1968 Dodge A100: 20 Years Parked

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This Dodge A100 window van here on eBay is said to have sat for the better part of 20 years before being cleaned up and given a second chance at life. What impresses me the most is that vehicles from California can sit for that much time and not be a crumbling pile of rust like everything in the northeast. This is a great color combo and would make an awesome surf van – but its clean condition makes me wonder if its days in sunny California are numbered! 

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When I got my M3 from San Diego a few years ago, I was amazed at how well the interior had held up. It goes to show you that a decent climate can really do wonders for a car. This A100’s interior looks fantastic – really, quite impressive for something this old – but if the mileage reading is correct, it’s what you’d expect for a vintage Dodge van with under 100,000 miles on the clock. The seat covers look perfect in this cheerful cruiser, but they do hide a tear in the seat material. I’d leave them in place, as they compliment the relaxed, hippy vibe oozing from its clean Cali sheetmetal.

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The 318 V8 is said to run well and the seller has addressed some must-do deferred maintenance. A new radiator, hoses, brakes and rebuilt carburetor round out the list of mechanical work performed following this van’s 20 year slumber. Wherever it was parked, it must have been dry and free from rodents, as you wouldn’t expect it to be so quick to return to the roads with only some basic tinkering. Still, that’s the beauty of older vehicles with far less complexity to deal with. I suspect there are a lot of folks from harsher climates with their eye on this specimen.

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At some point, the barn doors on the back went missing as the paint is either a different color entirely or severely faded. It doesn’t bother me that much, other than the fact that the rest of the van wears evenly-aged paint and the interior floors look brand new! These A108 models have a longer wheelbase, so you’ll have plenty of room for junkyard parts, crate engines, body panels and more if a hobby truck is on your list of vehicles to own. The price is $5,500 or best offer – what’s it worth to you?

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Comments

  1. Duffy

    Let it set another 20 years.

  2. JW

    Nice and a V8 at that.

  3. Jason Houston

    California cars are usually pretty reliable, especially if they’ve lived in a dry, arid climate. Years ago we bought a 1964 Continental convertible that had been sitting for several years without spark plugs, rear brake drums or air cleaner. Fully prepared to push or tow it home, we stuffed some plugs in it, slapped the drums back on and poured gas down the carburetor and put a good battery in and PRESTO! It ran smooth as silk and we drove it home.

  4. Jason Houston

    If you want “an awesome surf van” you had better leave it in California, as they don’t surf in Indiana!

  5. Matt Tritt

    Not bad, but notice that the AC has been removed, as has most of the engine room insulation. They probably wiped it out with a pressure washer. The incorrect and dented rear doors are a big minus for a vehicle that appears to be otherwise intact, as are those pesky little rust spots. This was undoubtedly acquired for very little money by a flipper to sell on ebay.

  6. MountainMan

    I miss my 65 A100. It had the V8, smaller than this….273 if I remember correctly. I bought it in Florida but it had recently come from Cali. It has almost 400,000 miles but records since day one and was in impressive condition. These are a great alternative to VW busses and they will move out of it’s own way unlike a stock VW bus. The price seems fair on this one. Somebody will be happy with it I hope and allow it to see some road after it’s 20 year slumber. Obviously not everybody pick as Duffy would rather let it sit but mine was a dependable driver, used daily and always got thumbs up from other drivers.
    I spotted a panel version behind a tire shop while I owned mine. When I stopped to inquire about it the owner asked if I wanted it because it had a 440. I had no idea it did prior to that question but indeed it had a big block transplant. I bought it, drug it home and revived it but after a few laps around the block it was parked and the 440 was moved over to my short wheel base , regular cab dakota. Eventually sold the vans to a friend who still owns it after 15 years. Our deal was that if he sells it I get dibs so maybe it will come back one day

  7. Steve

    Scooby-doo! These were like crack to Hot Wheels-era designers and customizers, so many options here.

  8. Marty Member

    Had one. Loved it.

    Sitting over the front wheels always gave me a sensation of being on a whirligig carnival ride when I turned a corner. It took some getting used to.

    I bought mine cheap in the 1980s, in part because the shift selector cable had touched the exhaust manifold and burned through, making it difficult to shift it out of park. I couldn’t find one in a salvage yard at the time, so I had to pay $55 for a new cable at the local Chrysler dealer. I had a hard time with that, because I had just paid only $50 for the van!

    But what an awesome towing and hauling beast it was.

  9. Matt Tritt

    I have to add that my dad bought a new one just like this – red/white – but with a 226 slant six in 69. We converted it to a really neat “Class B” motorhome using fiberglass and wood. We took a lift off the roof of my 58 VW bus, which was used as a mold, and made a glass roof for the camper. Dad, my stepmother and brother toured all through Mexico in it and it worked out great. Except when the front axle snapped in the middle of nowhere from hitting too many potholes and rocks. It was towed by horses to a village blacksmith’s where the axle was removed and reforged over a Diesel/forced air fire – reforged as in with hammers! Small town Mexico had (and probably still has) some of the best practical mechanics on the planet.

  10. jim s

    it is sold. i sent many hours sitting on the dogbox in more then one of these. nice find

  11. Marty Member

    Also worth noting about these, is that as a precursor to modern Chrysler mini-vans, some of these had side doors on both sides.

  12. sparkster

    My dad bought a Turquoise 1968 A108 window van brand new . With a 318 and NO power steering or power brakes, and NO A/C ! Took our family of five across the United States three times to Florida from Santa Cruz ,Ca. Have ever driven in a metal tin can for 8 to 10 hours a day ? With No A/C ? With the hot engine air blowing on you while going through Las Vegas in the summer.

  13. Hide Behind

    Fond memories of wife and I hauling grades school, junior high school basketball teams in remote area of WA state.
    KIDS SAT ON FLOOR IN BACK NO SEATS, and if many hour trips brought sleeping bags and pillows for ride back home.
    Almost 300 K miles when bought from friend, for 50 bucks, 6 banger and stick, new tires and breaks, and lasted for another 100k miles and kid wrecked it.
    Would haul over a cord of cedar shakebolts or fidewood.
    Prick cop stopped boys and I with load of bolts. Gave a ticket cuz van not registered as truck, when he see bolts, saw, mallet, axe and frow inside.
    Too old to invest in nostalgia, and besides, never would match up to memories of original.

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