Junkyard Find: 1972 Dodge D200 Custom Sweptline

Murilee Martin
by Murilee Martin
junkyard find 1972 dodge d200 custom sweptline

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]

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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.

  • Inside Looking Out In June 1973, Leonid Brezhnev arrived in Washington for his second summit meeting with President Richard Nixon. Knowing of the Soviet leader’s fondness for luxury automobiles, Nixon gave him a shiny Lincoln Continental. Brezhnev was delighted with the present and insisted on taking a spin around Camp David, speeding through turns while the president nervously asked him to slow down. https://academic.oup.com/dh/article-abstract/42/4/548/5063004
  • Bobby D'Oppo Great sound and smooth power delivery in a heavier RWD or AWD vehicle is a nice blend, but current V8 pickup trucks deliver an unsophisticated driving experience. I think a modern full-size pickup could be very well suited to a manual transmission.In reality, old school, revvy atmo engines pair best with manual transmissions because it's so rewarding to keep them in the power band on a winding road. Modern turbo engines have flattened the torque curve and often make changing gears feel more like a chore.
  • Chuck Norton For those worried about a complex power train-What vehicle doesn't have one? I drive a twin turbo F-150 (3.5) Talk about complexity.. It seems reliability based on the number of F-150s sold is a non-issue. As with many other makes/models. I mean how many operations are handle by micro processors...in today's vehicles?
  • Ravenuer The Long Island Expressway.
  • Kwik_Shift A nice stretch of fairly remote road that would be great for test driving a car's potential, rally style, is Flinton Road off of Highway 41 in Ontario. Twists/turns/dips/rises. Just hope a deer doesn't jump out at you. Also Highway 60 through Algonquin Provincial Park in Ontario. Great scenery with lots of hills.