(first posted 2/28/2014. Another unusual and fairly rare Dodge truck) Dodge was a pioneer in motorhomes, but they didn’t exactly look like this. These big Dodge LCF (“Lower Cab Forward”) trucks are getting rather rare, but someone has re-purposed this one into a motor home, and if the cord is any indication, might well be living in it. It’s apparent from a distance that these trucks used the cab from the 1956-1960 Dodge pickups, but riding a bit taller now.
These trucks were first built in 1960, to replace the dated LCF predecessor. By the way, that “LCF” name/acronym is a bit odd, given that the cab isn’t really all that far forward or low. It originally was used for snub-nosed trucks, and distinguished them from COEs (Cab Over Engine) trucks and “conventional” (long-nosed) trucks, but there’s clearly some lack of hard delineation among them.
One of the benefits of the Dodge LCF was accessibility, thanks to the rather unusual swing-away front fenders. One piece fiberglass tilt-up hoods soon made that irrelevant. Engine choices in these trucks ran a huge gamut, from an HD version of the polysphere 318 V8 to Cummins and Detroit diesels.
In 1973, Dodge took a rather bold gamble to compete in the really big truck field. The C950 Big Horn rode on frame rails sourced from the supplier to Kenworth, and were essentially hand-built to buyer’s specs, but still using that vintage pickup cab. Not surprisingly, the Big Horn turned into a Big White Elephant, as there just wasn’t sufficient interest. One source says that a total of 261 were built, but a fair number still survive, as they have become quite collectible.
In 1975, Chrysler got out of the large truck market totally, and the LCF and Big Horn’s days were over.
I have to wonder why the Big Horn wasn’t designed around the newest pickup cab.
At one point in the early ’70s Dodge was producing four different generations of truck cab -the pickups got an all-new one for ’72, the medium conventionals kept the 1961 cab a couple years longer, the LCFs used the 1956 cab as described above and WM-series Power Wagons were still being built for export with the 1939 cab(!)
I think the old WM Power Wagon was dropped after 1968.
The medium-duty Dodge, dropped from the Canadian and US Market in 1978 continued to be offered in Mexico until the early 2000s when the D600/700/800 was renamed Ram 6500/7500.
I had no idea that they still offered them in Mexico.
I wish then Chrysler didn’t dropped them in Canada and the US. Here a 1993 Mexican ad, still showing the 1974 body who got squared headlights.
Dodge piggybacked onto the Commer brand here when Chrysler took over Rootes group the trucks were a success even with the rebranding and faded away when Rootes went out of Truck production, rebranded fire truck
I remember that model Dodge-Commer, I was a co-driver in one, around 35 years ago. It was a French fries truck, dad drove it to a festival for a former neighbor.
And I remember the Spanish and French truckers who drove these in the (late) seventies, the Dodge 300 series. Basically Spanish Barreiros trucks. I’m pretty sure the brochure says “The Giant Chrysler”.
And a Dutch ad for the same truck. A 275 (DIN) hp diesel engine. Is that a Cummins ?
Cummins was using unit injectors on their bigger engines, not an injection pump.
Fenced in , must be rare
I always forget that Dodge did make heavy trucks at one point. I never knew that the fenders swung away like that, interesting industrial design.
Like Carmine, I had no idea of the engine access on these LCF models. Also, while I did know that Dodge made heavy trucks for a time, I had no idea that the Big Horn with the modified pickup cab ever existed.
That cab looks a bit cramped, but yet it kind of makes everything else on the truck look even bigger. I love how the exhaust stacks run in the corner between cab and sleeper.
The Big Horn is a new one for me. With the new (and more popular) Big Horn, the name recycling game continues!
As one who periodically looks at the General Services Administration online auctions, the feds purchased a fair number of these. I will still see one – often a firetruck – going up for bid. The physical condition of them are generally pretty good.
I don’t ever recall seeing a Dodge growing up in NJ. More then anything else, it seemed to be Mack, GMC, Chevrolet and Peterbilt and Kenworth on the rare occasion. Never a Dodge, had no idea they made them that big.
This 56 Dodge cab was also used on FWD brand trucks into the 70’s for snow plows etc..
I think I saw that cab on a couple farm trucks or dump trucks but they sure didn’t make an impression. I’ve come to think a good memory is unnecessary anyway.
I’ve seen one Dodge big-rig cab in Ohio in the mid to late ’90’s. If it wasn’t driven on the road, then it was used as a spotter truck at a warehouse. Was still licensed and in decent shape. Oh, and it was a day cab rather than a sleeper truck.
For some strange reason I’ve always been fascinated by Dodge’s medium and heavy trucks. One of my earliest childhood memories was when we moved from Illinois to Houston in late 1973. The truck was a Global Van Lines cabover Dodge. Truly a truck with styling that made the GMC Crackerbox look like a Harley Earl/Bill Mitchell masterpiece.
