There’s still one small mound of snow left on the lawn that hasn’t melted away from the big storm a few weeks ago. And a lot of trees in town still have hanging limbs with arborists climbing up to cut them down, while every truck, including mine, is being put into service hauling fallen branches and debris to the landscape recycling center.
So it was a relief to see this factory snowplow package truck in the junkyard last week, obviously nobody would get rid of a plow truck if they thought it would snow again, right?
Plow trucks of the pickup variety are not something I was familiar with when younger, for the simple reason that it’s not something you see in most of Southern California and even in the mountains they’re usually done with their job before one wakes up to go skiing for the day.
Of course since moving to Colorado pickups with plow blades on the front are a common sight in the winter and I was aware that one could spec a “Plow Prep Package” from the factory. I didn’t realize though that you could actually purchase the whole kit and kaboodle including the actual snow plow blade all set up and ready to go, or at least you could back in the 1970s, when this particular truck was built and marketed by Dodge as the “Sno-Fiter”.
I love the American style of butchering language and words for no particular reason beyond marketing, although it doesn’t make learning the language any easier. The Germans for example would never stand for doing that with their words, they’d just find three more to string together until the resulting word wrapped all the way around the truck and probably started a second line as well after a well placed hyphen (which also features here, I might add).
Dodge offered the Sno-Fiter package for several years both on the 100 and 200 series of trucks, and then in later years morphed it into a Sno-Commander package which sounds even more impressive.
It turns out that you could get the package either as just a prep package or all-inclusive including a big yellow Meyer plow blade. It’s too bad the blade didn’t make it to the yard with the truck though, a big yellow slab of metal always makes for a good visual. From what I could find out it came with extra headlamps to shine over the plow blade, snow tires, a beefier front suspension to support the blade and hydraulics and the cab marker lights up top. Also a heavier duty cooling package and a larger clutch plate (or tranny cooler if an automatic) along with 70amp battery, and hood release inside the cab. The side stripes were optional but make the truck in my opinion. It just wouldn’t be a Sno-Fiter without the label.
The engine in this particular truck, which was built in Warren, Michigan, is a 360 V8 producing 180hp, but various engines were available, the 318 is to my surprise not that uncommon in these. I would have thought the more brawn the better but maybe it was enough. In fact the W200 was even available with the slant six, though I’m not sure about with this package. W200’s in ’74 could also be had with the 383, 400, and 440. Axles were from Dana and the ratio with the 360 at least was 4.10:1
In the 1970’s, people that purchased trucks were so brawny that they didn’t need seats! Nothing put hair on your chest like sitting on a milk crate that you brought with you to work the overnight shift. Okay, never mind that, this one has obviously had its seat removed and large chunks of the dash as well. Still, there were not many creature comforts here even when complete and new. Just black vinyl and plastic and a lot of sheetmetal.
The seat being gone though does demonstrate how much room there was in even a regular cab full size pickup truck back then.
You’ve got your switches for the lights, and for the cargo light, and also for the auxiliary headlamps. Let there be light, indeed. The two rods without knobs are what controlled the plow blade, they would have been little light yellow ball-style knobs. That’s most of your electronics, the “infotainment” of the day (or night). The pedals were painted body color as I noticed when looking at images of some other ones where those of a red truck (they weren’t all blue but that seemed most popular) stood out.
And there’s your four-speed shifter as well as the selector for the transfer case.
And of course that all-important accessory of the 1970’s, a CB radio, here a Boman CB-910 to get your ears on, good buddy.
There’s no fight like a Sno-Fite, but with the Dodge W200 Sno-Fiter you probably had a good chance of staying on top of the battle!