The '61-'71 Dodge Truck Website
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'61-Mid'65 Dodge Trucks

What was so new about 1961 Dodge Trucks? Everything. Dodge labored to boost sales and overall worthiness in designing the new Sweptline series of trucks. Codenamed the "R" pickups, they featured appealing style, stronger standard engines, larger load capacities and plenty of interior comforts in comparison to those they replaced.

The 1961 Dart Pickup
The exterior look could easily be described as clean and impressive. New Sweptline pickups featured a flowing bodyline that extended from front to rear. Also, the front bed edges overlapped the rear of the cab which provoked a sleek, unibody look. Up in front the '61 seemed tough, yet stylish. With quad headlamps, a full body width hood and slotted aluminium grille the '61 merged style and function. The new "Drivemaster" cabs included a huge wraparound front windshield and could be had with either full or half sized rear windows.

`61 Dart Pickup Postcard

Inside, the bench seat was 60 inches long providing enough room for three passengers. These new cabs were also wider and lower on the frame which allowed for easier access to the creature comforts. Instrumentation consisted of a gauge panel mounted on a dash pod aimed directly at the driver. All switches and controls were designated with single block letters and were spread out along the lower portions of the dash. Each side of the cab had fresh air vents opened via push-pull type cable controls. The passenger side vent led into the optional heater box while the driver's side vent aimed incoming air towards the floor.

Mechanical advantages such as the alternator, a drop center frame, and the heavy-duty New Process A745 tranny were incorporated into the new Sweptline Trucks. Also in this year, the slant six replaced the trusty L-Head six that had powered so many Dodge Trucks to fame in the past.

Crew Cab Trucks
Image from Dodge Pickups 1939-1978 Photo Album.
1961 was a first for the availability of a crew cab truck by Dodge. Although the `61-`62 versions of this vehicle were custom built by conversion companies outside Chrysler, they were still quite a landmark. Placed on a 146in wheelbase, these trucks had two extra doors that allowed for a total of up to six passengers. They could be had with the same engines and options as the other trucks, and were available for D-100 to D-700 trucks as well as any Power Wagon configuration. This was true for all Sweptline Era Crew Cab trucks produced until '63, when Dodge began to produce them in house. From `63 on, all crew cab pickups were available in the 3/4 ton version only. Still, the cab was available on anything up to the D-700 rating, but the pickup version was limited to D or W-200's. A W-200 pickup is shown below.
Image from Dodge Truck Advertisement.

'62 thru Mid-'65 Pickups
What separates the '61 Dodge pickups from those in '62 is the grille. Possibly due to the discontinued Dart nameplate for the '62 trucks, the new grille was made of stamped steel rather than aluminium. In front, this change helped to fill the large opening of the body more effectively and stylishly. The model number badge was moved to the center portions of this new grille and is the same casting as the badges found on the front fenders of the '61 and '65-later trucks. New "Dodge" badges now graced the front fenders, and would do so until '68 when a new, smaller emblem replaced them.

For a complete breakdown of information on 1963 Dodge Trucks, surf over to Bruce Cresswell's `63 Dodge Truck Pages.

In '64 the Custom Sport Special was conceived and produced by the Special Equipment Group at Chrysler. These trucks preceded the Adventurers as luxury minded sport trucks and offered the possibility of a 426 Wedge engine. See the CSS and Adventurer Page for more info.

1964 Dodge Press Release Photos
`64 D-100 `64 D-200 Tradesman
Photos Courtesy of Big Chubby


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