1979 Dodge Lil’ Red Express: Big Red

1979 Dodge Lil’ Red Express

The Dodge Lil’ Red Express, like this example here on eBay with a Buy-It-Now of $10,500, is on the short list of vehicles to which I have an unnecessary attraction. The dual smoke stacks are what always put this funky experiment by Dodge over the top for me, along with the wood paneling lining the bed. For a time, the Lil’ Red Express was the fastest domestic vehicle to 100 mph as tested by Car & Driver magazine. That’s an anecdote of automotive history long since forgotten, along with the fact that these fast trucks came from the factory without a catalytic convertor. This particular example, however, is a 1979 model that added the catalytic convertor back onto the chassis, a definite downer – but the much improved front fascia with the stacked headlights was a new for ’79 feature, so it at least looked better rumbling down the road even if suffering from greater restriction. Would you add a Lil’ Red Express to your collection, or is it too over-the-top for you?


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  1. Wayne

    Being a Mopar guy, I have always liked these and would welcome one into the “fold”.I would prefer a 78 but would not turn down a nice 79. The Warlocks of the same era are also very cool trucks.

    • 1977ChevyTruck

      I also would prefer the 78 also, I like the grill better. And you forgot the third Dodge sport truck of the 1970s: The Midnite Express, same as Lil’ Red, but black, and with a 440 (vs. 360).

      • Matt

        The Warlock!

  2. Tirefriar

    What happens in Kentucky should stay in Kentucky.

    for those about to get their underwear in a tangle, I am from So Cal and I hate it too

  3. julian

    Happy memories.
    Passenger in a BMW 323 in Helsinki Finland, when we pulled alongside this red pick-up at the lights. My driver said “we’ll blow this guy away when the lights change”
    The lights changed, there was a smell of burning rubber and all we could see were his tail lights and the next junction. Being the passenger and being on the RHS, when we again pulled alongside, I looked up at this happy smiling driver and said “what is it”. “Oh this is a little red wagon and I’ve got ………….. can’t remember engine and a Hurst swifter shifter”
    Sadly in Europe I’ve never seen one before or since, but the memory live on.

  4. Charlie Huntington

    I saw one of these on Rt 295 on a trailer headed south in Maine this week!

  5. pontiactivist

    I remember a few of these over the years. Always liked them. Know of one in a garage locally. I prefer the 78’s myself. Midnight express would be my choice with the big block.

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