BF Auction: 1977 Dodge Tradesman 4X4 Van

Sold For: $777

In the days before minivans, full-size vans were the only way to go if one wanted a really large people hauler. Sure, there were nine-passenger station wagons but in some instances even they weren’t large enough to do the job. Beyond people movers, these big tin cans on wheels often doubled as campers and also served as the defacto counter-culture ride, known in the ’70s as a hippie van. And that’s what we are featuring today, a 1977 Dodge Tradesman that has undergone some special mods. Located in Fraser, Colorado, this van is being offered at Barn Finds Auctions.

Dodge’s B platform, a full-size van, managed a good, long run from ’71 through ’03. Short and long wheelbase versions were offered and differing designs allowed for passenger or cargo uses, as well as being able to accommodate camper conversion. Competitively, the Tradesman vied with Ford’s E- Series and Chevrolet/GMC’s G-Van. In each instance, it was invariably a commercially used cargo example, upon reaching the end of its useful initial life’s mission, that ended up being modified with a more entertaining purpose in mind. Specifically, this Dodge van is a B300 which means it’s a heavy-duty, one-ton capacity rig riding on a 127″ wheelbase.

One thing that Dodge did not offer, however, was a four-wheel drive arrangement but they did enlist a conversion firm known as Pathfinder Industries to perform just such an official swap. Equipped with a 360 CI V8 engine, this Dodge has been so modified with an NP transfer case, Dana axles front and back, and all integrated with a TorqueFlite three-speed automatic transmission. The mileage recording is 51K miles and it is believed that this van last ran fifteen years ago.

Now, for the elephant in the room, this Van has suffered the fate of a fallen tree. The roof is dented accordingly but should be repairable though there is mention of a leaking roof vent and sunroof. Beyond that, the gray-primered body appears to be reasonably straight with its requisite fender flares, slated rear windows, and bubble side portholes. The underside integrity, i.e. floors, suspension components, etc. is undisclosed, and owing to this van’s outside storage situation, it should be checked, or at least an inquiry made.

Additional questions should be further posed with reference to the interior. There appear to be a pair of captains seats now employed, along with some custom woodwork, a diamond tufted headliner, and side wall wood paneling. All-in-all, it will take some effort to reinvigorate this Tradesman but it certainly offers some future promise with its 4X4 drivetrain. If you have questions for the seller, please post them in the comments section.

  • Location: Fraser, Colorado
  • Mileage: 58,171
  • Engine: 360 V8
  • Transmission: Automatic
  • VIN: 8318F7X073373
  • Title Status: Clean

Bid On This Vehicle

Sold for: $777
Register To Bid
Ended: Oct 23, 2022 3:00pm MDT
High Bidder: $ where mouth is
Buyer Premium: 5%
  • $ where mouth is bid $777.00  2022-10-23 14:49:52
  • Goreeves bid $250.00  2022-10-22 13:18:43
  • 4 X 4 VAN bid $100.00  2022-10-17 20:39:27

 

Comments

  1. Rw

    Weed eater wouldn’t hurt anything

    Like 10
  2. Connecticut mark

    Should have gotten a weed whacker out to see more of the van

    Like 8
  3. Rik

    Is it down by the river?

    Like 15
    • Howard A Member

      Good one,,, Matt Foley ( Chris Farley) was great!

      Like 2
  4. Mike

    Leaving money on the table by not pulling it out of the weeds and not taking more pictures unless he just wants it off the property.

    Like 6
  5. Jesse Mortensen Jesse Mortensen Staff

    The seller has some health issues that make getting around difficult. They did trim some of the weeds and take more photos which have been added to the photo gallery above. They just want it to go to a good home so feel free to ask any questions if you have interest. Thanks!

    Like 5
    • $ where mouth is

      Who do i direct questions to ?,
      I will likely be buying this ..

      Like 2
      • Jim ODonnell Staff

        I’ll try to get you an answer.

        JO

      • Jesse Mortensen Jesse Mortensen Staff

        Please post your questions right here in the comments. Thanks!

