Swallow-Bombed: 1965 Dodge A100 Pickup


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Rarely do we have the pleasure of the seller of a vehicle acknowledging the presence of excrement covering his offering. This 1965 Dodge A100 pickup here on eBay is stuck in a barn after being driven in there in 2006. The truck will certainly need a washing, a condition the seller attributes to the barn swallows that nest in the rafters come summertime. 


In a way, it’s charming. I can envision this A-100 5-window becoming a friendly face on the farm it resides on, peering out after a long winter when swallow detritus replaced melted snow. Perhaps that’s why the seller held onto it for so long, just hoping to have some time between visiting the grandkids and tending to the property that he might fix that leaky gas tank that put this Dodge into long-term storage in the first place.


The interior looks respectable, if not a bit cold to the touch. I don’t know if carpeting was an option on trucks like these, but it’s long gone now. Operating the column-shift 3-speed is skill I have not mastered, but I’m sure some of our readers could jump right in and drive this truck home with a new battery and a freshly sealed gas tank.


That’s an impressive amount of corrosion on the valve cover, and perhaps the most troubling aspect of this vehicle’s condition. It would at least confirm the long-term presence of moisture, but even that seems fishy given the rest of the truck doesn’t exhibit any of the classic signs of being stored in a swamp. What do you think – is there some other atmospheric condition that could have caused this? And at what price is this truck a good deal, for saving it from this year’s swallow brigade?

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  1. ydnar

    I’d love to have truck like this. Poop and all.
    Valve cover could have been cheap metal to corrode like that. I’d pull it off and look under it.

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  2. Jim Mc

    Chrysler 3-on-the-trees with a Slant Six are awesome when running right. Total torque monsters, and the shifting is easy to master. It’s a simple ‘H’ pattern – up and forward is reverse, down and forward is first, up & back is second, and down and back is third. In a big sedan like a Belvedere or even a Dart or Valiant, the weight is balanced out. In truck like this you’re going to want that extra engine tied down in the rear, otherwise taking corners or stopping too quickly is going to give you that “uh-oh…” feeling. Same in wet or snowy weather.
    When cleaned up and running right, this can still be a nice ride. Not really comfy, but dependable and an attention-getter.

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    • GOPAR

      I own a 1960 Dart (large car) with a slant 6 and 3-speed. It’s a little slow (okay, REAL slow) off the line, but once you get that sucker rolling it cruises very well. I have no problem cruising at highway speed. And talk about an attention-getter!

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      • Ed P

        Growing up, my neighbor had a ’60 Dodge Dart 2 dr hardtop. Nice looking car. The Dart only existed because Dodge dealers lost Plymouth sales in 1960. That was a mistake! If the Dart had been sold as a Plymouth, they might have regained 3rd place in sales.

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  3. Matt Tritt

    Washing all that acidic poop off of the body and replacing the fuel tank won’t be the biggest issues with this truck. Look again at the exhaust manifold. It looks like it was parked when extremely wet and you can bet that there will be electrical gremlins galore, as well as a new carb and valve cover. As much as I like the A-series Dodge forward control models, this one leaves a few too many unphotographed possibilites lurking in the dank recesses of the barn. Caveat emptor!

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  4. MountainMan

    Love the A series vans and trucks. I have had two A100 vans and would enjoy the truck model. This one send up some red flags but still looks worthy of some time, money and energy spent on it. Its a far cry from my first one, purchased in FL after the long time owner used it to move from socal where ir spent most of its life. It had a few hundred thousand miles on it but was in impressive condition and came with a hard bound notebook full of records dating back to the first owner documenting oil changes, brake jobs, battery replacement , starter replacement and so on. It was V8 powered truck, 273 if I remember correctly with very high rear end gearing that made it almost quick light to light but the truck was not comfortable on the highway. The slant 6 would be fine in this as it was used in much heavier cars and trucks without issue.

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  5. ydnar

    You’ve got the rear end info reversed, but we know what you mean.

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  6. piper62j

    Good work horse when finished.. Can’t kill a slant 6..

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    • Miguel

      I did.

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  7. 1969Deuce

    3 on the tree is easy if you can clutch. Shift palm-down and follow the pattern unless you want low, then change to palm-up. I’d like the truck but it’s at $2K and reserve isn’t met. Based on the writeup, it’s the kind of vehicle I’d want to go over before offering.

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  8. JW

    Had 2 Econolines with 6 cyl three on the tree and they are simple machines to drive. I would restore this and then stuff a V8 behind the cab to make a “Lil Red Wagon” tribute truck. I remember seeing that truck and it was awesome.

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  9. Moparman MoparmannMember

    Once, in my younger days, I wanted one of these to make a match for my window van…alas, that desire is still present, but the REALITY is that I no longer want to start on a basket case project, as the van itself needs restoring!! :-)

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    • Cattoo CattooButt

      Nice looking van MoparMann. I’ve a now rather beat up 1969 Chevy van with the 90″ wheel base. Has a 327 w/4v and three on the tree. Love it but it needs a straight body cuz mine ain’t straight.

