About a month ago I started my search for a replacement truck after selling my F350. I did'nt know exactly what I wanted, all I knew is that I wanted it to be like my first truck; regular cab, 4x4, manual transmission, and cheap enough that I wont worry about every scratch and ding. Turns out, thats not so easy to find, and now my search has broadened.

My question to you today stems from this. In my search I have come across various options which I have turned down for various reasons from copious amounts of rust to plain out people asking too damn much for their clunker.

This truck will become (although maybe not right away) a near daily driver. It will be used to commute, but also for minor home repair projects as well as toting around motorcycles and or motorcycle parts. I also live in a desert, wherein there are a LOT of trails, and the truck would see some trail time (nothing to extreme, not looking to go rock crawling or anything).

My initial thought was a mid 90's F150 (or similar) with a small lift and big tires. But then a work trip to Montana reminded me of all the older awesome trucks (and truck like vehicles). My search then broadened to 70's F250 Highboys and F150 Rangers, IH Scouts, K10 and K20 Chevys, and older Yota pickups and 4Runners.

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Chances are I wont find what I am looking for in my area (this has to be the least manual transmission friendly area in the country) so I will be expanding my search and will probably end up having to ship something to me.

Here's the thing, half of what I am looking at are medium to large trucks, the other vehicles are small trucks or truck like vehicles. I don't mind having to use a small trailer with the smaller vehicles, and that would give me (for most of the small vehicles) an open top, which, in a desert where it barely ever rains, would be a ton of fun.

So, if you were in my shoes, which way would you lean?