Little Orange Wagon: 1966 Dodge A100 Pickup

The A100 series Dodge trucks and vans are some of the most iconic of the 1960’s. Part of their recognition comes from the “Little Red Wagon” which was a fire breathing wheelie machine that is based off of an A100 pickup. This A100 is a barn find that is solid, with an appealing original look. Currently not running, and needing to be revived, this Dodge is offered at $3,900. Find it here on craigslist out of Carlsbad, California.

Dry and dusty on the inside, this Dodge is in fair original condition. The dash, seats, and engine compartment look as if they would clean up nicely. The seats are in good condition with no rips or obvious damage. Surface rust is present on the cab floor, but it all appears to be superficial. At least when you drive one of these you will never be alone as the engine sits right by your side, more or less. This truck does not have a Hemi, or a large displacement V8. Instead this truck is simply powered by a slant 6 with an automatic transmission. The condition of the drivetrain is currently unknown, but in the event the engine was dead, I am certain the new owner would come up with something interesting.

A little rough around the edges, there is still a lot of factory paint on this truck. There is a fair amount of surface rust, but really the aged look of this A100 in my opinion is very nice. The bed is mostly covered in surface rust with some dings, but there is no rot present in the bed itself. In fact, if there is any rot, it is very well hidden on this Dodge. There are some minor dents and dings present on the body, but overall this truck is straight. These A100’s aren’t that common to see anymore, and this one has a lovely appeal to where it would be a great preservation candidate. Of course a bed mounted large displacement Mopar V8 would be awesome as well. Would you drag home this little orange wagon?

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Comments

  1. Rustytech Member

    I like this truck! It’s unique to say the least, and being a Mopar fan it would fit right in at my house. It looks to be a solid if neglected example, and the price is not unreasonable. Unfortunately once again it’s clear across the country. I think I need to move to Ca. just for access to decent projects. I seem to remember one of these that used to run on the drag race circuit back in the day, and I think there was even a model kit made of it, I believe it was a gold color. Do any of you remember who the driver or race team was?

    • Brakeservo

      Bill Golden I think. Believe he died not too long ago or maybe it’s my memory that’s croaked.

      • rando

        Bill Golden drove Little Red Truck which was red. But there were others.

  2. Moparmann Member

    I wanted one of these to go w/ my window van, but since it’s on the wrong coast and my van is in need of restoration also, I’ll HAVE to pass! Picture of my van is from its’ glory days! BTW 340 c.i./727 auto! :-)

    • Glen

      Every bit as nice as those VW vans that are worth a fortune. Restore this back to the way you had it in the pics, I’m luv’n it.

    • Chebby

      What is the 340 like in a shorty van…a bit scary?

  3. CJay

    I love these!
    I borrowed a friend’s it concerns the passengers that are not used to the fact that you are setting over the front tires. So when you are close to an object (such as a telephone pole) and you steer away (abruptly). The curving motion is pronounced. Speed enhances the look of terror LOL!!! Note* Expect profanity from the passenger.
    All they know is the windshield and their knees are the crush zones.
    But these and the similar Fords are cool little haulers.

  4. Woodie Man

    Hmmm……unusual amount of rust for a SoCal farm find. Must have been by the coast.

    This truck is about 45 minutes north of me.if any BF’ers can’t live without it and really want to make a move, I will make the drive and check it out for you. Of course you will have to contact seller and set it up and then contact me through Jessie who has my email I assume.

    • Jerry HW Brentnell

      thats the thing I don’t get I always thought getting a car out of the west coast you got away from rust! watching the car shows on the tv even texas cars are rusty!!!

  5. newport pagnell

    Love these!

    Like 1
  6. geomechs geomechs Member

    My brother picked up one of these for a song and fixed it up through his high school years. He sold it (which he regrets) back in the early 80s for considerably more than he had into it.

    Like 1
  7. JW

    I love the 60’s Dodge / Ford / Chevy 1/4 ton pickups. Here is one that was at a car show in Cameron, Missouri last summer. The guy who owned it put a Hemi in the bed and upgraded the interior with A/C. It was a work of art.

    Like 1
  8. Bob C.

    As a kid, I used to watch these drive down the street waiting for it to topple forward.

  9. Rex Kahrs Member

    Hey Bob, if I remember correctly, the Ford version of this van was indeed too front-heavy, and thus Ford installed a weight in the rear.

  10. Bob C.

    That makes sense Rex. A friend of mine had a 61 econoline pickup with a newer 302 in it. Very loose manual steering and drum brakes. What a workout it was driving that thing.

