CC Outtake: Dodge Vanimino


I have always been fascinated by one-offs and few-offs. Elvis’ Caddy Wagon is a favorite. I was similarly captivated once upon a time by a 1973 Ford Pinto Wagon somebody hacked into Roadster Pickup . It is also interesting how some people see a motor home where others only see a clapped-out school bus. Given these facts, you will no doubt understand how this motor vehicle has me so enchanted.


This appears to be a circa-1973 Dodge Tradesman 300 van. But from there, things get complicated. Sure, the body was skillfully shortened, a raised roof installed, and a 90’s era GM dually 8ft bed installed on what appears to be Dodge frame rails. But look at that rear axle. That dually rear axle–of Mopar origin judging by the wheel/axle shaft appearance. I don’t believe dually axles were ever factory equipment on Dodge Tradesman 300s. The 16 inch non-dually type front wheels seem to support my theory that the rear axle was liberated from some other donor, but not the GM pickup.


While I thoroughly respect the skill and single-minded determination required to achieve such a vehicular mashup, I must admit that it causes me to scratch my head. Why go to so much effort to build a vehicle with, such, ahem limited function and appeal? Why not purchase a dually crew cab pickup? Why install the raised roof when it is very unlikely somebody will be standing in the area behind the driver? What I do know is the some DID make the effort, and this thing was rolling down the road with gusto–easily topping 70mph as these photos were taken.