Orange Creamsicle: 1976 Dodge D100

During the 70’s, Dodge sales were not on the same level as Ford or Chevy. They made several attempts to bring their numbers up.  In 1973, they came up with a new idea, the club cab which had a back seat. As an interesting side note, the all new 2019 Ram will not be offered with a single bench seat. Tucked away in the woods, this Creamsicle is looking for a new home. The truck is available right now here on Craigslist for $2,500 or trades, located smack dab in the middle of South Carolina in Chaplin.

I have one of these trucks and I know where they rust the worst. The cab corners, wheel well arches, rockers, floor pans, bed corners, body mounts, basically everywhere. This one, on the other hand, looks clean. It appears the tailgate has been replaced because it is lacking the trim that goes across it and, based on what I have seen, should be orange. The trim is almost all there and intact which is good because they are hard to find. The truck features a Club Cab and a long bed so a large truck.

Under the hood, you’ll find a nice 400 big block complete with air conditioning. It is hard to say what the condition of the wiring is, which is a known problem. The fleet repair manual even mentions bypassing the firewall connector. The engine is mated to the 727 3-speed automatic, arguably one of the best truck automatics. At some point, the transmission was rebuild but its unclear as of when. The owner does not specify whether or not it runs but considering they mentioned the cruise control I would guess it does.

On the inside, the truck is a simple black interior which goes well with the ostentatious orange and white exterior. There are not any pictures of the floor pans or the back seats but it would not be tough to convince me that they are in decent shape. The seat needs a bit of assistance; the center insert is stained and the vinyl may be torn on the edges. The simple accents of wood are a nice touch on the dash and the door panels. A side note to anyone trying to sell a car, please remove your cleaning products from the pictures. If this truck were a 4×4, I would be on my way to write a different article about this truck. So is this creamsicle your dreamsicle?

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Comments

  1. Dean

    I remember the cab’s seemed a mile wide to me

    2
    • Sanity Factor

      So was the turning radius…had one…

      6
  2. Phil

    People complain on here about vehicles NOT being cleaned and now are being told to remove cleaning supplies?

    7
  3. angliagt

    That’s got to be one of the biggest glove box doors ever.

    4
  4. Howard A Member

    Just amazing how Dodge, all of them, really, went from such a utilitarian vehicle, to what passes for a pickup today. Heck, they don’t even call it a Dodge anymore. Just a good ol’ truck here. Gonna need lots of tinkering, but it’s getting harder to find these “good ol’ trucks”.

    8
    • Robert Grant

      Dodge doesn’t make trucks anymore. They’ve been Ram brand for a while now.

  5. Troy s

    I notice a younger following when it comes to these old Dodge trucks nowadays, at least in my neck of the woods. Get that old 400 up to snuff and leave it in “work truck” condition, ain’t supposed to be pretty.

    4
  6. Leon Labuschagne

    The colour makes me want to immediately go out to the shop and buy an icecream!

    2
  7. Chebby Member

    Truck looks like it would clean up nice.

    1
  8. 86 Vette Convertible

    I had a 76 conventional cab W200 PowerWagon, empty or full, city or highway it got 10 mpg. Even though dealer rustproofed it rusted out terribly and the first year (bought new) it spent more time in the shop than on the highway due to all the issues with it. One unique issue was every so often after a short drive from a cold start it refused to start. Had it towed a couple of times and each time they changed out the ballast resistor and it ran again. Thing was I checked out one of the replaced ones and couldn’t find a problem with it. I put it in the glove box, next time it happened I swapped the old one with the current and it started. I did that maybe a half dozen times in the time I owned the vehicle and never was able to figure out why it happened.
    Looks pretty good overall but with the rusty past I had I’ll pass here.

    3
    • Cap10

      Oh. My. Word! Does this bring back some memories! I had a ’76 D200 Club Cab with the long bed while stationed at Wurtsmith AFB in Michigan. Had a 360 and 4-speed with the long-throw shifting handle.

      You knew you were in “granny gear” when your knuckles hit the dash and reverse was w-a-a-a-y over to the right and down… well into the passenger’s personal space (or so it seemed at the time).

      Never had a problem starting her, nor did she have any rust. Best mileage I ever acheived was 18 mpg on the highway before installing a camper in the bed.

