We’ve paid our big tribute to the Bighorn here, but this is the first time I’ve run across an ad for it. Obviously the target was not the large fleet buyers, but those rugged independent operators who were attracted to its…big horns?
Vintage Ad: 1973 Dodge Bighorn – “For These (261) Men, Dodge Builds The Bighorn”
– Posted on February 18, 2023
This article describes the origin of the ram’s horns at Dodge: https://listcarbrands.com/ram-logo/
I don’t quite get the wording though … “as if they had to drive it themselves”? “As if” but not actually?
Maybe they were trying to appeal to fleet buyers, as well.
It’s formally correct grammar, so it sounds odd to many a modern ear. It’s along the same lines as saying “This is she” instead of “This is her”; or “It is I” instead of “It’s me”, or using whom rather than who.
Ah, I hadn’t considered the grammatical interpretation, and realize now the full context of the headline after re-reading the body text (and waking up a bit more, and finishing my coffee).
I read dman’s question as though he found it odd that the referenced buyers in the headline sound like they were not the ones driving and maintaining these trucks.
Because they do drive and maintain them, since they’re owner/drivers.
Effective lighting for marketing. Emphasize the imposing, somewhat modern-looking fibreglass hood. Darken the smaller 1950’s era cab, with its dated, mild wraparound windshield. I noticed how ancient, and small, the cab looked back then. Chrysler could have concealed it some, with a windshield visor. If I was a younger trucker/owner influenced by styling then, I wouldn’t have been attracted.
Versions where owners have swapped quad rectangular headlights, made them look more modern, and impressive. But that cab!
Can someone please enlighten me as to what a “Bi-torque gauge” is?
According to this Stewart-Warner service bulletin, the Bi-Torque mechanism is a magnetic type gauge [with] a round permanent magnet on the pivot shaft which is inserted between two coils wound at right angles to each other on the same plastic frame. They will give an instantaneous indication when energized and when de-energized the pointer may come to rest at any position (it does not return to zero).
Great, but why is that better? This from an ’80s S-W cattledog helps explain:
I’m not really familiar with big tractors, but that thing looks good to me. I guess that I’m one of those guys that never grew out of their Tonka truck stage.
Yes maybe the cab is old, but I think they did a great job intergrating it, the lines flow well IMO. R model macks have a similar looking cab with a wraparound windshield.
At the same time though that old style cab might be a deal breaker if newer designs from Peterbilt, Kenworth etc were better insulated, roomier, more comfortable.
Anyways I think these Dodges look great dressed up as the “large car” that was popular back in the 70s/80’s. Think huge sleeper, longer wheelbase, biggest engine you could get, wild paint with lots of chrome and too many lights
If they had no choice but to use a modified pickup cab in their Class 8 rig, I wonder what the thinking was behind not using the fresh one that had just been launched the year before on their pickups?
The Big Horn was an awesome looking truck, but, if I were looking for a rig in this class I wouldn’t have even considered it. 261 units produced means that parts are scarce and break downs are not a hurdle but a major event. Time down is time unpaid. The 1950’s cab was lame in the 70’s. There were much better choices. There is a guy on YouTube who uses a Big Horn at the tractor pulls. He kills all of the competition but I suspect it’s been modified just a bit.
89 Dodge Truck Centers mentioned in the ad. Note that they aren’t classified as dealerships. 89 sounds impressive but that’s 89 quasi dealerships spread across 50 states. Not so impressive. Freightliner has over 400 dealerships today. Freightliner is a dominant force in the industry and Dodge is a footnote.
That was Dodge’s biggest problem in the heavy duty truck market. They just didn’t have a good dealer network. Old cab notwithstanding, they built a good heavy duty truck. Great ad, BTW.
Most of the working bits on these and other class 8 trucks are off the shelf items. Engines, transmissions, axles, brakes, alternators were shared regularly. Not too tough to find and the heavy duty stuff didn’t change radically on a yearly basis. Now the brand specific pieces though….
The link to the Big Horn post is suspicious
It’s fixed now. Thanks for pointing it out.
This guy owns the prototype and first Big Horn sold. All you wanted to know about the Dodge Big Horn.