Now here’s a face one doesn’t see in traffic too often anymore. It’s from a time when faces were a bit more distinctive. And unforgettable. And it even reminded me of somebody.
Maybe it’s just because we’ve been watching Boardwalk Empire, but that’s who came to mind when I opened the image of this Dodge truck. On with the show…
That would be this old Dodge D100 from somewhere between 1962 and 1964. Dodge did something unusual, stating publicly that they would not be making any changes to their trucks for the sake of changes, but only when they were actually meaningful. Which makes it hard to tell what year they are, but who cared, really?
It’s being used like I use my old Ford all too often: moving an appliance. I can’t quite tell, but that might be a member of my favorite rental-unit dryer: a Whirlpool. Actually, now I’m thinking it’s not; the door looks different. Speaking of, Whirlpool’s direct drive top-loading washer, which was made for decades until a few years ago, is the washer of choice for rental use. They have two weaknesses; the drive coupling and water pump, but both are super-easy to fix, and the parts dirt cheap. I’ll keep mine going forever…like my old truck. Until I can’t anymore.
This one is sporting a mighty long and well-bent shift lever, which no doubt stirs the gears in a four speed gear box, the kind with the super-low first gear that only gets used for pulling stumps. it does make me wonder though, since this was during the era of Chrysler’s push-button automatics, when some of their passenger cars had columns that didn’t have provisions for a shifter, and the three-speed manual was floor-shifted. Was that the case with these Dodge trucks too?
Power was a standard 225 inch slant six, rated at 140 gross hp, and a 200 hp 318 V8 was optional. Rugged power plants, in either case.
Yes, the styling of these was a bit eccentric. But what do you expect for a truck designed during the last years of the Virgil Exner era at Chrysler?
Which probably helps explain why they picked Don Knotts to be the spokesman for “The Dude” sport trim package, which was available a few years later.
But Dodge did something afew years earlier, in 1964, that was utterly unparalleled. The Custom Sports Special was a serious performance machine, with bucket seats and a 365 hp version of the 426 wedge V8 under the hood. Nobody had tried anything like this before. And wouldn’t again either, for a few more years, as it didn’t quite take off. A bit ahead of its time.
Meanwhile, this old workhorse is still at it, hauling the goods. My kind of truck.