Classified Find: 1978 Dodge Dually Van Conversion

UPDATE – The seller of this beast of a truck has sent over more photos and information to help answer any questions. So be sure to take another look at this one and leave any questions you have for the seller in the comments below!

I’m sure you’ve seen one of the fascinatingly odd Ford Centurion Conversion Vans, but have you ever seen the Dodge equivalent? While I wouldn’t say the Ford Centurion Conversions are particularly common, they seem plentiful compared to this Dodge! Reader Reid N has decided it’s time to part with this example and while it isn’t perfect, when will you ever find another one? If you’d love to put this heavy-duty van to work, you can find it in here on Barn Finds and it’s located in Oliver Springs, Tennessee with a $7,900 asking price.

This thing is an absolute beast! Reid states that the chassis is from a Dodge Ram 3500, but there’s no word on what year. The back half of the cab and bed appears to be from a late ’70 Dodge Adventurer, but the lack of fender flares suggests the bed might be from a non-dually truck. And to make things even more interesting, the engine is a 360 V8 paired to a 727 automatic. Some further investigating will be needed to determine what vintage the various components are and how they are put together, but one thing is for sure, this thing should be able to tow just about anything you want to hitch to it!

And here is where things start to get real interesting, the interior. It appears to be a mixture of ’70s Dodge and late 90’s Chevy, with some custom touches thrown in the mix. That’s alright though, as this should make for a very comfortable truck to drive. There’s so much room inside that you could haul the tallest of teenagers without any complaints about the rear legroom! Personally, I’d remove the speaker boxes and rear center console to make for easier entry and a cleaner look.

I honestly don’t think I’ve ever seen a Van conversion quite like this one! I sure would love to know the whole story of how it came to be and how the van’s front end and the truck’s cab are connected. I’m confident in saying that this one is definitely one of a kind. Reid states that it drives nicely and is ready to go. So, would you hit the street in this beast?

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Comments

  1. michael streuly

    Should have pulled it out into the sunlight for the pictures instead of photographing it under the awning.

    12
    • Tom Member

      Nah…..come on….then you’d be able to, what….. um….see it !!

      10
  2. angliagt angliagt Member

    Too much trouble to pull it out & take more pictures?

    12
  3. Bmac777 Member

    No, but pulling it out would show how awkward and ugly this thing is.
    It is interesting though

    27
  4. CCFisher

    This looks like one of those illustrations from the early days of Collectible Automobile magazine where you were supposed to identify the source of all of the pieces heaped together into a junkyard monstrosity.

    21
  5. KC John

    I’m saddened by the fact I can’t unsee this twisted freak.

    4
  6. Terry

    this is some home-made hodgepodge of parts. The back doors are actually front doord with the vent windows blocked off, and the console looks like it was cut to fit with a chainsaw.

    To quote Dr. Evil……… uhmmm, how about NO?

    5
    • Tom Member

      Right on Terry !!

      WHAT is this? Nose of a Dodge van with front doors. Then front doors of a pick up truck cab. Extended Cab. Bed off something else? Dually wheels….?

      Let’s quiz this guy:
      If you could be anybody you would pick : GEORGE BARRIS
      Favorite Movie: Mad Max
      Favorite vehicle: Van-Up.
      What project did you start that did not turn out well?: Van-Up.

      Back to Michaels question…..why didn’t he pull the van out so you can see it? Getting a better view of this is NOT going to help sell it.

      2
  7. AZVanMan

    I have to admit, this is one type of conversion I never tackled….

  8. Grumpyboy

    It took a while for me to figure out that this was once a motorhome with the coach , or camper, removed and someone’s grafted a Dodge pickup can and bed in it’s place. Still a very cool repurpose.

    6
  9. Grumpyboy

    Sorry guys I meant cab.

  10. Jim C

    This is almost as dumb as the Volkswagen Camaro kit car.

    3
  11. Stoney

    Is called a west Tennessee river rat or is it vaninkinstine

  12. Jimmy

    If it runs and drives safely on the highway it’s better than some of my friends Freakenstein vehicles I’ve rode in. One guy I knew had a 72 Blazer lifted so high and installed 44″ wheels and tires with a 12″ steering wheel and no power steering that every time he made a turn I thought we would end up in someones yard on the Blazers side. The real funny part he was only 4′ 11″ tall.

    2
  13. Timt

    People look at stuff and say why ? Other people buy a mig welder and get there buddies to help lift heavy truck body parts , and sculpt their dream vehicle . Hats off for Not giving a damn what people think . I’m sure the 1000 hours of molten metal therapy was worth it.

