1979 Dodge W150 Adventurer SE Power Wagon

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Looking almost like new in Citron Green and White paint and wearing new wheels and tires, this 1979 Dodge W150 Adventurer SE pickup is a California truck with no rust holes, just the usual surface rust underneath. Dodge offered three cabs, from a four-door Crew Cab to a Club Cab with a small space behind the front seats, and a Conventional Cab as seen here. We just called them pickups when I was a kid, railroad work crews had the other cab configurations where I was raised.

The third-generation Dodge D/W-Series pickups from 1971 for the 1972 model year until the end of 1993 when the – dare I say? – iconic second-generation Ram truck appeared, the one that we’ve now known for three decades. Dodge actually named their pickups “Dodge Ram” beginning in 1981 but the general design hadn’t changed since 1971 and it wasn’t until the 1994 Dodge Ram when buyers got a truly modern truck from the Dodge Boys.

The seller says this pickup had some “light restoration” years ago with the paint being touched up and the seat reupholstered, but it sounds like it’s original other than that and regular maintenance items. And, the wheels, of course. This truck has the more popular Sweptline box in an 8-foot length, but a 6.5-foot box was also available, as well as a stepside-type box called the Utiline in both sizes as well.

As a California truck, the interior shows some aging due to the sun, something I can’t even imagine, having grown up in the often depressing upper Midwest with 300 overcast days a year and five months of winter. Not that I’m bitter. But, this interior looks great overall inside to me. The underside appears rock solid with just normal surface rust and some peeling undercoating.

The engine is Dodge’s 360-cu.in. OHV V8, which would have had 160 horsepower and 290 lb-ft of torque. It sends power through a three-speed TorqueFlite automatic transmission and transfer case to the rear wheels or to all four as needed, and this engine doesn’t knock, smoke, or overheat, according to the seller, but due to sitting for a couple of years, they recommend going through the fuel system. They have provided a good video here on YouTube and it’s listed here on eBay in Moreno Valley, California, there is no reserve, and the current bid price is $9,500. Hagerty is at $18,800 for a #3 good-condition example, how much would you pay for this one?

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Comments

  1. Stan

    Are these a full time 4wd unit ? Don’t see any manual hubs 🤔
    Very cool Dodge truck.

    Like 1
    • BoatmanMember

      Automatic hubs probably.

      Like 1
      • Karl

        No, Full time A.W.D.

        Like 1
    • Nelson C

      The rolling stock gives this a tougher than a half-ton appearance. Back when green was good. Why don’t people address the steering wheel? This one looks to be nice except for the grime. A little detergent and light application of Vaseline would make it look new.

      Like 1
    • Karl

      NP 203 Full time A.W.D.!

      Like 2
  2. Roland

    No hubs on the front axle – this one is a full-time setup. I owned a ’78, it was a nice system. The steering column does not look right, maybe it has tilt-wheel, and the air conditioning looks to be non-factory with the box compressor and no hard lines in the engine bay. Overall a nice truck for someone. The extra gauges and tach are rare.

    Like 3
  3. Dave, Australia

    360 V8s rule

    Like 3
  4. HoA HoAMember

    Another great truck from the period. All the trucks were good, combining years of experience. Quite frankly, I’ve dealt with them all, and I can’t honestly say, one was any better than the other. It’s pretty clear to anyone that dealt with trucks, the only place any survived was in warm climates, ironically, the exact opposite climate they were made for. It’s most intended use, by far, was a snowplow, or schlep a machine on a trailer to the back woods, and all that took its toll. Since Dodge was #3, they were not too common to begin with, and the ones that were around, mostly rural farms, were used until the box and doors fell off, still as a usable snowplow, just a bit chilly. Great find here, and I never really cared for the newer ones, a design they are milking to death, this is much more my style.

    Like 5
    • Nelson C

      As you indicated these were tough as nails and would run forever. Sadly the design has run it course and needed an update. Their first prototype was called Phoenix and when presented to the customer clinic they said it looked good but no one knew what it was. Maybe a new Chevy or Ford. This prompted the make or break Big Rig (BR) design. Classic style in a new contemporary way. A polarizing design that again could not be assigned to a current brand but exactly the gamble Dodge needed to take. Being on deaths door and nothing to lose it was brought to market. The public responded by virtually tripling sales in ’94, without a Club Cab.
      This ’79 would make someone a great old truck.

      Like 1
  5. Richard MartinMember

    The 190 HP is kind of sad considering the 318 was previously 230 HP.. but the smog crap of the time strangled them all!

    Like 2
  6. Nelson C

    The rolling stock gives this a tougher than a half-ton appearance. Back when green was good. Why don’t people address the steering wheel? This one looks to be nice except for the grime. A little detergent and light application of Vaseline would make it look new.

    Like 0
  7. CALROBERTS

    I bought a ’79 D400 from a PAC BELL auction over in Pomona, CA in 87. In less than 10 years the truck (and about 40 others) had burned thru their allotted lifetime maintenance budget and BELL was forced to sell them all and mine crossed the block with only 61,000 miles on it. Yes it was a bucket truck that had the 360 V8, 4Bbl, with a 4-speed and 4WD. It ate front end suspension, brake pads, alternators, hoses and drive belts like candy and would frequently leave me stranded in spite of performing weekly maintenance routines on it every single weekend. My experience was similar to others that I worked with who went the same route as I so they look rugged but proved to be not very reliable.

    Like 0
  8. Eric B

    Nice, but I’d lose the brand new wheels for a set of white wagon wheels or go back to stock.

    Like 2
    • Scotty GilbertsonAuthor

      I’d do the exact same thing, Eric. I love the look of a 4×4 on tall, skinny tires, even snow tires if it’s possible to drive on those without jarring your teeth loose in the summer.

      Like 1
  9. Tyler

    Love the looks of this era of dodge wish they’d continue the same way for a few more years

    Like 0
  10. Steve R

    Sold for a high bid of $13,000. It appears someone got a good deal.

    Steve R

    Like 1

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