Live Auctions

One Owner Californian: 1976 Dodge Tradesman

At Barn Finds we love to see all sorts of vehicles, and we enjoy seeing what our readers have. As you may know, we have a Classifieds section, and we have been seeing some really cool vehicles posted such as this 1976 Dodge Tradesman. This cool van is a one owner vehicle, and has spent its entire life in California. Appearing in superb original condition, this van has received an engine upgrade. Clean with a slightly muscular appearance this van can be yours for $5,500! Find it here in our Classifieds section out of Anderson, California.

Wonderfully original, and clean, this van is an awesome survivor. The dash is in very nice shape with no cracking or warping present. The seats and door panels are excellent as well, with the only visible issue being the slightly saggy map pockets. Even though this Dodge was born with a 318 V8 it now has a bigger heart with 360 cubic inches. This new engine fits with no concern as the engine cover fits nicely, and is in excellent condition. Under the hood doesn’t show much as the engine is set back rather far, but from what can be seen, this Vans engine compartment looks original and untouched.

Orange and vibrant, the exterior of this van is clean! There are no obvious signs of rust, dents or dings on this van, as if it spent most of its time in a garage than on the road. The 70’s typical 5 slot mags play nicely on the looks of this van, as well as the nice chrome and trim. From the front, there is nothing that stand outs other than the great condition grill and bumper. The paint looks to be rather healthy, as it still holds some shine after 41 years of life. Even the interior cargo area is beautiful with no dents or paint scratches. In very nice condition and ready to drive, this van is ready to be a driver, a shop hauler, or any purposed in any other way you can think of. What would you do with this clean vintage van?


  1. geebee

    Curious about the DeSoto name on the VIN plate.

    • David Zornig

      Likely Canadian built, as Fargo was their version of Dodge.

    • Jason
    • Jerry HW Brentnell

      because dodge vans sold to outside north america were rebranded desoto trucks in canada plymouth dealers sold fargo trucks

  2. John M.

    The perfect blank canvas for a vintage 70s custom van like the one shown below.

  3. David Zornig

    Always good to highlight the leak…

  4. boxdin

    A van with no interior?

  5. Howard A Member

    Look how conditioned we are. We see a van like this and automatically expect a custom interior, but guess what folks, they were actually used to transport stuff. Pretty neat to see one like this, in it’s original form. Most of these died a slow, painful delivery van death. Just a coolant leak, no biggie, but looking at the engine compartment, makes my hands hurt once again. They were a pain to work on.( even with inside “doghouse” removed) Still, of all the vans, I thought these were the best. Great find.


    The DeSoto and Fargo names on the plate was a standard feature and was on my fathers new 1979 Powerwagon. Maybe to pay homage to their past or they had several million laying around and was still trying to use them up.Either way I always thought that aspect was cool.

  7. Chebby

    I clicked through to the listing to get more specific info and found much, much less. Practically nothing in fact.

  8. junkman Member

    A garbage can on wheels, try it on a windy day!

    • Howard A Member

      Hi junkman, it’s funny you say that. My old man ( I know, again with the old man, sorry, he did a lot) had a “Maxi” window van like this, that he made a mini-motorhome out of. I took it to somewhere in Indiana, and they cut the roof open and put one of those “Handi-van” tops on. The ride home was nothing like the ride there. It was awful. The standard Maxi-van ( one step longer than this) was a handful in cross winds, but the top made it downright unsafe. For once he agreed with me, and he didn’t have that thing long.

  9. tirefriar

    $$5500 is on a rich side for this van. I agree that it has the cool factor on the outside but unless you want to ride a rattling can you will need to get the interior taken care of. Being in California, I would be concerned over getting this van smoked, especially after an engine swap. Smog inspections here can be a huge pain in the derier. I can see this being a $3000 to $3500 at best. It would certainly be much more interesting if it was a 75 or older m.y.

  10. Cubs win

    Oh I can hear that whiny grindy Mopar starter in my head right now along with the distinctive power steering pump sound these made. Fix the leak if your asking that kind of money dood

  11. JW

    I had a 74 that I paneled the inside with carpet floor just to sleep in at concerts and parties, was fine except when it got hot and you touched the brake pedal just to slow it down the pedal would suck to the floor and lock up all 4 wheels. Had it happen on I-90 on the way to South Dakota with a 18 wheeler behind me, wife who was pregnant with our first almost had the kid right there, we traded it off when the dealership could not figure out the problem after 3 trips to their shop.

  12. James berard

    looking at this van tweaked my memory … didn’t dodge have a wide van in the 70s

  13. Phil Taylor

    These things last a long time and are easy to care for and work on. I had a 1970 Dodge B300 that I bought new and kept for 40 years.

  14. ronebee

    What would you do with this clean vintage van? Haul Motorcycles, Have Fun

  15. Squanto


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