    4
  14. Terry Bowman

    I think “Grumpyboy” is correct about the chassis being from a camper Van. I also noticed with the few photos provided, that the wiper arms appear correct, but the blades may be from the car next to the truck (short), possible a Dodge Dart. The antenna is in the wrong location for a van. Cab appears to be from the upper 70’s, raised to meet the height of the van, but the bed was dropped back down, to meet the frame. It’s a COOL looking ride, but I’m sure it would not be fun in a parting lot or making a U-Turn.

    1
  15. Claudio

    Fugly frankendodge
    Hillbilly special
    Horror story
    You sir , have to learn to say NO
    To your innerself !
    Try volunteering, knitting or whatever, just stay clear of this kind of disaster that you create …

    1
  16. Comet

    It takes a sharp eye and some concentration, but I think I can see where the van and truck cabs were grafted together.

    5
    • chrlsful

      hahahahahah
      thank you, sir~
      hardest laugh of the day;
      I kinda, sorta, well may be, naw…well I guess, OK. See what U mean…now, or aha, yeah.

      1
  17. canadainmarkseh Member

    I’m also of the opinion that this was a C class motorhome I think it would have turned out better if he would have used the back portion of a van to make the cab it would have been easier to fit and finish and look better too. The truck box was the easy part. Had he done what I’ve written above it would be easier to sell.

    2
  18. angliagt angliagt Member

    Look on the bright side (yes,there is one) –
    you could leave this unattended & unlocked
    in public,& NObody would steal it.

    1
    • boxdin

      Even if you left the keys in it

      1
  19. Eigil

    No, no and no.

    1
  20. chrlsful

    yeah, go the other dorection.
    Unfortunate.
    No trust…the poor pic may have been made to hide stuff, if it is a conversion it duz not look Centurion quality, just no effort into the sale = none into buyer interest either.

  21. Terry

    somewhere there is a Johnny Cash song playing……..

    “I built it one piece at a time……….”

    2
  22. OIL SLICK

    Dare to be different. I’m in at 4 grand.

  23. Evan

    I’m agreeing with the “was a motorhome” theory. My clue is that radio antenna mounted so far forward on the RF fender… forward enough to clear the bunk that was originally over the cab.

    2
  24. Rob't

    I think all you naysayers just don’t get it. In this land of the free my guess is builder didn’t work to suit anybody else’s need but his own. It looks like it could easily get the job done, whatever that may be. I say why not. If it bothers you look the other way. Wasn’t built with you in mind.
    Having said that I sure I’d have done it differently but I didn’t build it.

    1
  25. Jay Morgan

    I’m guessing half the people poo pooing this can’t change their own oil and the other half don’t want to take a chance of getting their hands dirty.

    2
    • Terry

      you would be guessing wrong.

      4
  26. Tony S.

    Johnny Cash is looking down upon this leviathan and smiling, if not laughing hysterically.

    1
  27. pwtiger

    Well I like the seats…Hopefully it is on a dually chassis not the unibody that the van originally had

  28. boxdin

    Re-purposeing of motor home chassis is a viable way to get a nice truck w low miles usually loaded and I’m a van guy anyway.

  29. Maestro1 Member

    I think that part of the Hobby is this; people doing interesting conversions and not caring what others think. Someone will like this and buy it, give it what it needs, and enjoy.

    2
    • Mountainwoodie

      I have to agree with you Maestro. No matter how twisted and bassackwards something like this comes out, I feel a sense of perverse pride in the stereotypical American “can do” spirit these things exemplify to me.

      But it is kinda awkward. Maybe less adult beverages when you’re designing it.

  30. Mike

    frankenstein!

  31. hatofpork

    I bet you can fit a lot of banjos into this one! GLWA

    1
  32. AMCFAN

    I think this is a very good effort. I like it. A rolling tribute to Dodge…….on wheels. A true Mopar guy. Massive people and cargo hauler. It would have many uses and when done working it or during work could always pull into a cars and coffee.

    Not going to add to the list of haters. Too counter productive. It takes a special person and a craftsman to assemble a pile of parts and have the dedication to see it through. Bravo.

    How many dead projects do we see on here daily? Junk people started on then get in over their heads and cannot complete? Or vehicles parked in barns that needed work to begin with?

    Refreshing. Nice Rig and nice find.

    3
  33. John

    I’m thinking this is a leftover from Fury Road? Immortan Joe’s Shaggin’ Wagon?

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