By on September 27, 2012

After yesterday’s 1972 Dodge Tradesman van, we might as well stick with Dodge trucks of the Nixon Era for another day. Big simple pickups remain relevant long after their car counterparts get discarded, but sooner or later every 11-miles-per-gallon old work truck develops some expensive problem and becomes worth more as scrap than as a vehicle. This Dodge held on for 41 years before washing up in this San Francisco Bay Area self-service wrecking yard.
The addition of a camper shell to your D-100 gives it a bit of protection for cans of paint, ladders, and so forth. You’d think that intact camper shells in junkyards would get snapped up by bargain-hunting truck owners, but this seldom happens.
I wonder how many Chrysler LA-block 318s get crushed every week.
Here’s a good example of California-style body rust. It takes many decades of sun and rainy winters to do this.

Get the latest TTAC e-Newsletter!

44 Comments on “1971 Dodge D-100 Pickup...”


  • avatar
    Joe McKinney

    This example was made when Nixon was President, but the design dates back to 1961 when JFK was President. It is amazing how long some of the old pickups remained in production. The Dodge pickup that replaced this one was made from 1972-1993.

  • avatar

    Them ‘camper shells’ are rather model-specific, and you never find the key in the lock.

    Why bother?

  • avatar
    MrWhopee

    Was the front styling also used for Dodge medium-sized trucks? Because circa 1970s the city buses in Jakarta had a face pretty much like this. I assume they were built from Dodge medium truck chassis. They last a long time too, I think by the time I was around (in the 1970s) they were already a couple decades in service, I think.

    • 0 avatar
      Roberto Esponja

      Yes, at one time Dodge had a medium (and heavy duty) truck division. Sadly, during Chrysler’s 1970′s debacle it was terminated (along with their boating and aerospace divisions).

  • avatar
    -Nate

    Yes ;

    This basic grille & cab was used on Dodge light and medium duty trucks for a decade . when I began in The City , we still had a whole fleet of these D-300 3 yard dump trucks powered by the sturdy 413 CID engine , 3 yards is pretty big for a D-300 chassis , many had Allison Slushbox trannies with pedal operated retarders .

    These were very good trucks indeed although they suffered greatly from forward cab mounts rusting through even in Los Angeles .

    I’m no Dodge fan but these were very well made and economical to operate in severe service .

    Most of the hundreds of 318′s that get scrapped daily , are still standard bore and crankshaft .

    -Nate

    • 0 avatar
      Moparman426W

      Many of chrysler’s legendary engines from all three families, slant6, LA and big blocks can be rebuilt using the standard bore size. The reason is because the blocks used the highest amount of nickel in the industry, coupled with the fact that they used long rods which reduced cylinder side loading.
      Slant 6′s used steel cranks through mid 76, big blocks through mid 74, and if I remember correctly small blocks went to cast iron cranks around 73-74. Chevy went to all cast iron cranks in 65 except on the rare highest performance offerings.

  • avatar
    Zackman

    These, bar-none, had to be the ugliest-looking trucks on the road. Daoust Chevrolet in Marysville, CA had one of these on their used car lot (OK Used Cars). In green, of course. Comparing that to the 1969 Chevy pickup near it, well…no comparison and horribly dated. The design was very quirky even back then, but 40+ years later, still quirky, but in a sort of good way.

    These were even uglier in crew-cab, power-wagon USAF format, too! Same doors and glass shape front AND rear doors! Whoda thunk it?

    All in all, they were very tough trucks, no matter what anyone thought of the looks. USAF-approved!

    • 0 avatar
      Moparman426W

      I agree with you, this has to be the ugliest truck ever built, at least as far as domestic trucks go. But it’s a mopar, and us mopar guys love the ugly mopars too, I guess it takes a mopar guy to understand, lol. :)

      • 0 avatar
        mikeg216

        You sure do! The ugliest “production” mopar took years to get them off the dealer floor, but a pristine condition one sold for two million a couple years ago….. The superbird!

  • avatar
    eggsalad

    I bought an old truck that came with a camper/shell/topper/cap/canopy (the term used depends on what part of the country you are in). It was a decent fiberglass cap, the lock worked, and it came with key.

    I didn’t want the cap, so I put in on Craigslist for $150.

    After weeks on Craigslist, I felt lucky to sell it for $80.

    • 0 avatar
      AoLetsGo

      That would be an interesting map who says shell/topper/cap/canopy mapped out geographically. It would be like the one that thematically shades the country by what do you order a soda/pop/coke.

  • avatar
    Skink

    Gotta love those early sixties Dodge pickups – grilles more interesting than the 70, though the bodies were the same throughout. I’d like to get the crew cab with the auto, operated by the dash-mounted lever.

  • avatar
    Carlson Fan

    “You’d think that intact camper shells in junkyards would get snapped up by bargain-hunting truck owners, but this seldom happens.”

    “Them ‘camper shells’ are rather model-specific, and you never find the key in the lock”

    True, plus the market moved to fiberglass about 20 years ago. Dealers generally take them off if they get a pick-up on trade as it they’ll get a better price for the truck wihtout the topper.