      One night, our base was in the midst of a severe snow storm. The plows couldn’t keep ahead of it. As I left my barracks for a midnight shift on the flight line, I discovered a bunch of the guys in the foyer. They said the snow was so deep, they didn’t dare drive their own cars. They had called the motor pool for a bus to pick them up, but it had yet to arrive.

      I said, “Well, see you guys when you get there.” They asked, “Gertrude can make it through this?” (That’s what everyone called my truck). I replied, “Anyone who doesn’t want to be late, climb on board!”

      She was only 2-wheel drive and pushing snow through her grill, but with the camper and all the guys piled in the back, I had no trouble getting to the armory. The Lieutenant had just stepped outside to assess the weather as I pulled up. I saluted him as I walked to the rear to open the camper door.

      He leaned back against the building and laughed as four guys climbed out of the Club Cab and 10 stepped out of the camper, each carrying their duffle bag! “It looks like one of those clown cars!”, he remarked.

      The bus from the motor pool showed up carrying three guys. Boy, was the driver mad.

      Later the next year, I decided to move into something a little smaller due to gas prices rising to an unheard of $0.65/gallon! Sure do miss her.

      This Creamsicle is close enough and cheap enough to be tempting to bring home to Pennsylvania, but I need to keep on track toward a diesel 1-ton long bed to pull the fifth wheel we hope to buy in a couple years.

      7
    • Andrew Annen

      I wrote this article because it hits close to home. Here is my truck. It is a Dodge w100 Power Wagon Adventurer SE, that’s a mouthful. Note the under bed utility box. She is RRRUUUUUSSSSTTTTTYYYYY, it was factory undercoated and I think without, the truck wouldn’t exist.

      1
  9. geomechs Member

    This brings back some memories. My dad had a 3/4 ton Adventurer SE with the club cab and long box. Even the same color combination (I believe it was called ‘Burnt Orange’). Dad’s had a 440 which never lacked power but in the summer you never shut it off unless you intended to leave it for an hour or so. It would NOT start hot. Two dealers checked it over but couldn’t find anything wrong, then Dad brought it to my shop where we tried to sort it out. Ended up ditching the Thermo-Quad and installing an AFB. That made it a lot better but still left something to be desired. Dad traded it for a Chevy pickup a year later and never had a Dodge truck again. He said that he didn’t need a 3/4 ton anymore but I think there was more to that.

    2
    • Nick

      Those plastic thermoquads were fine when they worked right, but once they warped a little from the heat, they were pure junk. I had one on a 78 Cordoba, nothing but pure hell. I had one on a 77 Cordoba that ran like a dream.

      4
  10. johnfromct

    The reason to bypass the firewall connector, is that all Mopars from the late 30’s through mid 70’s used an induction based ammeter in the dash. This meant that all of the current for the car went through that firewall connector into the ammeter and back out again. If you had a generator that was maybe 20 amps that was ok. With the advent of alternators, current could be 60 amps or more with lights on and heavy charging demand.
    Many Mopar fires have started because of that firewall connector overheating.

    If you don’t want to alter a Mopar, the best solution is thoroughly clean the male pins, then put conductive grease on the two pins that carry the full current and inspect yearly. Also stay away from “boosted” alternators, e.g. 100 amps.

    By the way, for Dodge in 2019, not only is the bench seat gone, you can no longer get a Dodge Pickup in a base version without a club cab. In other words, no more work trucks.

    4
    • geomechs Member

      Hi john. Good information; thanks for sharing. When I worked for GM I used to encounter circuits going dead. The problem was frequently caused by the spade connectors in the bulkhead not lining up properly with their counterparts and getting pushed out of place when drawn up by the retaining bolt. A lot of time was spent trying to find the first one. After that the first place we went was the bulkhead connector….

      3
    • Rspcharger

      Here’s a great article with schematics to keep the high amperages in front of the firewall. First thing I did when I picked up my 75 Trailduster. Those measly spade connectors were hanging on by a thread, moments away from a fire I’m sure.
      http://www.madelectrical.com/electricaltech/amp-gauges.shtml

      3
    • Chuckster

      My 73 firewall connector is so aged it wants to crumble when I try to disconnect it to clean . All my gauges stopped working years ago. And rust in the cab is heartbreaking, on the good side .the 360 motor will pull down house and haul anything I put in it

      2
      • Miguel

        I am sure I have seen them for sale on Ebay.

    • Miguel

      You can no longer get a Dodge pick up period.

      2
  11. Wrong Way Member

    Great truck could be a awesome truck with a little time and investment!

    1

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