Trucks, Jeeps


Two “new” Compass reviews

T4OG: Trans Four Owner’s Group

Mopars of the 2017 NYC Auto Show
You can advertise here. Contact us.

1977 Plymouth and Dodge trucks and vans

dodge warlock and d100 adventurer

Dodge’s 1977 trucks were part of the progression of trucks from pure commercial vehicles to passenger car replacements; they had a wide range of convenience features, new colors, and a new grille for light duty pickups and sport utility vehicles. The company still sold big trucks — commercial tractor-trailer units — and campers and motor homes, as well.

wrecker

Robert H. Kline, Chrysler’s manager of truck sales, estimated that four-wheel drive vehicles would end up being half of sales between 1977 and 1980. “The truck market in the last few years has gone from a strictly commercial oriented market to almost 50% personal use,” Kline said. “In 1977, we expect one out of every four domestic vehicles sold will be a truck.” Trucks didn’t take off quite as quickly, but his words were prescient.

1977 Dodge light-duty trucks and vans: Adult Toys and more

ramcharger dashDodge sold a group of what it called “Adult Toys:”

1977 Dodge pickups

The 1977s had a new grille, upper body side moulding, two-tone dashboards and seat trim, and optional two-tone paint. There were three trim levels: Custom, Adventurer, and Adventurer SE.

1977 Dodge Ramcharger

Seats were vinyl with stripe inserts in Custom; vinyl with embossed inserts in Adventurer; and cloth with vinyl inserts in Adventurer SE. The Custom and Adventurer models could come with plaid cloth seats that had vinyl bolsters. The instrument cluster on Ramcharger SE featured rosewood appliques.

1978

The Dodge Warlock, with its fancy wheels, fat tires, bucket seats, authentic oak sideboards, and unique stripes, was originally a show vehicle idea. It stirred such interest that Dodge moved quickly to launch it late in the 1976 model year as a special; its popularity made it a regular model in 1977 and inspired the Li’l Red Truck. Dodge had picked up on the idea from watching West Coast customers.

1977 warlock

The Warlock had chrome plated running boards, black interiors accented by gold tape on the dash and the doors, and a “tuff” steering wheel. Outside, they had solid oak sideboards above the box, with gold accents. Few changes were made from the show car to the production truck — the biggest being removal of the roll bar.

Macho packages

The Macho Packages had sporty wheels and tires, paint treatments, stripes, and graphic lettering on the sides and tailgates — with 10-15 LT-B tires, and either chrome disc or painted spoke wheels.

1977 Dodge pickup trucks

The Power Wagon was based on the W100 Sweptline pickup, long or short wheelbase, with yellow decal stripes and large Power Wagon letters. Buyers could choose eight colors, with low gloss black on the hood, lower body and cab roof; and a roll bar in the pickup bed.

The Dodge Ramcharger and Plymouth Trail Duster Macho used tape striping on the lower body with Four by Four spelled out, and “4x4” on the tailgates. Both the Ramchargers and Trail Duster had high back cloth or vinyl bucket seats.

1977 full-sized Dodge vans

Dodge Truck's four-year lead in the compact van and wagon market continued in 1977; it was one area where Dodge actually out-sold Ford, Chevrolet, and Volkswagen (in the US), and had since 1983. The best selling van (and most frequently converted) van was the Dodge Tradesman.

plymouth van

Robert Kline said, “We were seeing passenger cars being traded for compact wagons and vans and pickup models. Our Sportsman wagon was the number one selling compact wagon today and the standard and optional interior appointments—such as quick release bench seats and 14 ounce cut-pile carpeting—available for the 1977 models will help keep Sportsman in that position.”

1977 camper

Five new metallic colors (light green, medium blue, medium green sunfire, russet sunfire, and black sunfire) and four straight shades (light tan, light blue, yellow, and harvest gold) were added to white, bright red, russet, silver cloud metallic, and bright tan metallic.

body drop

Maxiwagon and maxivan models continued Chrysler's exclusive 15-passenger capacity for wagons and the longest interior cargo length for vans. The single piece rear door was now standard on wagon models, and dual rear doors were a no-cost option.

