Swap Meet Hauler: 1948 Dodge B series Pickup

How many times have you visited a swap meet where that one seller has an awesome classic vehicle that they use to transport their goods? Well this ’48 Dodge is thought to be an original Dodge/Plymouth service truck from California which makes this truck really cool and solid! A great start to a restoration, preservation or whatever you like, this Dodge is offered for $3,500. Check it out here on craigslist out of La Quinta, California. Thanks are in order to reader Michael for this solid pickup with an awesome history! Thanks Michael!

While a spec sheet has been copy and pasted into the listing, there is no information offered as to the vitals of the drive-train. I am going to guess that this truck has been at rest for quite some time, but the engine as a whole appears to be very complete. Who knows, with being a native California car, you could get lucky where this engine could only need fresh fluids and a tune up. On the other hand, if the engine is dead maybe a rebuild or a swap is in order?

All too often the floors in these old trucks can be rusty, and suffer from moisture concerns from expired window seals. Although the interior is bare bones, it is complete and in “fair” condition. I am sure the bench seat is ripped to pieces, but the frame and padding is still present where the blanket treatment is more than suitable. The steering wheel isn’t crumbled up or broken, and the gauges aren’t melted, warped, or heavily damaged.

The wrap around windows are one of the coolest features on this truck, and thankfully they are intact. The glass in this truck is going to need some replacement, but thankfully the wrap around windows appear to be nice. Although the coloring of this truck is a bit odd, focus your interests to the cab corners, the lower doors, and the running boards. This truck is solid as an ox despite its immense surface rust. The body of the truck is very straight minus a bend in the driver side front fender. The stake bed is only a skeleton at this point, but the cool Dodge/Plymouth service panels remain leaving a template to rebuild the bed and maintain its cool Mopar history. With a solid base to build from, what would you do with this Dodge pickup?

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Comments

  1. Dick Johnson

    Ok. The “fresh fluids and a tune-up” has a potentially serious flaw. The oil pump pickup screen.

    The oil used back then was condusive to moisture and the development of sludge. The open crankcase breathing allowed dirt into the system. The pickup screen usually has a small 1/2″ (?) steel grommet to allow oil through a clogged screen.

    Most of the time, these old engines have about 1.5″ of oil sludge sediment in the bottom of the pan.

    Don’t mind me, ‘been around this stuff for over 55 years. But don’t howl when a rod exits the block.

  2. John D

    Wow, I just posted my experience with a 1951 model B and now I know what to call it. I would restore it with that lovely art deco bed. I might put an automatic transmission in it depending on rehabilitating my ‘clutching’ leg.

  3. geomechs geomechs Member

    I’ve noticed an increase in popularity for the Pilothouse series of trucks. Sure wouldn’t kick one off my driveway. This one would get the driver quality restoration for sure. I’m not particularly fond of a flatbed on this so I would see what I could do sourcing out a suitable pickup box. That stock motor will take a truck like that many miles at a steady 55, which is all I care to go in one of those things anyways….

  4. Rich

    OK so this is in La Quinta California which is my neck of the woods. It’s about 30 minutes away from my house and just as hot there as it is here. And while we’re not hot this week we were in the mid 90s a few day ago. So anything you buy out here is going to suffer from that heat. And sand. Lots and lots of blowing sand…

    However… We’re kind of a Mecca for cool, interesting stuff that’s been sitting in the desert for years. But it’s always good to remember the relentlessly moving sand is like blowing rust, it just eats away at everything.

  5. jdjonesdr

    No mention if it runs

    • Tim S. Member

      Ran when parked, I’ll bet.

  6. PaulG

    Well worth the ask, trucks are really bringing the $$. This would be terrific as a shop truck.
    It would be super cool to have the graphic from the bed sides hanging in the garage…

  7. William Robinson

    Id find a factory bed as the flat bed does not do much for me id have it painted back to factory colour with just a little of a weathered look. I’d have the sign board recreated on both doors and maybe a corner of the tailgate then a mechanical refresh and it would hit the road.

  8. steve

    $3500 and it doens’t run??? YOU’VE GOT TO BE KIDDING!!!!!!!

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