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Montana Highway Department: 1971 Dodge D100

This 1971 Dodge D100 Sweptline pickup is reportedly a former Montana State Highway Department maintenance truck, according to the seller. I don’t know why I like that so much, but I do. The seller has this safety-orange Dodge posted here on craigslist in Farmington, Michigan and they’re asking $6,800 or best offer. Here is the original listing, and thanks to T.J. for sending in this tip!

I don’t know if this truck would look this good and solid if it would have been a Michigan State Highway Department truck since Michigan is in the heart of the “salt belt” – U.S. states that use millions of tons of road salt annually. Montana has used salt compounds on highways since 1996, supposedly, and has been using slightly less-corrosive salt brine since 2011.

The seller says that there is very little rust on this truck and it sure looks solid from looking at the nice variety of photos that they have included, a rare change from most craigslist ads. The second-generation Dodge D-Series pickups were introduced in early-1965 and were made until 1971. They are decidedly retro now, a trait that I personally like, a lot. I’m not exactly sure what this truck would have been used for during its Montana Highway Department stint, picking up elk carcasses on the side of highways, maybe?

It’s hard to beat a nice blanket seat cover, at least as a stop-gap measure, but I would want to reupholster the seat with reproduction materials if possible. This Dodge has a three-speed automatic transmission which would have been an option. The bed looks well-used and somewhat dented or sagging from probably decades of heavy loads being hauled back there. Hagerty is at $8,200 for a #4 fair condition truck, just for a reference.

I originally thought that this truck would have been called a Sweptline Special, the base model for Dodge in this era, because there are no side moldings or trim to speak of, but I’m not positive because the Special would have had a painted grille. The 210-horsepower 318 cubic-inch V8 “runs and drives”, according to the seller and there’s a new radiator and battery. I really like this era of Dodge pickup, it’s probably my personal favorite. What’s your favorite era for Dodge pickups?

Comments

  1. Howard A Member

    “The Dude”,,I’m surprised, with the authors admiration for Andy Griffith, “Barneys” truck wasn’t mentioned. Scottys mention of Michigan being the rust king, falls to 3rd place behind Wisconsin and Minnesota, and this truck saw none of that. It was probably a foremans truck, and basically brought shovels to the job site, or to “see how it’s going”, or pulled a machine and put back in the shed. Before Dodge became “RAM”, ( anyone else feel a bit intimidated seeing a backwards “RAM” in your mirror, tailgating, of course, like I’m bigger than you, therefore I should be ahead of you), Dodge had a meager following. Farmers bought Dodges when they couldn’t get IHs anymore. This “RAM” design, while changing everything for Dodge, for some reason, is getting a bit dated, and don’t be surprised, in the not so distant future, trucks like this will make a comeback, you know, to actually haul something. Nice find.

    Like 15
    • angliagt angliagt Member

      But if you actually put something in the bed of a new Ram,
      you might scratch it!

      Like 10
  2. Denny N. Member

    Maybe Dodge had a meager following but I’m amazed at how many municipalities/govt. agencies bought Dodge pickups. Maybe it’s just because Dodge was the low bidder on fleet sales.
    Anyway, here in Oregon there are many ex-Forest Service trucks running around, mostly Dodges. I’m proud to have a ’77 D100.

    Like 26
    • angliagt angliagt Member

      I think these old Forest Service trucks look cool
      when they still have the original paint.

      Like 7
    • Howard A Member

      Hi Denny, that’s true. I can’t find a reason why Dodge was so popular with military and municipal depts., more than likely, they were the cheapest. Fact is, most older Dodge pickups like this running around were probably bought at municipal auctions.

      Like 7
      • Lance

        I think the reason so many were around is because you couldn’t kill a slant six( which a lot of fleet sales had) . Mopar always had a fair body build but it was their engines and transmissions that kept going. This includes the famous power wagons as well.

        Like 12
  3. George Birth

    This truck looks to be in decent condition. Price is fairly decent any way.

    Like 4
  4. Greg Gustafson

    As a flat rate or commissioned (read flat-rate) Journeyman technician, I worked in Chevrolet dealerships for most of my 39+ years, but drove Dodges. Why you might ask? I went where the work was and I didn’t get paid to work on my own vehicles. So I drove what didn’t require a lot of work to keep them running. Price wasn’t a factor as I could but whatever I wanted.

    Like 7
  5. RNR

    Movin’ to Montana soon
    Gonna be a Dental Floss tycoon

    Frank Zappa

    Like 5
    • Bubba

      Hehehehehe….thanx..I needed that
      Nice truck.

  6. Chris

    Manual drums all around. I had one just like this but with 3-on-the-tree. With the buckboard suspension handling and that brake setup, these are bit sketchy outside of a farmer’s field, but adding discs would be an easy upgrade. There’s even a full QA1 suspension upgrade available for these if someone wants to go all out. I’d love to have this. Very tempting, but I can’t afford the garage space or the divorce right now.

    Like 2
  7. Pnuts

    What a joke! I actually owned a 70 in 78. A shortbed in nice condition. Straight axle and King pins ala T model technology and with all of it new (like 5 pieces total) you still couldn’t hold it in the road. Slant 6 that I rebuilt. People would say, “yea, but you can pull stumps with it”. No actually you can’t and if I need to pull stumps I’ll get a tractor. I wouldn’t pay that for 10 of them unless the body had been set on a GM frame.

  8. Terry

    The biggest problrm with the Dodge trucks was the straight axle front end once the kingpins and linkage wore. The power steering units were a issue also. I’ve had five of these and my grampa bought a 68 long bed new. His was a Slant six/ four speed farm truck that had 300,000 on it when he sold it. It went to almost 350,000 before the cab mounts/door pillars went and the cab settled so the doors wouldn’t close. The guy pulled the motor and put it in a Swinger and it wouldn’t surprise me if it was still running. Say what you will about Dodges but they were heavily built beasts and I’ll take one over the Gm and Ford junk any day

    Like 1
  9. Rw

    Luv it

    Like 1
  10. Jakespeed

    I’ve had 2 of these, both 318-210 HP, Torqueflite, 8-3/4,” 3.55:1, Long Wheelbase a white 1969 and a tomato Red, 1970. D-100 – 300s have a data rating plate on the street/driver’s rear door jam which shows spring rates, engine size, NET minimum rated HP@RPM, Transmission Type, Rear Axle Type, Ratio and Whether it’s a Hypoid Gear Set AND any special equipment or a special contract it was bought under.

    This one doesn’t look too bad (“but I gots to know” about the underside, the “cab steps”(inner rocker panel, where it meets the floorboard and the “gutter” over the doors and windshield). The bed is reasonably flat.

    Thumbs up on the police wheels!

    I like it!

  11. Grant

    These used to be as cheap to buy as a six pack and a smile. Not anymore I see.

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