Finally, the A100 Does What a Van Should Do!

Murilee Martin
by Murilee Martin
finally the a100 does what a van should do

The 1966 Dodge A100 Hell Project was on hold for much of last year, getting stuck in Front Axle Rebuild Limbo for a while. I scored a bunch of junkyard parts in February, and the van came back home a few weeks back. Now, for the first time since it was parked in 1998 with a spun rod bearing, it’s a properly drivable machine. I took it on its first plywood run earlier this week! It still needs plenty of work— getting the gauges and door locks working is my priority right now— but it starts, runs, turns, and stops. It doesn’t overheat in traffic on hot days (though my right leg does overheat, being pressed against the hot engine doghouse) and it accelerates with authority. Sure, the leaf-springs-all-the-way-around suspension gives it a bouncy, rattly, oil-canning ride, the 318 wants to break the rear tires loose under any sort of throttle, and only my experience owning a forward-control Econoline lets me know that the scary handling is totally normal for these vans.

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4 of 21 comments
  • Safe as milk Safe as milk on Apr 11, 2012

    glad to see the a100 on the road. congrats.

  • Parkwood60 Parkwood60 on Apr 12, 2012

    Oddly enough building a Lemons car, and the deadlines involved, has jump started all my other projects. I like the A100, and the other FC vans. I did a motor swap for a friends Econoline and got to drive it for a few days. I like them, but I no longer want to own and drive one for any length of time.

  • NateR NateR on Apr 12, 2012

    Very nice work. I'm glad to see it on the road.

  • GoesLikeStink GoesLikeStink on Apr 12, 2012

    Just finished going back and reading all of the thread on this build. So you are considering the Disks? And I vote for red sparkly vinyl on the seats. My dad had a roll of that stuff in the seventies. He made 2 or 3 motorcycle/scooter seats with it. At the time I hated the look of it, but now it is so tacky that I love it. Being a long time Mopar man I really enjoy reading about this project. As I mentioned I just Got rid of my 65 Dart Wagon, but it has been replaced with another Mopar, A Fiat 500c (nice review you did by the way) I fiugured if a car guy like you enjoyed the car I would too.