I almost forgot about this fine old Dodge pickup we found on Skinner Butte at sunset one day this past summer. I have a serious soft spot for these early ones with the quad headlights, looking like Virgil Exner intended them to look., although I do have to wonder about those aftermarket-looking turn signal lights. Seriously?
The owner was a young kid who had just recently acquired it. He was still getting used to driving the old beast, what with its manual steering and brakes.
I asked him what was under the hood, hoping it might be a slant six. “318 V8” was the answer. Whether that was the original engine or not I cannot say, especially since I didn’t see it, to tell whether it was a poly 318 or a later LA 318, in which case it certainly had been swapped in.
I also seem to remember him saying something about maybe swapping in something bigger. Hmm.
It’s got the four speed with a stump-puller low first. He told me that took a bit of getting used to, and I had to assure him that taking off in second was the right thing to do.
The bed;s floor looked to have a bit of rust. Maybe it wasn’t as thick of steel as the one in my F100, which is still solid despite having spent its entire life outside.
The butterscotch and caramel paint job rather worked for me. I love my Ford, but if I were doing it all over, I think I’d go for one of these, as they’re less common and a bit more outside the mainstream, design wise.
Great old truck. I haven’t seen a Sweptside here in Ontario for many years, though they were a common sight when I was a kid in the late ‘60’s and early ‘70’s. Nowadays when I see an old truck from the ‘60’s it’s usually a lovingly restored Ford or GM unit – the Mopars are a rare sight. Still, it’s great to see this one. It looks like it’s been earning its keep over the years, even though it’s understandable that a new owner might want to swap in new seats and a newer drivetrain. I’d have fun just stirring the four speed with that big gnarly shifter.
We had a several years earlier Dodge delivery/shop truck with a similar set up. Remember the shifter had a very long throw in and addition to the very low low. Manual brakes almost went to the floor, manual steering, long bed. Liked the service station’s 1960 F-100 better.
When that shape was still in the new car showroom I thought it was hideous compared to Ford and Chevy trucks. I think it has aged very well. Or maybe my taste has improved with age. It’s great to see a young kid driving it too.
Somebody did a good job on the bucket seats and console. They look original.
Grannylow seems to be misunderstood in recent times. Before 4-speeds were common on cars, grannylow was not counted as a numbered gear. The pattern of forward gears was considered to be the same as a regular 3-speed, with grannylow as an ‘extra’ for occasional use.
Not sure about the older Dodges but on the Ford’s and IH’s Low was marked with a L on the shift pattern and then you had 1, 2, 3 and R.
It continued that way until manual transmissions were no longer available. My 2006 F250’s knob reads.
R 1 3 OD
L 2 4
The literature refers to it as a close ratio 4sp with Low and Overdrive.
My old Hillman was fitted with a 3 speed plus emergency low for hill starts or when towing.
A lot of British cars of that era were like that. Take off with three passengers on a hill? No problem. Small engine, often still with a long stroke so good for torque, low diff ratio. Just don’t try keeping up with that Holden on the highway, unless you’ve got an overdrive.
Grandad would put it in granny gear, hop in the bed and throw alfalfa for the cattle as he cruised the meadow for several hundred feet.
Wasn’t a Dodge but for him that’s what granny gear was used for.
This comes from right before the midcycle facelift for these trucks, which was one of the few trucks to ever to get a midcycle butt-tuck as well. Check out the narrow tailgate and wide panels holding the round taillights; that all had to go with the increasing popularity of slide-in campers. So, the ’65 and up had tall narrow taillights and a wider tailgate.
I never thought about the driving factor in the change to the rear of pickups being the increasing popularity of ever growing slide in campers. IH and Ford used to have the wide end panels with round taillights, but also switched to tall narrow lights and wider tailgates.
And in addition the same time the cargo box was changed the wheelbase on the long bed models was lengthened to give the truck better weight distribution with a large camper.
Nice find, those are not bad trucks. I have an unrestored 62 D200 in Indian turquoise and it always gets attention on the road. Sorry not slant powered, poly and automatic.
