By on October 3, 2016

1972 Dodge D200 Pickup in Colorado Junkyard, RH front view - ©2016 Murilee Martin - The Truth About Cars

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.

02 - 1972 Dodge D200 Pickup in Colorado Junkyard - Photo by Murilee Martin

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.

1972 Dodge D200 Pickup in Colorado Junkyard, rust - ©2016 Murilee Martin - The Truth About Cars

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

1972 Dodge D200 Pickup in Colorado Junkyard, CUSTOM emblem - ©2016 Murilee Martin - The Truth About Cars

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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50 Comments on “Junkyard Find: 1972 Dodge D200 Custom Sweptline...”


  • avatar
    Corollaman

    This would be a good candidate for a restoration, but most folks are only interested in Chevy and Ford.

  • avatar
    Land Ark

    That was a seriously long running design. I remember riding home from elementary school in the mid/late ’80s and seeing a light tan colored one parked nearby. Even then, not knowing much about trucks, I recall thinking it was really old but in really nice shape. It wasn’t until years later that I realized it was actually likely brand new.

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      Frickin’ Iococca wanted it to die, go away, along with the Fury/Diplomat. The Dakota, he could deal with. Then Cummins saved it from an ugly, fleet-ridden death.

      • 0 avatar
        Lorenzo

        Yeah, I remember Maximum Bob complaining about the demise of the RWD 5th Avenue, mentioning that a luxury car should be a RWD with a V8. He was less than happy with the stretched K-car 5th Avenue, and that might have been a big reason Iacocca chose the OTHER Bob, Eaton, the former GM lifer who sold out Chrysler, as his successor.

        Iacocca later said that choice was his biggest mistake, but at least Iacocca allowed the full sized models to use a longitudinal engine layout for future AWD. That would have taken the sting out of losing the mid-size RWD platform for Lutz, had he taken over for Iacocca, but with the sell-out to Daimler, the AWD never happened.

        • 0 avatar
          bumpy ii

          The longitudinal engine in the LH cars was a carryover from AMC’s flirtation with Renault.

          • 0 avatar
            Scoutdude

            No it was not, it was there to provide for easy building of an AWD version and a V8 powered RWD version. They ran out of money and those were never produced as a LH but they were designed. Much of those designs were dusted off for the refresh into the LX, but Mercedes had other ideas and forced them back to the drawing board to use Mercedes components.

          • 0 avatar
            Maymar

            Scoutdude, isn’t it sort of both? The LHs were built in the plant built specifically for the Renault-based Eagle Premier, it was mostly designed by ex-AMC’ers, and Lutz even admitted the Premier was the LH’s benchmark.

    • 0 avatar
      bumpy ii

      They actually did get a restyle in the early ’80s, but much like GM’s it was too subtle for most people to notice.

  • avatar
    MoDo

    The 60’s Dodge and Ford trucks are an unfortunate favorite for truck class demo derbies – look it up on YT if you can stomach a bunch of them all in the ring together bashing into one another till the death.

  • avatar
    Kenmore

    If Volvo had made a pickup (give it a second for pic):

    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ram_Pickup#/media/File:89DodgeRam_F34.jpg

    Clean, straight and handsome. Like me.

  • avatar
    threeer

    Nice! Reminds me of two trucks from my past…one, my uncle had a red Dodge that he used to putter around south-central Indy in, and I got to ride in the back in more than once (just around the farm, not out on open roads, thankfully). The second, my first real “boss” bought a brand-new Dodge back in 1985 that still looked remarkably related to the one in the pics (proof that the fundamental design lasted a long, long time). I still think they are clean, unadorned and simple. Exactly the opposite of just about every new truck on the road today.

    • 0 avatar
      thattruthguy

      The fundamental design lasted a long time because Chrysler was running fifth in a three-horse race, and didn’t have any hope of getting more competitive.

      • 0 avatar
        Jimal

        The GM design from that era lasted almost as long, 1973-87. And the Fords lumped along with superficial refreshes almost as long. Clean sheet updates just weren’t seen as all that necessary back then.

  • avatar
    JimC2

    3000lb curb weight and a V8 (even an LA V8 probably tuned for truck duty) would have some fun get-up-and-go around town!

    • 0 avatar
      cdotson

      I think the curb weight on this guy is up in the 4100 lb range rather than the 3700 published. I think the 3700 figure was for the shortest wheelbase truck which was a regular cab/short bed. I knew a guy in high school in the mid-90s that daily drove a 1972 D100 in that configuration that was in worse shape than the one pictured here. Its wheelbase was only a few inches longer than my 1988 Ramcharger’s.

  • avatar
    87 Morgan

    It appears to be a 2WD. If it was 4×4 it would most likely still be on the road out here in CO. That rust is not enough to disqualify it from work use or H.S. use. They are easy enough to keep running with junkyard motors/parts.

    FWIW, i love this era of Dodge trucks. 72-92. Square and simple. Exactly what a work truck should be.

  • avatar
    -Nate

    Poor old thing looks pretty used up .

    I like the hornet nest in the speedo =8-) .

    I see it has the optional under bed toolbox too , someone really spent some $ on this when it was new .

    These rigs did indeed have plenty of giddyap and go even with the 318 CID V-8 and two barrel carby as they were usually geared low in the final drive .

