'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.
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
'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
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.
Photos Courtesy of Big Chubby
| Pre-History | A-100's | '61-Mid '65
Trucks | '65-67 Trucks | '68-'71 Trucks |
| CSS\Adventurer Trucks | Sweptline
Power Wagons | Medium/Heavy Duty
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