Live Auctions

Something Worth Saving: 1974 Dodge Club Cab Pickup

1974 was a pretty eventful year.  The Miami Dolphins won Super Bowl VIII, Evel Knievel attempted to jump Snake River Canyon, and Richard Nixon was waist-deep in the Watergate scandal.  Meanwhile, in Detroit, Dodge was punching out pickup trucks.  Take a look at this original and honestly used 1974 Dodge Adventurer D100 Club Cab pickup truck for sale on craigslist just outside of Ogden, Utah.  Unlike Nixon, this baby blue Dodge is tanned, rested, and ready to hit the road again.  With the seller asking a very reasonable $3,900 for this cool old hauler, do you think it is worth it to save trucks like this one to tell the story of those wild and crazy times?  Thanks go to the infamous reader Santa for this adventurous tip.

In many ways, saving and showing off a vehicle from the past is a way to tell the history of the time.  Most of us want to show off sports cars, limited editions, and the cars of our youth.  That is fine, but everyday vehicles such as sedans, wagons, trucks, and commercial vehicles also have a wonderful story to tell.  Often you see a cluster of people walking up when an older vehicle that was very common back then pulls up.  Vehicles like this usually aren’t worth much in the present and get little respect.  As a rule, a lot of vehicles fitting this description have gone to the junkyard in the sky.

Working trucks and commercial vehicles suffer from this even more than cars.  Usually, they have passed through a number of tradesmen and/or businesses.  Racking up the miles each day, they are the proverbial horse that is ridden hard and put up wet.  If the vehicle makes it to the present day, then it either becomes a parts donor or sits in the back yard of a rural home returning to the Earth from which it came.  They usually aren’t valuable enough to do a full restoration on.

Every once in a while, one manages to escape the forces that would destroy it.  Take for example this 1974 Dodge long bed pickup.  This vehicle has racked up an amazingly low 117,000 miles in the 48 years it has been roaming the Earth.  It is also a club cab model with small jump seats in the rear of the cab.  Nearly every truck of this vintage is a single cab.  While a few club cab and crew cab trucks slipped out of the factory, they were definitely exceptions from the norm.  The idea of a truck as an alternative to a family vehicle or as primary transportation for the average home was at least 20 years off.

The pictures we see above and below show that this is definitely not a show truck.  The seller tells us that this truck runs and drives great.  With a 360 cubic inch V-8 and an automatic transmission, this shouldn’t be a difficult vehicle to maintain.  There are plentiful spare parts available in both the new and used variety.  The truck is missing some exterior trim that will be replaced by the seller.  What may be unavailable is the plastic trim we see on the back of the cab behind the seats.

We are told that the truck is equipped with both power steering and power brakes.  I can’t see a power steering pump in the blurry picture, so we have to go on the seller’s word.  I do not see a power brake booster though.  As usual, a good look around and under a vehicle is a good idea before trusting any ad.  The truck does have small rust holes at the bottom rear of both fenders, a small hole in the floor, and another spot on the bed’s quarter panels.  We can see from the pictures that these likely can be easily repaired without cutting out or replacing whole panels.

Doing a major restoration on this truck would not be cost-effective or sound financial decision-making. What this truck could be is a great first collectible vehicle for someone that might need to haul something on occasion or as a fallback in case their daily driver falters. A truck like this has its place at the next cruise-in or local show.  It may not be ready for Pebble Beach, but it is perfectly capable of bringing back everyday memories for a lot of people. Do you think vehicles like this are worth saving and have a place in the car show world?  Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

Comments

  1. Howard A Member

    See folks? You don’t have to spend your denture fund, if any, on an older pickup. I recently sold the squarebody ( ’77 GMC) to my neighbor, I was lambasted for not selling it nationwide, and probably could have gotten a bit more, but originally, I got a deal from a neighbor, so I gave ANOTHER neighbor a deal,,,,see how that is supposed to work?
    This is about the same condition as mine was, and I think the P/S unit is partially hidden by the battery, but a better “good ol’ truck”, you’d be hard pressed to find right here. It shan’t be here long.
    There’s a bit of remorse on selling the truck, puts the ol’ Wrangler in some pretty big shoes, but a low teen mpg vehicle just doesn’t work for me anymore, but this is a super find, I had 3 guys that wanted my truck, old pickups are hot, hot, hot, not because what wonderful , advanced vehicles they are, but considering what drek is available today, it’s no wonder. I wouldn’t drag my feet on this one.

