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.
Chrysler’s flathead (aka “L-head”) straight-six engine is one of the forgotten heroes of prewar and postwar Detroit, being produced from 1929 through some undefined year in the early 1970s (for stationary use, e.g., in generators and irrigation pumps). There was even a five-bank, 30-cylinder version made for tanks. It appears that it was possible to buy a new Dodge truck with the flathead six through the 1968 model year, though some say that Uncle Sam was the only buyer for the last few years of flathead Dodges. Most buyers opted for futuristic overhead-valve engines by the 1960s, anyway, but here’s a D-series pickup in a California wrecking yard that still has its L-head.
When you write about one Malaise Era Dodge pickup, you might as well follow it up with another on the very next day. These days, crew cabs are nearly ubiquitous on big pickups, but the idea of a truck with a back seat in the cab was still something of a novelty in the middle 1970s, so this truck is an interesting truck history lesson.
Dodge’s D-Series trucks of the 1970s are still on the roads in large numbers, since there’s always someone who needs a simple work truck and doesn’t care if that truck is 10 or 40 years old. Still, you can always find another sturdy (if thirsty) Detroit pickup if something expensive breaks, so this Adventurer is now Crusher-bound.