  11. Howard A Member

    Yeah, anybody that likes these probably hasn’t spent much time in one. Cabover pickups have a very limited following, for good reason. They have an odd driving position, hot/cold, rattle, so-so brakes, and without power steering, they are a bear to turn ( lot of weight on the front) not to mention, you’re the 1st one at a “rear ender”, and they are hard to work on. The fact that this one survived, is truly amazing. I had friend that had an A100 van, with a V8, it was awful. The best way to work on it, was take the seats and engine cover out, and an engine swap is another matter entirely ( some take a cherry picker through the doors, I’ve heard of others taking the windshields out, or out the bottom). BTW, this was the last American pickup, ( or any car, for that matter), to have a split windshield. And that “pilot-house” windows, like geomechs photo, is pretty rare, most had a 1 piece window, like JW’s pic. Great find, but, one ride, and you’ll see what I mean.

    • Dan

      Howard, you are spot on! I had a 66 chevy van, and you just described it to t! My wife was scared silly of that thing.

    • Loco Mikado

      They are not hard to work on. You can do most engine maintenance in the middle of a snow, rain or hurricane storm without being exposed to the weather, Also you can do running carburetor, valve and distributor adjustments while driving down the road. You could even change spark plugs one by one while driving with your passenger if he was careful while you were driving. I have ridden, driven and helped work on many of the first generation Dodge, Ford & GMC-Chevrolet vans & a lot of second generation ones and they are not anywhere as bad as they are portrayed by some members of this group.
      .

    • John H

      We had one of these as a shop truck at a dealership where I worked, and I later had the “joy” of having to drive Ford’s example at another job. They may look cool now, but they are not fun to drive! Howard’s description is spot-on!

      I think that Dodge dealership was the only place I worked where no one wanted to leave the shop to run errands! I always preferred taking the early 60s wrecker to the cabover if I had to go somewhere. Looking back, it’s no wonder why…

    • geomechs geomechs Member

      I worked on a lot of vans when I worked for the GM dealer. You can change the motor with a gin-pole/cherry picker through the side or you can drop it out the bottom. The manual tells you to do the latter. Either way can be a pain but I’ve worked on a lot worse. My brother dropped the motor (225 Slant Six) out the bottom on his A-100. He just used a floor jack and three buddies to keep it stabilized and it came right out—went in a lot better….

  12. erikj

    I would love to have this. Looks like just surface rust on the body. I would just keep it stock,very simple to work with and I love seeing nice stock things like this.
    My dad had a ford econoline truck,just plain white W/black,white int.. I used to ride with him and my seat was the engine cover. So fun,Try that now and see how long before you get stopped by the cops for child endangerment!!!
    I,M still here after all that driving with dad.

  13. Rick Borstein

    I’m a fan too of these cab forward designs. Here’s my 62 Econoline. It is in a two year restomod project currently which is getting crazy expensive, but I’m looking forward to the final results.

    Like 1
    • JW

      Nice, looks just like the one I had in the mid 80’s, same color but mine was faded.

    • Howard A Member

      Hi Rick, looks great. Not sure why some shmuck would give a thumbs down on this. I try not to let that bother me, but this is your ride we’re talking about, and you were nice enough to show us a pic. ” A pox be cast upon thee, thumbs downer”!

  14. Wm Lawrence

    Around about 1980 I was working in the oil patch in the Book Cliff/Roan and Brown Cliffs area of Colorado and Utah. I had a clapped out A100 van that I used for transportation and sleeping. The dirt roads were rough to start with and the constant flow of heavy trucks and equipment kept them torn up. I was pleasantly surprised how well the solid axle and leaf springs of the A100 handled the roads. I was able to fly along while the suspension soaked up all the worst of the bumps. Sadly it didn’t last. In the spring all of the truck traffic would pulverize the roads into dusty swales that were like talcum powder. I always had trouble keeping the air cleaner in place on the rougher roads and one day I was flying along and hit a long swale and the truck just stopped. The air cleaner had worked off and the dust had completely filled the intake. I managed to limp back to town left the A100 at a junkyard and found an old Land Rover to replace it. In spite of all its advantages I sure missed the soft suspension of the Dodge.

  15. gardener

    Love these oh how i liked to watch them as a kid I thought the jeep FC-150 & FC-170’s were the coolest of the bunch does anyone else remember those man they are all beautiful to look at today.Love some of the things people did to them in 60’s and 70’s some vary cool customs were made but mine would be like a restomode look old bot run and stop like today man this would be fun

  16. ROTAG999

    Never seen the ID tags with spanish on the bottom before wow !

  17. JW

    Well I’ve had a 62 Econoline pickup and a 63 Econoline van and it never bothered me at all to drive them, the van was noisy because it was not finished inside ( Bare Bones ) but both vehicles got me where I had to go without any issues. If I was to purchase this one just like our Mach1 I would update the suspension / steering / brakes and drivetrain to meet today’s standards and crazy traffic / drivers. Maybe just drop the body on a newer pickup / SUV under carriage. Something like this.

    Like 1
  18. George

    Like mine….

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