1958 Dodge D100: The underrated heavyweight

1958 Dodge D100: The underrated heavyweight

Engine Inline 6 Horsepower 120 BHP (88.32 KW) @ 3600 RPMTorque 202 Ft-Lbs (274 NM) @ 1600 RPM Engine Location Front Drive Type RWD Weight 2475 lbs | 1122.641 kg Transmission 3 Selective Sliding

The iconic and well-regarded American vehicle maker Dodge was famous for its sports cars and sedans. However, a long time ago, this outstanding brand was also producing pickup trucks. In the 50s those vehicles were widely used and popular among American farmers.

Source: Flickr

The Ford F-series or Chevrolet 3100 immediately comes to mind when we talk about American trucks. However, Dodge also produced vehicles of this class. In the 50s pickups of this brand were not in great demand, having only the 5th place among the largest truck manufacturers,  with a market share of 7%. Many believed that the mediocre design of these vehicles was the reason for their unpopularity. The truth was, Chrysler paid little attention to the design of its utility cars. Virgil Exner’s studio was actively working on passenger vehicles,  overlooking Dodge trucks which hardly caught up with Detroit fashion. The situation changed in 1954. New automobiles received pontoon cabs with panoramic windshields and for the first time became available with an 8-cylinder engine, as well as an automatic transmission.

The origins

Source: Hemmings

The early American pickups of all automakers were extremely simple in terms of technical equipment, with almost the same design. The cabin of an early Dodge vehicle truck did not differ in comfort either. Even the windshield wiper and windshield were supplied at the request of the customer. However, during the Second World War, Dodge became the world’s largest manufacturer of light and medium multi-purpose pickups, supplying US Armed Forces and the anti-Hitler coalition countries. This allowed the company to expand its product range and stabilize its financial situation. This class of vehicles tremendously changed in the 1950s when the automobiles were updated: for example, the gearshift lever moved to a familiar place for all Americans, on the steering column. The enlarged cabin in 1952 made it more comfortable for three people. The car had become roomy, with minor chrome trims, and several colors had been added to the palette. These vehicles were working and the manufacturer focused on reliability and durability rather than design. It was a typical American farm machine. The end of the 50s was marked with the company’s pickups’ next development phase. Thus, the production of the well-known D-series began.  It received what the previous generations didn’t: a large number of add-ons, focusing on performance and comfort. The D cars were more angular and even had three restyling. Surprisingly, the company began to produce limited edition automobiles, with improved trim, an abundance of accessories, and sports engines. The range of engines of the first generation of the D series included Chrysler Hemi engines. The regular ones were with 5 to 7 liters capacity.

The 1958 model year

Source: Mecum Auctions

The base  1958 1/2 ton Dodge D100 pickup truck received a 3772 cm3 in-line 6-cylinder L-head engine with a power of 120 hp paired with a 3-speed manual transmission. For an extra charge, it was possible to install a 5.2-liter Hemi V8 315 engine with 204 hp, a 3-speed automatic transmission with a push-button selector, power steering, and brake booster. At the front, the truck received a one-piece hood, headlight visors, and a “Forward Look” grille. However, at the rear, the traditional bulging rear cargo platform and a side step spoiled the whole view. The head of the Special Equipment Group (SEG) Joe Burr solved the problem. He took a set of rear fenders with fins from a station wagon, then welded them to the sides of a Dodge D100 pickup truck with a long 116-inch (2946 mm) wheelbase. So at the end of the 1958 model, the D series received different wings, new twin headlights, and a more comfortable interior. D100 became a worthy competitor to the Chevrolet Cameo Carrier.

Did you know?

Source: Fine Art America

In 1958, the D100 had two modifications – Sweptline and Utiline. The division into the Sweptline and Utiline series continued in the next-generation Dodge D-Series. 

Contact us if you have this or another classic car to sell.

1958 Dodge D100: The underrated heavyweight

Engine Inline 6 Horsepower 120 BHP (88.32 KW) @ 3600 RPMTorque 202 Ft-Lbs (274 NM) @ 1600 RPM Engine Location Front Drive Type RWD Weight 2475 lbs | 1122.641 kg Transmission 3 Selective Sliding

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