    *MUCH* tougher than the more popular Chevy next to it .

    I recently tried to save a space cab 4X4 3/4 ton version of this truck for $150 with ZERO RUST in California, no one wanted it .

    -Nate

    • 0 avatar
      SaulTigh

      I don’t know, she looks like she’s still got some work left in her if she runs and was simply cleaned thoroughly. I see trucks in worse shape around here all the time being used for their intended purposes.

    • 0 avatar
      JimC2

      “These rigs did indeed have plenty of giddyap and go even with the 318 CID V-8 and two barrel carby as they were usually geared low in the final drive.”

      Come to think of it, one of my friends’ parents kept one of these through the 1990s, mostly for a runabout on their farm. They kept the registration current so they could use it for short trips. Spot on about the final drive- you’d start out in second (833 four speed) because that just felt right most of the time. Emphasis here on “short trips,” with that final drive it really wasn’t a good freeway machine.

  • avatar
    dividebytube

    I remember the last generation of the D trucks being used as Michigan Highway vehicles.

    But still, I would drive this: an honest truck.

  • avatar
    CobraJet

    I noticed the bed interior was in remarkably good shape. Based on the brackets on all for corners of the bed, I believe this truck spent its life with some sort of box or camper fastened in the bed. Air conditioning and auto transmission were odd options on a simple work truck. I suspect this truck was used in longer haul delivery duty or for camping vacations.

    • 0 avatar
      Lorenzo

      Good point. With a camper, the giddyap wouldn’t have been so hot, or desirable. The side view mirrors would be a bit much for a work truck. Besides age and rust, it’s hard to see what put this truck out to pasture.

      Both the 318 and 360 (361?) were solid but thirsty, and in a 3/4 ton truck, the transmission was probably the bulletproof 727 Torqueflite. My best guess is, the owner as well as the truck was too old to go camping anymore, and the yard offered more than anyone else to take it off the owner’s hands.

      • 0 avatar
        JimC2

        “Both the 318 and 360 (361?) were solid but thirsty, and in a 3/4 ton truck, the transmission was probably the bulletproof 727 Torqueflite”

        I’m guessing you’re right about the 727. The 904LA-318 combo was available in cars by the mid 1970s (and offered on some cop cars in the 1980s and it would have held up just fine in pickup truck duty), but I doubt it was a choice in a 1972 truck.

        You’re thinking 318 and 360. The 360 grew out of the 340 to compensate for less output from emissions controls. I don’t think trucks had much any emissions controls in the 1970s; PCV and maybe EGR, that was about it…

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    Back when you had to check the badges to tell the difference between a 1/2 ton, 3/4 ton, and 1 ton pickup – cause it was nobody’s business but your own how much truck you needed.

  • avatar
    April S

    The electric utility I worked at had a decades old 1973 D100 long bed with a six cylinder three speed on the tree combination. Stayed mostly on site so it had extra low miles. When everything was running fine the bored crew would change the oil on it whether it needed it or not. :)

  • avatar
    Drzhivago138

    It seems Dodge was unique among the Big 3 for offering its smallest V8 on both light- and heavy-duty 3/4 ton models, as well as one-tons. Ford and GM’s competing engines (the 302 and 305, respectively) were only offered on half-tons and light-duty 3/4 tons.

    • 0 avatar
      NoGoYo

      I’ve always found the inverse unusual (big-block in a half ton). I’ve seen 454 Chevy 10s and 460 F-150s but not a 440 D/W100.

      • 0 avatar
        Drzhivago138

        Welll….you’re a little bit off, but a little bit right. The big-block V8s couldn’t be offered in /standard/ half-tons because of emissions regs on vehicles under 6000 lbs. GVWR, so there were no 454-equipped C10s, 460-equipped F-100s, or D/W-100s with a 440.

        But the new-for-1975 heavy half-ton was over the 6000-lb. GVWR limit–so for a short time in the late ’70s, there /were/ F-150s with 460s, Chevy Big 10/GMC Heavy Half pickups with 454s, and D/W-150s with 440s.

        http://www.lov2xlr8.no/brochures/dodge/78truck/bilder/12.jpg

        (To see the rest of that brochure, replace “bilder/12.jpg” with “78truck.html”)

        By the early ’80s, the big-block heavy-half tons had gone away, not because of emissions, but because the manufacturers wanted to offer better MPG models (and in the case of Dodge, the 440 was dropped entirely).

  • avatar
    rocketrodeo

    I remember my dad truck shopping in the late 1960s. It quickly came down to Chevy or Ford because of the Dodge’s rough ride, a difference even 8 year old me could distinguish. Later I drove a lot of fleet trucks. Seems these were always in distant third place, bought by people who didn’t have to drive them. Or maintain them. Who remembers having to fix the three-on-the-tree shift linkage under the hood at least once a day?

  • avatar
    Flipper35

    Look at the harmonic balancer. The 318 was internally balanced and the 360 was externally balanced with a counter weight on the balancer (and flywheel but those are hard to see easily :) ).

  • avatar
    la834

    Definitely the only commercial for a car or truck I’ve seen that mentions ease of accessing the fuse box! Was that ever a major selling point?

  • avatar
    -Nate

    Lemme tell you ~

    These trucks used that same fuse box for a decade and we were always into it…

    -Nate

  • avatar
    lemko

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

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