Junkyard Find: 1972 Dodge D200 Custom Sweptline

Murilee Martin
by Murilee Martin

The Dodge D-series trucks were getting embarrassingly dated by the late 1960s, with their solid-axle front suspensions and archaic styling, so Chrysler created the third-generation D-series pickups for the 1972 model year.

Here’s a reasonably solid three-quarter-ton from the first year of that generation, spotted in a Denver self-service yard.

This one is pretty well-optioned for a pickup of its era, with V8 engine (probably a 318, but could be a 360), automatic transmission, air conditioning, and other features shunned by penny-pinching truck buyers who just wanted to haul a few tons of hog innards from place to place.

There’s some rust, nothing serious by Midwestern standards, but enough that few in Colorado would be interested in a restoration.

The ’72 Sweptline 3/4-ton version had a curb weight of a mere 3,705 pounds — light enough to float away (by 2016 full-sized pickup standards). Back then, though, pickups weren’t considered everyday commute vehicles for suburbanites looking for a vehicle with a leather interior, a menacing face, and brag-worthy towing capacity.

1972, when pickup ads featured mooing cows and phrases such as “built for haulin’ loads back here and pamperin’ people up here.”

[Images: © 2016 Murilee Martin/The Truth About Cars]

Murilee Martin
Murilee Martin

Murilee Martin is the pen name of Phil Greden, a writer who has lived in Minnesota, California, Georgia and (now) Colorado. He has toiled at copywriting, technical writing, junkmail writing, fiction writing and now automotive writing. He has owned many terrible vehicles and some good ones. He spends a great deal of time in self-service junkyards. These days, he writes for publications including Autoweek, Autoblog, Hagerty, The Truth About Cars and Capital One.

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  • -Nate -Nate on Oct 04, 2016

    Lemme tell you ~ These trucks used that same fuse box for a decade and we were always into it... -Nate

  • Lemko Lemko on Oct 07, 2016

    I think of the Rescue 51 unit from the TV series "Emergency" when I see one of these trucks.

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  • Michael Gallagher I agree to a certain extent but I go back to the car SUV transition. People began to buy SUVs because they were supposedly safer because of their larger size when pitted against a regular car. As more SUVs crowded the road that safety advantage began to dwindle as it became more likely to hit an equally sized SUV. Now there is no safety advantage at all.
  • Probert The new EV9 is even bigger - a true monument of a personal transportation device. Not my thing, but credit where credit is due - impressive. The interior is bigger than my house and much nicer with 2 rows of lounge seats and 3rd for the plebes. 0-60 in 4.5 seconds, around 300miles of range, and an e-mpg of 80 (90 for the 2wd). What a world.
  • Ajla "Like showroom" is a lame description but he seems negotiable on the price and at least from what the two pictures show I've dealt with worse. But, I'm not interested in something with the Devil's configuration.
  • Tassos Jong-iL I really like the C-Class, it reminds me of some trips to Russia to visit Dear Friend VladdyPoo.