issue. Overheating was a continual concern. Braking was a concern. Doing this on steep mountain passes was important.
Consequently, these brochures could be found in his office among the travel brochures, maps, and other vacation planning information.
Last week, I witnessed a driver towing a large boat with an Infiniti SUV. Deadly. The rear wheels were tipped in at a severe angle, the rear of the vehicle was shoved downward towards the pavement, and the nose was angled upwards at a ridiculous angle. It was reckless and dangerous, and flat-out bad for this expensive vehicle. It made me angry to see someone doing that on a narrow mountain road, in fact.
During these years, those big sedan engines offered towing options we don’t see among auto offerings today. Ask you local U-Haul for more stunning stories from today regarding modern rides hauling heaving trailer loads, right?
This caveat is on page 2-
“*subtract 1,000 pounds for any vehicle equipped with California emissions control devices”
The power ratings are typically pretty close between the emissions packages, so I’m thinking the Cali cars hotter, stressing the cooling systems and leading to the reduced load rating.
Any other thoughts?
How times have changed … not a 3/4 ton diesel in the lineup. Though to be fair, recently I have seen quite a few smaller trailers towed by mid-size crossovers like RAV4’s. And occasionally I see a Cayenne or Touareg towing a big trailer, well within its capabilities but a bit of dissonance for me to see a Porsche or VW doing so.
How do you feel about a Mercedes G Wagon? Kudos to him for using it for something other than going to the store.
People’s taste in my part of the country seem to lean towards ever bigger trailers. They’ll need huge HD tow vehicles. My family has chosen an 80s popup trailer that all in below 3K lbs. Who wants to wrestle a huge travel trailer through the mtns on two lane roads?
We’re drawn to rustic destinations, not travel trailer sites near the interstate. Why not? With LED lights and Li-Ion batteries, it is easy to be comfortable at rustic campgrounds for days if not weeks with a solar panel or two. We only need the trailer lights to work for a few days at most. No need for a/c.
Wow, I never realized you could get a Cordoba without the passenger side mirror. And that Trailduster is just using the basic mirrors, not even the low-mounts.
It is interesting that they chose to display three of their four towing packages with trailers that didn’t press the limits of the claimed ratings. The Cordoba may have been able to tow 5,000 pounds, but a Plymouth Arrow would have made short work of towing an O’Day Widgeon. They have a hull-weight of 220 pounds. The Voyager is shown with a boat and trailer that might exceed half of its rated capacity. Pop-up campers were marketed to people with compact cars as tow vehicles, but that’s what’s hooked up to the Trail Duster. These days, when a company wants to sell a vehicle based on its ability to tow, their advertising agency hooks it up to the Space Shuttle and puts an unreadable-disclaimer in the fine print.
You used to see a lot of Airstream trailers being pulled by the big Chrysler station wagons.
My grandmother’s Town and Country was sold to a guy who wanted it to pull his Airstream. Original owner probably towed, since he ordered it with the 440TNT, HD cooling, CHP sintered metallic brake shoes, and HD electrical system.
Even at 5000lbs, that car moved.
I think Cordobas were nice looking cars… akin to GM GP’s and Monte Carlos I’m used to..
I never realized cars were ever rated to tow much above like Class 2 3,500 lbs.
My heaviest car towing was like 3500-4000 lbs. of boat on trailer… I first used a ’77 GP w/ 2 bbl. 301″ economy V8, TH350 auto tranny, economy 2.42 rear end… I didn’t have far to go and it’s level around here so it worked OK but no acceleration and made sure to leave plenty of distance for braking. The torque converter got it up boat ramps OK. I also towed some with the ’77 Pontiac Astre Iron Duke 4 and 5 speed manual but it didn’t like the steeper boat launching/retrieving ramps. At least the posi helped with tire slippage. Towed it next with ’79 Caddy Seville (extended 4 door Chevy Nova) with 5.7L EFI Olds V8 and it did the job much more easily but at lower MPG… after that I tended to use pickups for more of the towing… maybe up to 8,000 – 9,000 lbs…
I have a 77 Trailduster. What bothers me about towing with it is the lack of published towing capacity.From owners manual ” Trailer weight should not exceed approximately 75% of loaded vehicle weight”‘ ,”Trailers over 1200 pounds should be equipped with brakes”,
and a tongue weight over 200 lbs. needs a load equalizing hitch.
No gross combined weight, or maximum trailer weight. Using the published guidance, if I want to tow more, I should load more weight in the truck.
Forgot about the Plymouth TrailDuster version of the Dodge RamCharger!