  6. Mark

    Would this chassis/drive train be the same used in the Dodge trucks? If so, a candidate for a truck re-body/build?

    Like 1
  7. Big C

    It seems, at one time, this was a really nice van. I can understand how things can get away from you. Good luck on the sale.

    Like 4
  8. Howard A Member

    I can say from experience, there is a LOT of, um, stuff in Colorado. Some yard sales here are overwhelming to visit, because there is just too much stuff, most going to the landfill. I read this was a Dodge approved conversion, called a “Vancharger”, specifically on the B300, a 1 ton, I think. I’m not sure where Pathfinder was, California, I believe, but I’ve seen more vintage 4×4 vans here than anywhere. I agree, at one time, this was no cheapie, but many places here in the mountains, REQUIRE 4×4, or get turned back. No exceptions. Can’t beat the price, parts alone well worth it, sadly, I think the van itself is toast.
    Again, be nice to know who wrote up the post.

    Like 3
    • Jim ODonnell Staff

      Howard:

      It’s my post. Pathfinder was based in Millcreek, UT from what I could find. And yes, you are correct, it was known as a “Vancharger”.

      JO

      Like 4
      • $ where mouth is

        Hi, if i win it, how long do i have to pick it up ?

    • Jay McCarthy

      Pathfinder tended to do Dodge and GM, they did do Ford for a while however Quigley seems to be their converter now

      Like 1
  9. Rudeman Member

    Fun fact: Pathfinder’s GM 4X4 conversion were called “K-Vans” and Fords “Quadravans”.
    Some really cool Pathfinder Equipment Co. ads can be found in 4X4 mags from the 70’s and 80’s like PV4, Four Wheeler, Off-Road, etc.

    Like 3
  10. CCFisher

    That partially detached trim on the driver’s side creates the illusion that the entire van is bent in the middle.

    Like 3
    • Campbell Usher

      Probably coz it is bent , as the article says , a tree landed on it lol

  11. Kris

    I’d be interested in the lt blue Ford pickup in the background.

  12. 4 X 4 VAN Member

    CAN YOU TAKE ANY PIC’S IN THE INSIDE AND UNDERNEITHE OF CHASSIS.
    THANK YOU mARK

    • Jesse Mortensen Jesse Mortensen Staff

      We added a few photos to the gallery above.

  13. pwtiger

    Somebody asked if a van is like a truck, no they are uni-body and if the steering and the suspension are not mounted properly with added strength it could be a nightmare. I’d love to have a 4X4 van, to bad it would cost me $1500 in fuel to get it home

  14. Johnny

    I have a 78 Dodge van with a full frame.

    Like 1
  15. $ where mouth is

    Hi, if i win it, how long do i have to pick it up ?

    • Jesse Mortensen Jesse Mortensen Staff

      The seller would like to get it moved before the snow flies so you probably wouldn’t want to wait too much longer.

      Like 1
      • $ where mouth is

        Any way to talk to seller ?..

    • MoparMike

      Congratulations

      • $ where mouth is

        Thank you :)
        Now the hard part begins, its gonna be an adventure of a life time just to get it on the trailer
        Hasnt run in 15 years, roofs been leaking on full interior, 3 long flat 16.5″ tires, sitting at 9000 feet on a heavy snow mountain pass in November..
        Its kinda what i do though, so for some crazy reason, im kinda looking forward to it.

        Ill post a couple pics once its up and rolling;
        sometime in the future…

        If anyone is a Dodge van enthusiast, and have parts or possibly a whole van, please let me know.

        Like 1
    • MoparMike

      If you do Facebook join Pathfinder Van Owners Club. I have some parts vans in east central Kansas. If you’re interested I’ll give you my contact info.

  16. MoparMike

    Someone is going to get a sweet deal, 13 minutes left sitting at $250.

    Like 1
  17. MoparMike

    I did once cut all the suspension components from a clapped out pathfinder dodge and transferred it to another. Wasn’t really tough to do but I don’t want to do it again.

    Like 1

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