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The A-series compact pickup trucks: A-100 and A-108

Dodge A100 pickup truck

Dodge's first compact trucks - the A-100, or Forward Control line - were brought out in 1964, with the A-100 van coming out first; 10,252 vans were sold in their first two months. The A-100 vans and wagons were popular, but the pickups based on them were not quite as impressive in sales.

The Forward Control name presumably came from the cabover design, where the driver was close to the edge of the front bumper. These trucks and vans were sold under both Dodge and Fargo brands. The engine was between the driver and passenger, where it would remain in the B-vans; the vans themselves were short (90 inch wheelbase), but packaging kept them useful. A 108 inch wheelbase model, the A108, was brought out in 1967; it was popular as the basis for camper conversions.

Dodge A-100 truck

Closely related to the A series trucks were big, over-the-road, diesel-only L-series medium duty tilt cabs, the company's biggest trucks to date, made from 1966 to 1971. 

Bill “Maverick” Golden drove a modified A-100 truck with a nitro-powered 426 Hemi and discovered it would stand up on its rear wheels, as the power overcame the weight of the chassis; he created “wheelstanding,” a popular exhibition act that lasted for decades. (Full story of the Little Red Wagon.)

Maverick's Little Red Wagon (Dodge A-100)

One of the original 16 Hot Wheels cars, brought out in 1968, was based on the Deora show car, which was derived from the A-trucks; the trucks also gained the distinction of being animated, with a voice-over by one of the Click and Clack radio-program brothers.

inside an A-100 van

No actual Hemi A-100 or A-108 trucks were ever sold; most were powered by the slant six engine, ranging from 101 to 145 hp (gross, topping out at perhaps roughly 110 horsepower net), with the LA V8 becoming an option in 1965 (first the 273, later the 318).

dodge A-100 van cab

rear of A100 truck

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