It is a six cylinder or eight cylinder Trail Duster? The sixes had a GVWR of 4,901 pounds while the top V8s had a GVWR of 6,100 pounds. An empty 2WD six weighed about 3,600 pounds, while a 4×4 440 V8 model weighed as much as 4,300 pounds unladen. There was a 318 V8 4×4 with only about 1,000 pounds between its curb weight and gross vehicle weight rating, but most models had between 1,300 and 1,800 pounds of payload.
Provided you use the appropriate hitch and trailer brakes while setting up your trailer with 10% of its weight on the hitch, you should be pretty safe towing trailers in the 5,000 pounds range provided you aren’t carrying more than 500 pounds inside a 318 4×4 ranging up to 1,300 pounds inside a 440 powered Trail Duster. This is assuming all of your mechanical components are still at least as strong as they were in 1977.
Thanks. I just don’t understand why they didn’t publish a table of towing weights for the different drivetrain options.
It has a 440,727 and a np203.
The Salesman’s Data Book or what ever Chrysler called it would likely have that data. I have an IH one that lists the weight of every option both in total and how much of it is carried by each axle. I’ve seen similar for Fords.
My car has GTW of 3000kg towbar is rated for 1750kg braked or 3,800lbs its a 4 cylinder turbo diesel FWD
I can hear the rattlety-ping spark knock just from looking at the pictures.
Today you must have a 1 ton dually with a diesel and an exhaust brake to safely tow a trailer lest you kill your family and another dozen people as you careen down a mountain pass.
…and you have to leave the engine running and all your extra marker lights on out in the parking lot while you’re eating at the truck stop buffet. Because that’s how real truckers do it.
My town actually has an ant-idling ordinance. Of course, even in this community, so bright blue politically and supposedly bright green environmentally, compliance is zero. Because they need to browse their phones with all the windows closed while waiting for their kid outside school. Such a contrast with my first visit to Asia in the ‘90’s, when taxi drivers routinely shut off their engines at red lights, in their gas guzzling Nissan 210’s.
I feel compelled to mention that the heaviest trailers listed in this brochure would today be towable by a mid-size pickup. Don’t allow yourself to be clouded by unnecessary cynicism.
I don’t think it’s cynicism, unnecessary or otherwise, to point out that many Americans are size queens when it comes to buying vehicles in general, and pickup trucks in particular. The Ford F-150 pickup truck has been the best-selling vehicle in the U.S. since 1981, despite the fact that some giant percentage of buyers could get along quite nicely with a midsize pickup—or no pickup at all.
A minivan with tow package has more capability than most full size pickup drivers will ever utilize.
Towing with a big BOF sedan/wagon sounds pretty appealing to me, I’ve been doing some motorcycle trailering in the Suburban, last haul of a pair of old 4cyl Suzukis using uhaul’s larger 5×9 put me somewhere in the realm of 2500(?) lbs then another 500ish lbs of spare parts in the back. Easy work for the Suburban, but even unloaded the mileage is in the 17mpg range, with even a light trailer and a bit of wind and that dives down to 13-14mpg. An LT1 Caprice wagon/Roadmaster would have handled this sort of haul with aplomb I think, then again so would our Town&Country with a hitch and maybe a transmission cooler, something that hasn’t escaped my consideration.
The only family on the block that had a travel trailer pulled it with a ’65 Fury wagon which had one of the big RB engines. I can hardly believe the ’65 Plymouth tow package and modest maximum weights. Non self adjusting police brakes, really?
The self-adjusters of that time were not very dependable; it was very common for them to stick and fail at random, so the adjustment would differ side from side. This causes hard pulling to one side or the other under brake application, which is dangerous enough without a trailer; the danger would be greatly increased with a trailer. Brakes without self-adjusters don’t necessarily go out of adjustment at the same rate on both sides, but the imbalance tends to come on more gradually than with a faulty self-adjuster, which gives the driver more time to fix it before it grows more dangerous. Furthermore, with brakes that don’t self-adjust, the brakes have to be seen to—attention has to be paid to them—more often, which is a big safety advantage on a vehicle being used to tow a trailer.
These are laughably primitive safety practices by modern standards, but they were what was practicable at that time.
My girlfriend used to drive an ’89 Mazda MX6 luxury car which seemed like a really nice, modern vehicle, but I was shocked to see it didn’t have self-adjusting brakes! The linings wore down to the metal on one end but 3/4’s of the lining was still on the shoes! Don’t know if its cousin the Ford Probe was the same way…
The six cylinder Fury was rated to pull 5000lbs with a 3.55 rear end while the slant six Valiant could tug 2000lbs with a 3.23. TorqueFlite-only with both.