Tradesman Sleeper: 1978 Dodge B200

Jeff LaveryBy Jeff Lavery

The word “sleeper” here is not intended to be indicative of a inconspicuous hot rod, or a long-distance tractor cab with a bed in back. But it is a van you can sleep in, among other activities, that the seller of this 1978 Dodge B200 provides some allusion to in photos. More on that later, but the best qualities about this Tradesman is its original paint and nicely preserved details, many of which point to a past owner who was a member of his local vanners council. Find this fun-loving Dodge here on eBay with a $6,500 Buy-It-Now.

The Dodge sports charming period paintwork, and all it’s missing is a horned pony leaping off a mountain cliff with a lightning bolt cascading through the rocky ledge just below its rear feet. Or something. Regardless of what your particular psychedelic paint job resembles, this Tradesman is quite demure compared to other 70s-era vans we’ve featured. The seller notes it has “NASCAR style” side-exit dual exhausts, which likely emit a nice burble; that is, if it’s not drowned out by an exhaust leak at the collector. There’s no sunroof or vent option in this Dodge, which means water leaks are not existent (and the scent of reefer is pleasingly baked into the upholstery.)

Now, I’m hardly what you’d call a pimptastic shag-master, but I think even I would attempt to hide my intent a bit better than a sign emblazoned with the words “Get Lucky” and an arrow pointing to my convertible sofa bed. Honestly, this just makes me laugh and I hope this is an intentional attempt at irony or humor or both, rather than someone who uses this as a legitimate strategy to bed his passengers. Can you just imagine settling down on your couch, lights dimmed down low with that sign hooked up to a wall-mounted Clapper? Oh, the possibilities. If your date actually stays in the van, more power to you.

I was so distracted by that sign that I forgot to mention the fridge still works! That’s good, because I’m guessing you’ll just be slinging beers with your buddies after the “Get Lucky” sign ends your rendezvous early. Captain’s chairs are a must-have in a van like this, and the front cabin actually looks pretty decent still. The seller says the 360 / 727 combination play together nicely, and he’s installed a new brake booster and master cylinder. All in all, this Dodge B200 does look like heaps of fun, but I might re-consider the sign if you’ve got a gal you’re trying to impress, or whose father might want to check out the interior.

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Comments

  1. mallthus

    Maybe it’s me, but the seller is going to need to “Get Lucky” to get $6500 for this thing. That said, I’d seriously consider picking it up for half that.




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  2. OIL SLICK

    Get Lucky depends on who the passenger(s) is




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  3. Beatnik Bedouin

    “Perfect for the Baby Boomer who wants to relive and/or fantasise about his/her misspent youth…”

    …of course, these days, the drugs are prescription meds… 😉




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    • Jeffro

      Or Tide pods.




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      • Jett

        Yes, because many 70 year old baby boomers are chowing down on tide pods…




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  4. The Chucker

    I’m probably dating myself, but dished aluminum slots still look great on period examples such as this.

    Aside from that, I don’t think anyone with any basic sense of hygiene would want to “get lucky” in that, let alone sit in it. Yes, I lived through the era.




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  5. Alex

    If it was me I would take out the carpet and spray bed liner down in it and then throw on some American forces rims and some mud tires hit a mud park. And throw a bed back there since I’m going to be mudding in it and don’t own an rv. And I was never around when these vans came out. I’m from the 98s and now I own an 87 Bronco.




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    • George

      So put the bed that it has back in after the bed liner.




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      • Alex

        The kind I’m speaking of for trucks in there bed and it works amazing in my truck but I don’t know about this van




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  6. Miguel

    Being from Texas, I am surprised it has any paint left on it.




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  7. leiniedude

    LOL! Great write up Jeff, maybe your best. Loved the Reefer comment. In 1973 I ordered a black window less Tradesman van. Chrome side pipes but no horned pony leaping off a mountain cliff with a lightning bolt, just black paint. Kind of a bunkhouse theme inside, called her the Dodge Lodge. Great times!




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  8. dan

    First one I’ve seen without rust oozing out those big windows




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