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  10. mark

    My first car was a 67 Plymouth Valiant with a 3 on the tree and a 225 slant 6. That slant 6 was the best in line 6 ever made bar none. The 3 on the tree was another matter. The linkage in those tended to wear out which caused some “personality traits” when shifting. You really had to know the car to shift it right or you pulled over to the side of the road, opened the hood and used the large screwdriver that was a mandatory item and got it back in neutral. It could also be known as one of the first anti-theft systems. LOL

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    • Ed P

      Hi Mark, I had a ’68 Valiant with a 170 and 3 on the tree. The shift mask broke from metal fatigue. At that point we parted company and the part took forever to come in.

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  11. Dave Wright

    While I think these are cool and I love the Mopar drive train………my dad owned a truck company in the 60’s and 70’s that had a couple of dozen of the van versions of these. The accident rate was so high in the winter his insurance company made him sell them off. Some winters 50% of them would get wrecked. They were terrible in the snow, rain and ice. Particularly unstable when being loaded differently every day. They might be better in a window van version to haul people where the loading was similar all the time. The column shifters required frequent maintenance as I remember, there were nylon bushings that would wear and make it difficult to operate.

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  12. Cool Cadillac Cat

    My first car, for pretty much everything…riding home from the hospital after being born, first to drive, first to damage, first to work on, first to own…was a ’67 A-108 my father ordered from Dodge.

    A passenger van, so windows all around, long wheelbase, 318, manual, full wheel covers, two rear bench seats, one-ton suspension, and some other goodies. Turned out there weren’t many sold in this configuration (LWB window vans).

    I miss that truck, and this one has some stuff which is desireable, like the three-on-the-tree…you’d be shocked at how quickly these can be shifted from 1st to 2nd…but I’d consider the pickup version. Would definitely replace the slant-6 with a built 318 or six-pack equipped 340, however.

    I had the 318, and even with the 3.73 gears, not the 4.10 posi which came with it, that truck was very surprisingly quick from 0-45. Third was so freakin’ tall, it was like shifting a modern car from 2nd to 5th or 6th.

    Come to think of it, mine was even this same very dark blue.

    This one is a bit far gone, IMO.

    One last thing, you’d be shocked at how aggressively the front door window linkages are geared. I counted it, around 2.5 turns of the crank to go full closed to full open or vice versa. That was awesome, honestly.

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  13. Cool Cadillac Cat

    OEM carpet was not an option, but you could get a rubber floor covering which went from door-to-door and back to under the front passenger seats.

    This one still has the door straps intact. That’s a surprise. Love the horn ring, too.

    With the giant steering wheels, it’s remarkably easy to steer at low speed. Stopped is a problem, but you shouldn’t turn the wheels when you’re stopped, anyway.

    It doesn’t appear to have had the OEM AM radio…bummer…or the padded dash ‘wing’, but the pedal pads/covers are OEM, which is nice. I see the windscreen washer system is still in place, which is a surprise.

    I wonder if, like mine, when you use it (push a rubber ‘bulb’ on the floor, it’s not an electric system), you then have a wet left foot.

    Never could find the leak which did that.

    Oh, and the seat cushions aren’t original, either.

    Still, in better shape than mine was after August 23, 1986.

    BTW, that really hurt, and the AMX which hit me the cops figured was going about 70 MPH, and accelerating.

    When I looked down, I could see the ground. I’m damned lucky to have a left foot. And yes, the finish was primarily primer…was just about to do bodywork and paint on it.

    I’d had the rebuilt 3 speed manual in there for three days. Man, did it shift nicely!

    Actually, to this day I have a habit this truck ingrained in me. “Clearing the box”. Non-synchro 1st, so I’d always shift to 2nd (and later, 3rd, when the 2nd gear synchros finally went on walkabout), then to 1st.

    If I’m driving a manual, I still do it, even though all forward gears, and in some cases, even reverse, are synchronized.

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    • Russ

      I thought 1st was always synchronized, otherwise it’s easy to grind it when going from neutral to 1st. It always bugged me how many people didn’t realize that they should go to 1st and then then reverse, instead of straight to reverse from neutral, because they’d always grind reverse going straight to it. Maybe the 1st gear synchro in your transmission was worn out and that’s why you had to use 2nd or 3rd gear.

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      • Ed P

        No. First gear was not synchronized. 2 & 3 were.

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  14. MountainMan

    ydnar…high numbers = low gears

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    • ydnar

      You said high rear end gearing. No biggie, as we all knew what you were getting at.
      High gears and high numbers are opposite in a rear end. No one says “I have a high numbers rear end”. Just sayin, real men admit when they make a mistake, whether large or small, or high or low. ;>)

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