    • 0 avatar
      redmondjp

      I had an aluminum topper on my pickup for 14 years. I took it off once or twice a year to haul certain items. Two people could easily do the job, and my truck bed stayed nice and dry and rust-free here in Seattle during the rest of the year.

      Now my truck has a fiberglass cap. I’m still trying to figure out how to rig up either a framework or a hoist arm to get the darn thing off. It does look nicer, but is less practical. It’s hard to find 2-3 helpers at the same time to get the thing off, but I usually had no problems finding one to lift my aluminum one.

  • avatar
    tkel

    I lost my faith in old Dodge pickups when I worked a summer for the state highway department. They had a fleet of 1958 (I think) Dodge 1/2 tons. Almost every one had a cracked frame within a couple of years. As the low man on the totem pole, I had to drive them to the division shop 50 miles way to have the frame welded. That’s an hour of gripping a wildly shimmying wheel, hoping to stay on the black part of the highway.

    • 0 avatar
      Moparman426W

      Both dodge and ford trucks from this era on up through the 90′s had thicker frames than GM trucks. In fact GM trucks from 73-87 were notorious for the steering boxes breaking loose from the frames, especially the 4×4 models with big tires. The problem was so bad that welding shops had plates made up for them and in stock when someone brought their truck in to have the frame welded.

      • 0 avatar
        -Nate

        Yes but ;

        The Forward Control VANS Chrysler made during this time , routinely ripped out the idler pivot on either side , again , most Frame Shops had gusseting plates made up and ready so it was a 15 minute , $50 repair .

        -Nate

  • avatar
    Fenian

    Fond memories of the 318. My dad had a Gran Fury with a 318 when I was growing up, white with a red roof and a gaudy red interior. Also, the first car I ever drove stick on was his Dodge Ram van with a 3-speed and overdrive.

    The van was an absolute workhorse and finally went to the junkyard because of rust; it still ran great.

  • avatar
    -Nate

    Aluminum Shells became the norm because of lower price , no other reason .

    True Tradesmen still use them , we have many in the L.A.P.D. Fleet , beware of plain jane white pickups with black windows! they’re spying on you or the drug dealer next door =8-) .

    I had a few pickups with these excellent all metal Shells , when I finished needing the Shells , all were scrapped as were the many all steel locking cross bed tool boxes with keys I’ve had over the years . no one wants used tools it seems .

    America is a Consumer Society and so doesn’t much value good quality and low price as much as it does having new things .

    Those few of us who haunt the scrap yards , typically have far better quality tools and possessions , even if it means cleaning and re painting them when scored for near scrap value .

    -Nate

    • 0 avatar
      icemilkcoffee

      Yeah I can’t understand why nobody wanted to buy my all steel locking toolbox (with keys) when I had it on Craiglist for something like $15. In the end I had to throw it away in the dumps.

      • 0 avatar
        cfclark

        I think the ability to find a market for things like that almost comes down to serendipity–if you’d had a yard sale, you might have sold it in the first five minutes, or you might have been stuck with it. It is a shame the number of perfectly good old tools that go begging–my dad has wound up with a lot of those, because he understands and enjoys the historical interest involved (especially early 20th Century mechanic’s and farm tools that no one uses anymore), but I dread having to dispose of them when he passes away, because I don’t have the space and I may not be able to find them a good home. They deserve better than being melted down.

      • 0 avatar
        joeaverage

        Take those old tools to a community college program and leave them by the door. The shop will take what it needs and the rest will get passed around. College kids (and college attending adults) love free or cheap tools.

        That old Dodge looks to be in better shape than some of the 90s trucks around here. I’m seeing 90s trucks with rust – especially Chevys. This is the southeast where we rarely get any snow and thus not much salt. Trucks from that era are just about all used up around here. They either become barn queens or are run for a decade using bailing wire and twine until they are collapsing under their own weight – rust, mud, doors falling off, engines running on 5 cylinders out of eight. Neglect plus age.

        Wish I had a place to keep it, I’d like to have a crewcab version. Can’t imagine what breaks on these trucks that couldn’t be fixed pretty cheaply – if not by the owner, then by someone who gets the truck for scrap value. $500 plus a used engine isn’t much money. Install it over a few evenings.

        Guess people want all the creature comforts of a newer truck.

  • avatar
    nikita

    Got yer radio, got yer heater and it’s got yer Easy Rider rifle racks.

  • avatar
    mikeg216

    Murillee you have my word on this,
    One day you will find a Ford 250 or 350 with the 300 inch six c6 auto and 4×4. I will drag it out of the junkyard take it to the oldest Spanish speoaking mechanic. We will get her in running order and I will drive her cross country back to Cleveland, where she can spend another 30 years working. These types of trucks have all but disappeared in the last decade, between the potholes sub zero temps and copious road salt for four months a year, they have turned to dust.