Dodge added swivel high back bucket driver and passenger seat option in the 1977 Royal Sportsman and Royal Sportsman SE, Tradesman van and Street Van; and a quick release mechanism for wagon bench seats, along with more comfortable bench seats.

1977 van

Gray-colored privacy glass was a new option on some Sportsman vans, in addition to the regular tinted glass option.

The Street Van

The Street Van  — sold on 109 and 127 inch wheelbases, in B100 and B200 form — came with a front-cabin custom interior, high-back bucket seats, carpeting up front, faux woodgrain on the instrument panel, and bright trim around the instrument cluster, door trim panels, and horn bar.

street van

The exterior had H70-1S-B raised white letter tires, a choice of five slot chrome or painted spoke road wheels, bright bumpers, bright moldings around the grille, windshield, and tail lamps, and bright 5x7 side view mirrors.

1977 dodge street van

Customizing kits included with each Street Van included instructions for adding features such as port holes, sun roof, and roof vents — along with a list of manufacturers. There were full-size templates for cutting side panels, headliner, and floor covering for the interior, and instructions for attaching material to the inside of the van and illustrations showing six graphic schemes. The van came with membership in the Van Clan and an associate membership in the National Street Van Association (NSVA).

trucks as adult toys

“valiant67” wrote: “The Street Vans appears to have been made from 1976 to 1980. 1976 models should have had a Street Machine decal on the doors, later years used an emblem that supposedly is quite valuable.”

Dodge commercial duty trucks and vans

The following information is from Australia and most likely includes a mix of British-and-American-engineered Commer trucks also sold under the Dodge name worldwide, and domestic Dodge trucks in different configurations.

1978 Dodge D5N series trucks

Dodge had a full product line, which had been booming for some time, slowing with the 1973 fuel crisis. This is the line advertised in Australia in 1978:

The Dodge D5N series was most likely based on past-model American D-series pickups. Diesels got Rockwell rear axles, gas engines got Spicers.

Dodge D3F commercial trucks (COmmer)

The Dodge D3F series was probably based on the Commer 100 and Commer 500 series. Diesels got Rockwell rear axles, gas engines got Spicers.

Dodge Fuso models, most likely only sold in Australia, were simply Mitsubishi Fusos, complete with Mitsubishi logo on the front; these were all diesels, with five or ten speed transmissions, hauling from 6,600 kg to 37,700 kg. Dodge Canter trucks were both relatively light payload models (4,410 - 4,700 kg), one with a 2.66 liter four-cylinder gas engine, one with a 2.66 liter four-cylinder diesel, using a four speed (gas) or five speed (diesel).

Engines included (but were not restricted to):

Type kW (bhp) Nm (lb-ft) Notes
Perkins 6-354 diesel 98 (131) 385 (284) Gross
Detroit Diesel 6V53N V6 (318.6 cid) 145 (195) 605 (446) Gross
Chrysler V8 petrol (318) 92 (123) 345 (255) Net
Chrysler V8 petrol (318) 157 (210) 431 (318) Gross; an alternative setup
gave slightly more power

Andrew Ross also wrote (we haven’t confirmed this):

Dating back to the late 1940s, Chrysler and International Harvester used the same bodies for their truck lines with the only differences being in grilles, fenders and interior trim. Up to 1956 Chrysler Australia also produced Fargo and DeSoto trucks differing from Dodge only in trim detail. Chrysler Australia trucks followed the American models very closely until 1952 and from that year, continued with the same body until 1959, albeit with minor styling changes. International introduced their all new style in 1958 which was the same as the American model and Chrysler and International then produced their trucks with this body right up to the end of production (1978 for Dodge and 1979 for International).

Virginia PDC
New Mopar distribution center

FCA’s high school design contest
dealer repairs bay shop
Training rural service techs

More Mopar Car
and Truck News

We make no guarantees regarding validity or accuracy of information, predictions, or advice — see the terms of use and privacy policy. Copyright © 1994-2000, David Zatz; copyright © 2001-2017, Allpar LLC (except as noted, and press/publicity materials); all rights reserved.

Spread the word via or Facebook!
Dodge, Jeep, Chrysler, Ram, and Mopar are trademarks of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles.

Two “new” Compass reviews T4OG: Trans Four Owner’s Group Mopars of the 2017 NYC Auto Show