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Part Out or Project? 1979 Dodge Lil’ Red Express

We’ve featured several Dodge Lil’ Red Express trucks here on Barn Finds over the years. They have ranged from show trucks to projects and this particular one may be the roughest we’ve seen. This one is from 1979 and can be found here on eBay with a current bid just over $1,400 and is located in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. These trucks were instant classics when they were introduced in 1978 and featured flashy red paint with gold graphics and dual exhaust stacks. It will take a dedicated new owner to restore this truck back to its former glory. Do you think you are up to the task?

According to dodgeconnection.com, these trucks were able to be produced without running catalytic converters which allows the engine to breathe easier, but by 1979 the cats were in place. They all featured a high-performance 360 cubic inch V8 that was mated to a 727 transmission and 3.55 gears. In 1978, the Lil’ Red Express was the fastest American made vehicle from 0 to 100 MPH when tested by Car and Driver magazine.

It’s pretty obvious a lot of this truck has been torn apart. There are a few photos in the ad showing spare parts and the ad indicates the seller has pulled some parts off of this truck to use on another project. With only about 7,300 of these trucks made, original parts are hard to come by, but they share a lot of parts with their Dodge cousins.

The bones of this truck are here, but it’s going to be a huge project. I’m not sure if this one might be a better candidate as a parts truck for another restoration? Let us know if you think this one is too far gone or if you’d be willing to tackle this project.


  1. Steve R

    A quick look at completed listing shows that nice versions are not selling when listed for high-teens or above. The seller even calls it a parts truck. He should know, that’s how he’s treating it.

    Steve R

    Like 6
  2. hugh crawford

    There is a lot of rust above the windshield. I don’t know why but that seems to be the place that Dodge trucks rust out.

    Like 1
  3. Rosco

    Parts truck. You can buy a nice finished one for far less than you would spend to do this one.

    Like 1
  4. Tricky

    Seller with zero feedback, beware!! Scam maybe….?

    Like 0
  5. Arthur

    With LMC Truck offering new parts for Dodge trucks, and given its condition, this could make a good candidate for a restomod project, especially if you threw in a custom chassis and a Hellcat Redeye engine.

    Like 0

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