  • avatar
    Lt.BrunoStachel

    Love that Data Plate. Everything you’d want to know all in one place. I don’t know about Ford but the Chevys and GMC from the same era used a paper label on the glove box door with half assed descriptions and RPO/SEO codes. You’d be up the creek if somebody snagged the door. Later ones put the same type of label in the glove box but only in RPO coded form. Most of the time they were useless because some kid with ADD peeled it off or the driver stored a bunch of hand held Garden Weasels in there and scratched all of the information off of it. I noticed the last time I was looking at a 70′s vintage D100 in the boneyard that the data plate had DODGE/CHYRSLER/FARGO/DESOTO on it.

    • 0 avatar
      nikita

      I once owned a ’71 Chevy pickup and the build sheet was actually a sheet of paper stuffed under the seat. My ’66 A-100 had this same data plate, but it also said Fargo Trucks, Canada?

      • 0 avatar
        mikeg216

        Dodge was sold in Canada as Fargo

      • 0 avatar
        tiredoldmechanic

        Fargo trucks were quite common here in Canada at one time, I think they lasted until ’73 or so. You could also get a Plymouth pickup for a few years in the ’70s, don’t know if they had them in the US or not. Both were exactly the same truck as a Dodge of the same vintage. The big 3 did a lot of Canada specific vehicles back then, likely so that dealers could offer a full line of cars and trucks.

    • 0 avatar
      Moparman426W

      Fargo was originally an independent truck builder in the US. John and Horace Dodge started selling them in their dealerships and also supplied the engines and transmissions. They eventually bought fargo out and started using their own name on the trucks except for the ones sold in Canada, which still were called Fargos.

      • 0 avatar
        Moparman426W

        @Tired, they sold trucks with the Plymouth nameplate here in the states for a brief time during the 40′s. A friend of mine owns a beautifully restored 41 plymouth half ton pickup. The plymouth badged trucks only came in the half ton version and they all came from the factory with the fenders painted black.
        The only other trucks sold in the states with the plymouth nameplate afterward were the trailduster and they had a plymouth badged van for awhile, it only came as a half ton passenger model. Then they had the scamp, it was sort of a truck I guess but was actually more of a car since it was a K car with an open back.

      • 0 avatar
        -Nate

        Plymouth badged Vans were sold in the U.S. all through the 1970′s .

        I used to have a 1978 long wheelbase commuter special , it was badged as a Plymouth Voyager , had the 318 and third row of seats , special ordered by Cal Trans , I bought it out of salvage and ran it for another decade before selling it to a freind who ran it back & forth across America pulling a two axle trailer full of salvage Moto cycles , eventually the State offered him $1,500 cash pollution sale to retire it as it was a _passenger_vehicle_ , I’d sold it to him for $350 after a stone NBC Producer smacked the L/R 1/4 panel .

        FWIW , Cal Trans had rebuilt the engine about a year before I bought it and the State always said it passed the test “TOO CLEAN” and flagged it for State run test only stations . it never failed SMOG until I screwed with it so he could get the $1,500 .

        -Nate

  • avatar
    wstarvingteacher

    Sure looks like the old Dodge with slant six that I drove all over in the Navy. More than just the Air Force approved but they did take it to extremes.

    BTW doing some reading: Fargo started on a plymouth chassis not Dodge. Became interchangeable with Dodge before they quit selling them. I’m sure I was reading on Sedan Deliveries when I read that and doubt I could find it again.

  • avatar
    mccall52

    Does anyone else think of the movie “Overboard” when you see one of these?

  • avatar
    AJ

    Nice gun rack.

  • avatar
    chicagoland

    My Grandad’s last vehicle, got a ’71 in winter same year. This one looks like the same green shade and automatic, with shifter as our Plymouth wagon. But was a 4×4 with front loader.

  • avatar
    nrd515

    A friend of mine had a ’68 with a 383 out of a ’70 Roadrunner in it when he bought it in 1977. It was black over gray and had a black aluminum camper shell on it. He had it for almost 30 years until his oldest daughter, who had wrecked her car a week before that, took it to work and wound up falling asleep and putting it into a ditch, at almost the same spot where she had wrecked her car after falling asleep. Three kids under 5 will do that to you. It was pretty rusted up, but was still on the same engine and trans with 300K on it since he bought it. Other than a couple of water pumps, a radiator, and a bunch of batteries, it was totally trouble free. It was ugly, no doubt. He almost bought a much better looking ’74 D100, but the 318 was pretty gutless compared to the 383, with headers, dual exhaust, and probably a cam. I almost bought an Arizona ’70 W100 in amazing shape about 10 years ago, but I didn’t really need it and came to my senses..

  • avatar
    Moparman426W

    Pretty much anything one could need for an old domestic pickup is pretty cheap to buy. I guess some people just don’t want to go through the trouble of locating the part or they don’t want to bother with fixing it if they have the money to buy another old truck.


Back to TopLeave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Subscribe without commenting

Recent Comments

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Staff

  • Authors

  • Brendan McAleer, Canada
  • Marcelo De Vasconcellos, Brazil
  • Matthias Gasnier, Australia
  • J & J Sutherland, Canada
  • Tycho de Feyter, China
  • W. Christian 'Mental' Ward, Abu Dhabi
  • Mark Stevenson, Canada
  • Faisal Ali Khan, India