The one on the left is most likely an old Global rig….
That was the first truck I ever owned
I was 22 and contracted to global moving and storage out of Billerica ma
Note the truck #7155
Long time ago
Would love to know where that truck is
Had an 318 Detroit and 13 speed fuller tranny call me if you have any info
I saw a Big Horn with the sleeper cab on a trip to Florida several years ago. It looked brand new and it was no truck show queen – it was still on the job.
The previous owner of our house had a motorhome and put in hookups along the driveway which I’ve been looking to put to some practical use. My wife can thank you that the pictured motorhome
a. is not for sale at a reasonable price, and
b. is not within 500 miles of our afformentioned home! ^_^
My brother who worked for a big construction outfit in Fairbanks showed me around the place in 1977 when we visited there. There were two or three of those LCF Dodges, short-wheelbase tractors with dump trailers. He was fairly scornful of them, referring to them as essentially big pickups. Compared to the rest of the trucks, Peterbilts and Kenworths, I suppose so.
Growing up there was a shady guy who ran two of these old lcf dodges around. I was shocked to see them both on the road when I moved back in 04. I still remember the rusty blue ones screaming Detroit diesel as shady crested the hill at the top of the road we lived(live) on.
Dodge was working on a “short nose Bighorn” to replace the C Series as shown here. It had the Bighorn flip up fiberglass nose, cut to about half length. I think the project was abandoned in 1976, when Dodge flushed it’s heavy truck program.
Check out OldDodges.com.
Nice. And the ’74-78 midsizes had far too short a life north of the border as it were.
They, and their predecessors, were very popular with PSE&G, the big New Jersey utility,, and were a common site well into the 80s.
yes PG&E used dodge LCFs in the old brown and tan paint they were tandem axles and dump and flatbeds powered with big block 413 or 440s i remember they had super squeaky air brakes on release of the air pot maybe because they were new at that time say 1974 or 5
The featured motorhome with its quad lamps doesn’t show it, but the LCF ad and the photo of the two American COE Dodges make it quite clear that they were serious about the “headlamp inside a pie plate” design being a theme in the 60’s! From the A-series vans to the big trucks…
The swing-away fender/hood side really is a clever design.
When I was a kid, I used to watch the TV series ‘CHiPs’ somewhat regularly, and I recall an early episode featuring a runaway Dodge LCF truck. Thanks to YT, I found the clip. I also recalled that Barry Baricza used his Dodge Monaco to eventually stop the truck. The truck driver appears to be Ron Paul’s doppelgänger.
Actually the driver of that Dodge truck in that episode of CHiP’s was none other than Carey Loftin, one of the greatest Hollywood stunt drivers of all time. Loftin was the unseen driver of the Peterbilt in Steven Speilberg’s Duel. The Dodge was likely one of M.G.M.’s, I grew up near their studios in Culver City and most of their trucks were painted that medium blue.
As is often the case, Matchbox Lesney rose to the occasion when it came to producing small versions.
Probably top of their range back in the day.
Reminds me of the Federal “swing lift” front fenders.
The suburban Pittsburgh town we moved to in the mid-70’s was a big user of LCF dump trucks – for hauling in the warmer months and salt spreading in the winter. I remember visiting the public works garage in the early 80’s and seeing the fenders swung open for servicing.
This one has the dual headlights, but later ones used the same single light trim rings seen on the A series vans as well as the COE – and maybe the ’65-’66 light and medium duty conventionals. That little trim piece got around.
Hey, lookit there! Reminds me of another Dodge Bighorn I photographed while covering Moparfest 2010 for Allpar. Sixth photo from the top (and 4th, 5th, 10th, and 13th up from the bottom) here.
Always llked the Dodge line of heavy trucks. Here’s a nice LCF grain truck that I pulled off of Craigslist that was for sale here in Oklahoma recently.
The owner operators of the Big Horns know what they have, and they don’t come up for sale very often. There were 2 day cab versions working as gravel haulers in my area for several years. They were in very well kept condition but I haven’t seen them around in a while.
The CC effect on reverse. Sort of. No, I did not get to see one of these unicorns in the flesh, but I did spend the better part of an evening last week researching them on the internet. How about that.
I owned a tandem 900 in the 80’s and it was a tough truck.
Found a C800 in a barn and brought it home. Got a donor one and removed the 413 out of it and put it in the 800.
Now I am just having fun with it.
If you know of anyone interested in a nice 1966 Dodge LCF C800 roll off tow truck approx 11,000 mi. ( it was a tanker fire truck previously) has a 413 and a 5 speed with 2 speed rear end. It runs good but clutch need adjustment.I bought it with intention of a retirement gig and then got health issues. Gloversville NY