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A100 Truck Roll Down Rear Window

Discussion in 'Vans' started by wampthing2, Sep 6, 2014.

  1. wampthing2

    wampthing2 New Member

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    Hi all. My father and I picked up a 65 A100 5-window over Labor Day weekend. It's an ambitious project, but it was too cool to pass up. The previous owner had it converted to early Ramcharger drivetrain, which makes it the only 4x4 A100 truck I know of, or can find on the web!

    What we can't figure out is the story behind the back window. It rolls down into a tailgate that unlatches and flips out into the bed to allow pass-through access from the cab to the bed. We can't find any info on it, nor pictures of any other trucks with this option. Dodge guys that we know have told us that no trucks had that, and that it must be custom. We have been in the custom car/truck game for a long time, so we can usually tell when something has been cut up. Also, the truck was next to a building that burned (truck did not burn, but the paint suffered hard!), so all of the other bodywork has been exposed by the heat, yet there are no visible seems around the narrower-than-usual rear window frame. All of the metal work appears to be stamped, die-cut, and pinch-welded, like it came from the factory, and the window and latch mechanisms fit and function like bespoke units. If anyone has a clue or can point us to verifiable info sources, we would really be grateful to you.[​IMG]
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  2. marty mopar

    marty mopar Well-Known Member

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  3. ScottB

    ScottB Active Member

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    Now that's cool! You might have an interesting piece of Mopar history on your hands.
     
  4. MoparNorm

    MoparNorm Active Jeeper
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    Someone talented, however the lack of a seal, weatherproofing, or gasket, tells me it was a shade tree job, not likely factory.
     
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  5. wampthing2

    wampthing2 New Member

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    It looks like I forgot to say in the original post that we pulled the weatherstripping off to tow the truck home because the heat from the fire, and a decade of sitting, had messed it up. But we have it. The felt sweeps and the tracks in the gate are present and accounted for, as well. We are pretty sure that the knob on the latch mechanism is a replacement for a handle that probably looked like the door handles.

    I've been in contact with Chrysler's Historical Department about this and they've asked for more pictures. I'll post more when I hear from them again. Here are a few of the additional pictures for those of you that are interested.

    Just to be clear, I'm not naively pinning my hopes on this truck being some kind of one-off prototype from Chrysler's top secret labs or anything. That would actually kind of suck for us because we were planning on making it into a low-budget no-f-given custom rat rod or oddball desert toy, but the chance that this thing is special has really put us on hold. It's the little things about it that keep us from dismissing it as just a superb custom job. Examples include: The protruding key thing in the bottom of the gate that fits into the headboard wall to maintain structural integrity if something slid in the bed and hit the wall; the section at the top of the jams that has been slightly raised (stamped from the back side) for the latch strikers; the stamped indentation in the top of the outer gate skin that runs the full width of the window; the fact that the whole gate skin looks to be one piece, even though the window is shorter than usual so that it can be rolled all the way down but still allow the gate to be short enough to fully open without hitting the bed floor; the neatly rolled edges in the jams on interior panels that don't appear to have ever been removed. If the folks at Chrysler come back and say that it must be custom, I might just shift my focus to hunt down the guy(s) that did the work because I want to meet them! Hopefully they are still alive!

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    #5 wampthing2, Sep 14, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 14, 2014
  6. MoparNorm

    MoparNorm Active Jeeper
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    Hard to say.
    I have seen so many one-off things from the factory, in that era, it can't be discounted as a legit, special order.
    There was actually a special order department, I can't recall the department name at the moment, but they were tasked with orders like this.
    I have seen factory altered wheelbases, beds, drivetrains, engine options, etc. either way it's pretty cool.
    Ther might actually be a paper trail for this truck, based upon the VIN.
     
  7. Bearhawke

    Bearhawke Things happen for a reason

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    To run with your ball further; the first S series (1961-71) Dodge/Fargo truck Crew Cabs were built for Mopar by third party companies then sold as 'new' vehicles. I believe that bodystyle was being built in-house by ca. 1964.
     
  8. MoparNorm

    MoparNorm Active Jeeper
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    IIRC, 1963. The crew cabs prior to that looked the same, but replacing doors, or window glass is a real pain, because they were all hand built and the parts are not always interchangeable, believe it or not!
    A friend of mine had a crew cab with an 8' bed and a 126" wheelbase, one of only two know to exist.
     
  9. Trailmaster

    Trailmaster Move Over Plymouth Aproaching Rapidly

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    I'm going to guess that this is the likely answer, except maybe body shop rather than shade tree. The thing that makes me think that is the hinges look like house door hinges, coupled with the fact that any taper head screws that size I've ever seen in that era from the factory were usually Phillips head. No doubt it is a really good job, though. The door knob that works the latches appears to be a house door item too.

    If I'm identifying it correctly, that window crank appears to be 60 to 66 Ford truck, and while I'm not 100% certain, I don't believe they will fit any Mopar window regulator. You might take the cover off the window regulator and see if it has FoMoCo stamped on it, if so that would indicate that it's not a factory custom job.

    Whether it's factory custom or privately done, was it me I would revise the plans for the truck. Even if it is privately done, a job this nice is worth keeping around as period custom. The early Ramcharger conversion just adds to the period custom work, making it doubly sweet.
     
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