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Ideas and Examples

There are all kinds of wonderful and unique things that can be done with '61-'71 Dodge Trucks. Customizing and personalizing is fun and surprisingly easy to accomplish with a good focus and a little work. Here are a few pictures and descriptions to get you thinking.

Phil Sumpter's `69 D-100
One of the cleanest and meanest Sweptline Era Trucks around, Phil Sumpter's `69 D-100 is an excellent example of the potential that Dodges of this Era posess. Lurking under the hood of this beauty is a highly modified `69 340 with the following specs:
Phil says that the truck, "has tremendous go power." Not that you wouldn't believe him. Specifically, he noted that the engine makes 550HP currently (tuned down from a 700HP maximum). Backing up that potent powerplant is a Mopar auto tranny with Hemi torque converter. Finally, to remove the fumes is a set of custom stainless headers, three inch tubes and a set of stock `99 C#*vy Police Special mufflers. A fuel cell in the truck's bed feeds the engine ample fuel. Centerline 15" billet wheels (10" rear, 6" front) shod in high performance tires put all that power to the ground through stock heavy duty suspension. He plans to add IFS up front and get bigger tires and wheels for it in the future. Most would agree, it's perfect as shown. More pictures:
Phil Sumpter's `69 D-100 Pics
Engine Interior Front Rear

The Chopper
Image from Truckin' Magazine
This truck was built by Randy Janson of San Diego, CA. It is a 1965 D-100 shortbox with the venerable 225 Slant-Six. The picture came from a full feature in the March 1996 issue of Truckin' Magazine. If you'll notice, Randy added a trick purple paint job with clean pinstriping and solid bodywork. He also went with the nostalgic chrome spotlights and whitewall tires to make "The Chopper" really stand out. The lakes pipes add to this theme, as do the ultra shiny chrome hubcaps with bullet centers. The lowered in the weeds stance really rounds out the whole effect.

Although lowering these trucks isn't as easy as with other trucks, it can be done as Randy's D-100 proves. He lowered his truck using a custom front axle and c-notches in the frame in back. Consequently, you must decide if giving up ride for looks is a worthy cause. In any case, subframing is also a viable option that might give a better ride, but your truck will have to be un-drivable during the swap. Look for a sutable donor car(such as a Plymouth Volare or Chrysler Cordoba) that has big disk brakes to slow you down. These will come in handy when you start adding mass quantities of horsepower to your street truck.

Clean, Mean Utiline

Here's a clean, custom early sixties Dodge Utiline set up for towing a drag car. Inspired by a 318 Wideblock and stylin' with a set of true slotted mags, this truck is cool from any angle. Can you think of a better vehicle to pull a race car or go parts running in? The key to this rig is its simple and effective modifications which were applied wisely to create one awesome street truck.

The "Grape Ape" 1965 A-100

Photos submitted by Quentin Rushing
This is the infamous Grape Ape which has been caught at a rare moment parked near the burger joint. It includes a 318 for power, which was swapped for the previously underpowered slant six. In either case, the thing looks great, complete with matching tonneau and custom bumpers. Could there be a more appropriate wheel choice? American Racing Torque Thrust Wheels wrapped in street treads finish off the clean and mean stance.

The "Deliverer"
Images from Mopar Action Magazine
This is George Cox's Hemi powered D-100 stepside.
As you can imagine, this beast a terror on the street. The 392 Hemi power really adds to the creativity points and undoubtedly the fun factor. The striking features, other than the powertrain include the oak bed, chrome smoke stacks and unique bed side spare. This truck is built clearly to match the likes of the owner, not going trends. Trends are nice, but how often do you see a vehicle like this exemplifying unique style and creativity?

Building up a '61-'71 Dodge Truck is actually quite unique to start with. Sadly, these trucks are not often customized. The numbers of F*#d and especially Ch&%y trucks in custom form massively outweigh those Dodge Trucks from the same vintage. But how creative is it to build up a Ch&%y or F*#d? For instance, how many old Ch&%y truck parts suppliers are out there? Tons. It is much more challenging to find parts for and build up a Dodge Truck as they require more effort. As you can see in the above instances, there is no doubt that the owners enjoy the end results of their hard work.

Ed Bogiano's '69 1/2 ton
Image from Hemmings Motor News
Here is a prime example of a restored original Dodge Truck. With a 383 and a 4-spd, one can just see Ed cruzin' around with a big smile on his face. Origially bought in Houston Texas from the original owner, Ed used Hemmings Motor News to find parts for it. Ed's truck is a testament to the fact that parts for these vehicles do exist and where one can find them.

Low Down and Primer Perfect
Photo submitted by Steve Botkin.
Who needs a big-buck rod to look cool? This early sixties Dodge shortbox has everything one needs; good lookin' wheels shod in street treads, shaved trim and emblems, as well as a low stance. Under the hood is a slant-six detailed in turquoise anc chrome. Bodywise, all emblems were shaved, the tailgate was molded in, and the taillights were frenched. This is much like "The Chopper" above, but is an earlier model with a slightly different focus.

Bill Cain's '67 A-100
Images from High Performance Mopar Magazine
If it's hard to find a A-100 pickup, imagine how hard it is to find one as nice as this! Complete with Mustang II independent front suspension and a pro street rear setup, it's functional and fast. Speaking of speedy, the body was appropriately painted in Viper Red. Running 10s in the 1320 must be exhilarating.

Motivated by a stroked 440 with B-1 aluminiun heads, the total displacement comes out to 498ci. Along with NOS, 11.5:1 compression, roller cam and 1150-cfm Holley Dominator the powerplant is nothing to laugh at. Distribution of such great forces are handled by a 727 tranny prepped by Bill himself, and a Dana 60 rear with 4.56 gears.

Charlie Buzzell's Mid-Engined A-100
Mid-Engine Hemi Powered A-100
Image from Mopar Action Magazine
A-100 owners know exactly what they're doing when building up their trucks, and Charlie's Hemi powered version is no exception. If the vertical exhaust collector pipes aren't quite obvious enough, there's also enough polished chrome and orange motor mounted in the bed of this beast to make one quake.

Specifics on Charlie's rig include 3.23 Sure-Grip rear, Blown 426 Hemi motorvation, custom engineered drive system (due to Hemi location), 4-core radiator, and a parachute.

David Mayrand's Slightly Modified `69
Another clean example of a D-100 shortbox is David Mayrand's `69. Although he says that it is only slightly modified, there's more to the story. The 0.030 over 383 under the hood came from a `70 Cuda and has a number of power enhancements and dress up items. The powertrain includes a narrowed 8 3/4 rear differential with a 3.91 ratio Sure-Grip pumpkin to make sure the tires hook (or that both fry off at once). The body has been shaved of all emblems except the D-100 designators and the bright yellow paint is off of a F*#d Probe. Keeping it all in the family, David got his Father in-law to help him with the body mods. Plans to gain better handling via a Cordoba front suspension graft are proposed for the near future.

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