I was under 10 when I first took not of these trucks. Even back then the tripod light set and Studebaker grill did not compute in my brain. The next gen front end change up was a huge improvement. Driving my uncles new 68 Dodge slant 6 3 on the tree radio delete was uninspiring way before I had drivers. But the smell was great lol. And yes it still had a solid axel front end in his. But the nostalgia is amazing! Thanks for posting.
I wonder if the original turn signals rusted away and contemporary LED signals were substituted. If originality is not a concern, these work really well to overcome the perpetual problems with old lamps with old bulb sockets and the inevitable bad connections. In my experience, no problems occur if you have a heavy-duty flasher and several remaining conventional lamps. I replaced OEM taillamp assemblies on my truck with aftermarket LED assemblies (intended for large trucks, but my truck is a stake body so it was an easy swap) and I haven’t had a single flickering taillight since!
Or a lens was broken or missing. Either way I don’t mind this modification as they are still round and of similar size to the originals. (Assuming they are actually intended for turn signal use).
I too like these trucks. I think of these trannys as a 3 speed with underdrive.
Yeah, those front turn signals aren’t original—they’re standard grommet-mount 4″ rounds as used on gazillions of trailers and heavy-duty vehicles in North America—but they aren’t really all that far off the original appearance, and as GOM points out these are a whole lot less troublesome than decades-old originals. Flange-mount 4″ units with chrome flange trim plates might’ve looked a little less grafted.
I don’t know why the design of these trucks is considered all that weird, I actually find the pie pan facelift the weirder one, and the 60-61 Chevy truck looks like a Sci Fi creature with its double Frankenstein brow. These 4 light D100s are simply handsome looking trucks to my eye
I love that faded butterscotch color
Not a bad looking truck despite the rims. I guess for now it’s future is unwritten.
Okay, these look weird to me.
Partly because we never got them in Australia, so there’s unfamiliarity. But lots of other stuff we didn’t get doesn’t look strange.
There are a variety of oddities, as with most Exner designs. But look at that odd side window line – the bottom of the vent window is at the same level as the windshield, but the side windows look to be about two-three inches lower – like someone’s tried to hog out the windows for speedway racing. It kind of accentuates the cowl height. That’s strange. Why would you do that? And I think that, more than anything else, is what peaks my strangeometer.
My ’79 Bronco was the first manual-transmission vehicle I ever drove. It was a manual with the “granny” first.
I literally used it once, in 4-wheel-drive, to climb a soft sand/gravel hill. Second gear starts were the norm and even then it felt like you could be pulling a heavy load and not notice much of a difference.
It was pretty much out of gearing at 90 mph as well, not that it should be driven that fast but I was young and dumb and racing a Dodge Omni.
(I won, barely, BTW)
I owned one of these for a time. 318 poly, pushbutton Loadflite, otherwise no options.
I remember it as exceptionally quick for a truck of the time. It been the parts truck for Parrish & Clark Dodge in Tulsa. I bought it in 1977 and sold it 2 years later. It had been used and abused – probably by a procession of teenage parts runners. At some not too long before my ownership, evidently both the engine and the rear end had been replaced.
The paint was still fairly new on the engine. The rear end still showed unsullied metal with no sign of the road grime coating the rest of the undercarriage. What made the truck so fast was the gearing. At any speed in excess of about 60mph, the speedo was pegged. The gearing was obviously quite different from original but nobody ever bothered to regear the speedo.
It was a mystery to me why Parrish & Clark (I assume they did the work) put so much work into this old beater, then inexplicably got rid of it. Perhaps they finally became embarrassed at the appearance of the truck and some manager decreed it be replaced.
I enjoyed the truck while for the 2 years I had it. I seldom took it very far so the gearing wasn’t a problem. The body was so beat I never regretted selling it, but it was a hoot to drive while I owned it.
Good to see some survivors are still out there .
These were *very* stout if rust prone in the toe board where the cab to frame mounts were .
These have to be the ugliest trucks of all time!
I saw one of these on a lot next to a Chevy dealership in 1971, and compared with GM and Ford trucks – well – no comparison!
Having said that, there is something about them that appeals to me now, but I can’t quite figure out what!