440-Powered Field Find: 1974 Dodge Club Cab

When I win the lottery, I’m going to have a big warehouse-like Jay Leno’s to rescue all the cool orphan vehicles that I find, but have absolutely no need for. Just look at this great truck that someone pulled from a Montana ranch a few weeks ago. It’s here on eBay in Lewiston, MT for $3,800 or best offer. This is a big-block Dodge Club Cab pickup truck, wearing a Morrison utility body, in a neat (perhaps original) shade of light blue that looks like it would shine up real well with an afternoon’s work. Aside from one small ding on the passenger fender, I don’t see any dents or rust on this truck. Even the white wheels are clean.

1974 was the first year you could get the 440 or a dually rear axle in D-Series pickups, and this one has both, so it should be a D300. It also has the extended Club Cab, with a chrome front bumper and deluxe aluminum trim, plus AC, power steering, power brakes, cruise control, and even power locks—it’s outfitted more like a Chrysler New Yorker than a lowly work truck. The utility body is beefy and the “big rig” cab lights are all intact. The more I look at this odd-duck truck, the more I love it! I am really curious about who ordered it, and what its career was before retirement.

A little research suggests the 440 only had 255 SAE horsepower in 1974, but being a truck, it’s possible that it’s free of emissions controls and has plenty of grunt. Remember, in 1978 Mopar used exactly that loophole to create the Dodge Lil’ Red Express: a 360-powered pickup that became that year’s fastest American-made vehicle from 0-100 MPH, even beating the Corvette. You know the big 440 here would sound fantastic with the right exhaust. I do wish we could see more pictures, as there are none of the interior. The seller claims there are 81,000 miles and that the truck was parked in the field due to a failed oil pump, but other than that, he believes it should run. The only mystery is why it has a 1977 front grille…perhaps it had a fender bender, or maybe it’s actually a ’77 that was mistitled.

The ad has that slightly testy tone of someone who’s dealt with a lot of craigslist flakes, but the price is fair and the seller is encouraging us to make him an offer. He’s debating cutting this truck up to make a utility trailer, but that sounds more like thinking out loud than a real threat. It would be a shame to cut this truck up, and the way old truck prices have been going, this seems like an under-the-radar great deal. With a little effort, it could go back into service for a tradesman, carry a slide-in camper… or how great would it look as a tow rig and portable shop for your vintage race car? I see so many possibilities for Ol’ Blue. What would you do with him?

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Comments

  1. Scotty Gilbertson Scotty Gilbertson Staff

    That’s cool, I’d love to have that thing. Nice find, Chebby!

    3
  2. angliagt

    All I could think of when seeing this is Gage,Desoto,& EMERGENCY!.

    “I see a Blue truck & I want to paint it Red”

    9
    • Gaspumpchas

      Great work truck, as far as the mill goes, you would have to find out why the oil pump failed, and if any damage was done to the mill because of the pump failure. Would be a shame to cut it up, these were great trucks.
      Angliagt- KMG365…..
      Cheers
      GPC

      • Dave

        IIRC, the oil pump is external on B/RB series motors, located as part of the assembly at the front of the motor where the oil filter is found. Easily removed and replaced or inspected as gerotor pumps have few moving parts to fail.
        What DOES happen is that the pressure relief valve in the pump will get stuck open, resulting in low oil pressure at idle. RPM over 1000 or so will give normal oil pressure.
        Or the sending unit could be bad. Connect a mechanical gauge and fire it up.
        The pump is driven off the distributor shaft so a failure here is very rare.

        5
    • Howard A Member

      Bingo. Did you know, Dr. Joe Early( Bobby Troup of Route 66 fame) was married to Dixie McCall( Julie London who had her own TV show in the 50’s and Troup made his debut of that song on her show) for many years. It was the last of the 3 Jack Webb series.
      These trucks were very popular with service mechanics that would go out in the field, literally. Not much could stop them.These chassis’ were used extensively in ambulances, before Ford took over.

    • Steve1957 Member

      NO! “Paint It Black”!

  3. angliagt

    Actually,it was

    KCV 425

  4. Frank Sumatra

    I used to weld those bodies and tool boxes at Morrison Steel in Buffalo, NY from 1973-1975. We were on a “piece-work” system that required us to build at least four bodies a day to earn $4.25/hour. The real goal was to build four + to get a head start on the next day’s production. That job was “run and gun” from 7:00am to 3:30pm. Two years of that and it was off to college!

    7
  5. seth karpen

    More like 180,000 miles. Odometer only went to 99,999

  6. BR

    Clearance and ICC lights are present. Nothing “Big Rig” about them. They are required by law for this size vehicle, being 80 inches or over in width. For a single rear wheel pickup they are just bling, nothing more.

  7. John H

    Where are the mirrors and mounting holes?

    I was a young mechanic at a Dodge dealership when the Club Cab was introduced. We had a regular customer who ordered one of the first from our store, and it should have been a stunner. It was a two-tone green, buckets, and pretty much every option box checked. He wanted to be there when the car carrier delivered it and it was one of the first times I saw a grown man cry. The body panels on the cab were all misaligned, some by more than a 1/4 inch. Paint was horrible to go along with it. It amazed us that it was released from the factory looking like that.

    Then there was the blue Club Cab that the carrier driver took off the upper deck nose first when the left side ramp kicked out. Driver was OK other than some bruises — body and ego. The truck, not so much. Fortunately that customer wasn’t there.

  8. John Oliveri

    When I hit Lotto, and buy my home on the inter coastal in Fort Lauderdale, I’m gonna have a nice 40 ft boat that I can drive myself and a nice 10 car garage, and in that garage is gonna be some strange cars, that are probably not very valuable, we’ll maybe a few, starting w a 76 Lincoln MK IV lipstick edition, a 76 Bicentennial Eldorado convertible, all white of course , 70 Cuda convertible 383 or 440 purple w white int and top, 69 Pontiac Bonneville w a 428 in it, 65 Pontiac 2+2 convertible 67 GTO convertible blue w white top and interior, 1990 Mark 7 LSC , 1973 Pontiac Luxury Lemans black w white top and interior loaded, 70 Chevelle SS 454, and a nice 69 GTO convertible and that’s my car list

    • Ike Onick

      Save some money to put your house on stilts for when Florida goes underwater

  9. Superdessucke

    Front end is off a later model. That style did not appear until the 1977 model year.

    1

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