440 Equipped: 1978 Dodge Warlock

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You might need a scorecard to keep track of the various special editions Dodge rolled out with its truck lineup in the 1970s. From the Lil’ Red Express to the Midnight Express to the Warlock, you had your choice of custom, factory-backed pickups to choose from. This Warlock featured here on eBay is equipped with the desirable 440 engine.  

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There’s a fair amount of chatter about how many Warlocks came with the 440. The seller says here his truck is one of 74, which is the number I see quoted most often. The 440 by this point only made about 220 bhp, which still isn’t a bad number considering the neutering most muscle cars and trucks went through entering the malaise era. I suspect this mill has some seals that need replacing given the number of wet spots beneath the truck in the eBay photos.

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The interior looks like a decent place to spend some time. The sport-style steering wheel (also known as a “tuff” wheel), clean black vinyl seats, generous gauge package – it all adds up to deliver a cockpit that feels far sportier than its exterior suggests. Of course, with less than 60,000 miles, one would hope the interior would look as good as this one does. It just needs a CB radio to be complete! It’s tough to see here, but the factory pinstriping should continue into the interior if this truck is still factory correct.

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On the outside, you can see where the rest of the Warlock package comes together: the custom pinstriping, oak sideboards, flared bed, raised white letter tires and chrome wheels and rear bumper. While the truck on the whole appears correct, confirming it came with the 440 from the factory will be important as engine swaps were easy to do. This truck looks like it has been preserved well, but be sure to see what refreshing will be needed if it’s been idled for a while. Thanks to Barn Finds reader Jim S. for the find.

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Comments

  1. Walter Joy

    The only difference between the Midnight Express and the Lil Red Express (besides paint color) was the Midnight Express had the 440 while the Lil Red Express had the 360. And the Midnight Express is much more rare. Would this be the Pine Express?

    • Jack Larson

      You’re misinformed. The Midnight Express was truck produced by Mr Norm Chicago Foremost Dodge dealer. He bought a very limited number of loaded factory black 440 from Dodge. Brought to Chicago put on his goodies like unique name , pinstripes and some extra. I’m sure somebody knows how many. But you can easily replicate this truck because there was NO unique vin numbers or letters to distinguish them from the hundreds of other black 440 stepside bed trucks produced on the same lines at the same factories. Who can stop you from having adding pinstripes etc in order for you to have a ” real” Midnight Express. The factory doesn’t have clue. Lil Red Express has their numbers legitimized by the factory vin plate production. You must have an S as the fifth figure in the vin.

      Like 2
  2. randy

    That is a relatively “plane Jane” truck, aside form the stick on stuff. It has already surpassed what I figure it is worth. 2wd Dodge trucks from that era are not much of a truck. I always thought the Warlocks were all black. Learn something new everyday. Another questionable “saved” vehicle.

    • Bobsmyuncle

      There is conflicting info on the colour options.

      Available in red, green, black and (conflicting opinions state orange in 78) .

      I’ve heard that two colours were added in ’79 and have seen a brown’ 79 claimed to be original. Not sure what the missing colour would have been.

      You may not think of them as much but the Lil’ Red was the fastest production vehicle in ’78 (0-100).

      • dj

        Bob, there’s a brown Warlock here in AL that the owner bought new.

      • randy

        Hey Bob, thanks for the info. I always liked the decorated Dodge trucks, I was torn between the Lil Red express, and the Plymouth Arrow sport truck. I chose the Arrow. I just do not think they were good trucks, or worth the money they are asking these days.

        I am not getting email notifications on my subscribed cars, or I would have replied sooner. ydnar

      • Tom G

        As I remember to my high school days, a local cop had one of these sbbtand new in red with a 440 he immediately put headers and exhaust and a cam. It was fast but not as fast food as most 60s 70s muscle cars . He showed up at my junior prom in it. Lol

  3. Woodie Man

    Wow..lots of dinero for a gas gulping slushbox which you cant really use as it was intended……different strokes for different folks

  4. JW

    Not impressed, Power Wagons were much more desirable back then in my area of the Midwest, I also think my 78 Ford F-150 Shortbed Stepside with the 400 V8 could give this truck a run for it’s money.

    • Eric patnode

      Late 70s oil embargo cut hp on engines to much the 72 power wagon I had 440 smoked all fords and Chevy s

  5. skloon

    I have one of these, sorta it was a shortbox that had a stepside box and a 400 put in it- badly – has stacks and rust by the tonne- I drive it at the farm people get excited till they realize what it is- the Craplock or Little Crap Express Truck as it has been called

  6. piper62j

    I think the name and tricked out exteriors are cool.. They were something different in their time and lots of fun to look at..

  7. HeadMaster1

    I used to have a 78 Lil red Express……it’s not a great truck, or even a good truck by any means, but it’s a piece of Americana. I probably wouldn’t buy another one, but I’ve been VERY tempted to build a “newer” one from an 04-06 Ran SRT-10 truck and carry on the name ;-)

  8. james

    I grew up with with 3 brother’s an their dad order a Late 70’s F-150 for a farm truck, he still has it, It came with a 460, Changed the carb in the mid 80’s to a Holley, it would pull a goose neck grain trailer full of corn to the local co-op and not kick-down cause pulled the kick-down rod off. This is in west tn and we dont have mountains but it aint Iowa flat either. It sits in a climate controlled attached garage,Restored.

  9. Rocco

    The seals that look like they’re leaking, is probably the freeze plugs(looks like water). Chrysler product V8 engines are notorious for freeze plugs rusting. They build up sludge behind the plug, and it just sits there and rusts. Three on each side and two in the back. Probably a good candidate for brass plugs.

  10. randy

    $18,600.00 reserve not met. A few short hours left.

  11. DM DeLuka

    I have this truck in green also. 4X4 360 2bbl. Wheels most likely not stock. 4-5 colors available depending on the year. Great truck, you gotta be a Dodge lover. Had a black one w/ the gold wheels in 1977.

  12. DM DeLuka

    Add’l comment: 1976, 1977, 1978 Warlocks all came with gold ‘Wagon’ style spoke wheels that match the pinstripes. 1979 they went to chrome spoke wheels I believe. Black was the preferred color but dark green, dark brown, deep red & one other color was available. I owned the 1977 new for over 4 years and used it like a truck. My green 1978 Warlock is a car club show truck, is driven daily in non ‘salt’ summer months. DM

    Like 1
    • RogueMopar

      your misinformed on the chrome aluminum slot rims. Those are an upgrade as listed in the 77 & 78 dodge brochure. In fact, I have a Warlock 1978, with a 440, factory air, factory sunroof, eight track radio and factory CB radio. Also a factory tranny cooler. All confirmed and documented by the LRE and Warlock owners club/ Skip Gibbs. 75k miles and same rims.

  13. Bill fabiano

    Slow as molasses!

  14. DM DeLuka

    RogueMopar, Thanks for looking up the facts. I was going by memory from the new ‘77 Warlock owned from Oct. ‘77 to July ‘81 (a dangerous thing to do at my age). The ‘78 Warlock I now have had for 4 years has after market chrome slots the first owner put on. Both have 360 2bbl. no A/C now. Would love to have 440 with A/C that you have. We still enjoy ours as a decent car show truck. Not many around.

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