    Like 12
  2. RIP

    WRONG!!!!! 1974 Dodge was on strike !!! And their trucks were POS,,My father ordered the same truck except a 4 speed, he waited 9 months for delivery He needed a new truck for his Refrigeration buisness,Bought a 72 Ford with 100 miles on it from a rental place(because it had a utility body) The Dodge SUCKED! drove like a car,It would stall 1/2 way down the block,which required popping open the air cleaner and using a comb to hold the choke open to start…..and their crappy whiney starters haunts me to this day…

    Like 2
    • robh693

      That has to be the funniest coincidence ever. I had a ’72 D100 with the 318 and had the same issue with the engine crapping out except when I jumped out in the middle of the road I used my brush to open the choke. If it wasn’t that it was a blown ballast resistor. Always kept a glove box full of them.

      Like 2
      • Gary

        Good times!

    • Frank

      I had three 76 Dodge 3/4 ton 4x4s for plowing and you could not kill them. They had six leaf frt springs and wouldn’t squat when I picked up the 8′ Myers plows. Gear reduction starters, a sound that gets my heart going, reminds me of my 68 Charger R/T. Much stronger and longer lasting. I did normal maintenance and that was it
      Sounds like you got a Monday/Friday truck.

      Like 5
      • Howard A Member

        I agree Frank, it’s always the same old thing, someone gets a bad vehicle, possibly due to their, or previous owners neglect, then all of those vehicles are bad. The farm I lived on had this vintage Dodge, only 4×4, and if these naysayers saw it, and the fact it still worked, they’d rescind their comments toot-sweet. And another thing, this “ballast-resistor” BS, I’ve had, driven, or been in contact with many Chrysler products over the years, especially, the years people complain about, and I never recall replacing even one. Why not Fords inability to start in damp weather, or GM water pumps(?), (IDK, hard to come up with a GM fault) ALL trucks were good, they had to be, and most went unloved and unmaintained, and still did the job. Sticking chokes were industry wide. It’s why the carburetor was eliminated. Dodge made a good truck and still does.

        Like 1
    • bone

      Sounds like it needed a new carb ; I’ve had six dodge trucks , all but one a 3/4 ton , all with small blocks.
      The starters whine because they were gear reduction starters- when your Ford wouldn’t start in the ice cold weather , those Mopar starters would fire up their engines

      Like 2
  3. Bob C.

    I say yes to worth saving. When I was in High School, I worked for a guy who had a 1974 D100 regular cab, which I drove a few times. It had a 318 and drive ability was pretty good IIRC. This baby is LONG and would be kind of a chore to parallel park.

    Like 3
  4. Rob Effinger

    I had one of these, a 76 club cab, 3 on the tree, slant six. Bought it 2 years old, drove it for 10 years. It was one of the most trouble free vehicles I ever owned, in 39 years of driving. No power steering, power brakes, I put on a manual choke, it started every time, even in Canadian winters, no block heater needed. Replaced the ballast resistor once or twice, in 10 years..

    Like 4
  5. Jeff

    Defenitely worth saving – I rather save and restore commercial vehicles than any sportscar. Cars are tools that help do the things you do in your live – and a truck or similar can do a lot more things than a sportscar.
    I don’t care what it is worth for Hagerty or some other strange folks.

    Like 2
  6. Gary

    I had a 77 Dodge Maxivan that had to be 25 feet long, it was a whale. My dad bought it new and made a camper out of it, we took it to Cali and all through the west back when I was a kid. It had the same choke issue and found out the pot on the carb was bad. I could pop the doghouse off (wasn’t bolted down), prop open the choke and put the cover back on it in less than a minute. Finally fixed it and all was good. The original battery crapped out at just over ten years old, I’ve never heard of one getting close to that old before. Miss that old girl.

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