Vintage Van: 1966 Dodge A100

When someone says “classic van”, we usually think of the shag-carpeted ’70s bricks with wild paint and glistening chrome, not economy-boxes like this.  In this case, it’s a 1966 Dodge A100 that’s for sale here on craigslist in Lewisberry, Pennsylvania.

Dodge made approximately 108,000 of these vans, in two wheelbases and under the Fargo name outside the U.S.,  from 1964-1970 . They were fashionably late to the postwar-van party by a few years, but they made up for it in cargo room, interior appointments, payload, and powertrain choices. The standard 90-inch wheelbase was the choice for many, but the A108 was 18 inches longer and was popular in the RV conversion crowd. You could have a 6- or 8-cylinder engine, manual or automatic three-speed gearboxes, and a host of configuration choices from bare-bones work van to Executive Suite conversion. They never really beat Ford, GM, or Volkswagen at the game, but they gave them all a good run for their money. If you want to learn more about them, Allpar.com has a good article here, going into much more detail than I have room for here.

This particular van has a couple of obvious modern touches, but its appearance is mostly correct for the time. The seller tells us quite a bit, including the fact that its slant-6 was rebuilt a few years ago, it has nearly zero rust, and still sports its California black plate from when they brought it to Pennsylvania 10 years ago. We’re told that it runs and drives just fine, so that ‘s a big plus. We can see from the pictures that, while presentable as a fun-driver, it would need work to be in show condition.

Overall, it appears to be a rather decently-kept example, and it’s one of less than 20,000 made that year. It’s not often that we see one of these on the East Coast at all, let alone one in good shape.  I can see this one being a fun driver as-is, how about you?

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Comments

  1. Moparman Member

    THIS is going to force me to get my 69 A-100 restored and back on the road!! :-)

    Like 8
  2. John M.

    The vintage Keystone mags are a nice touch. And a clean looking rig for sure.

    My verdict.

    I LIKE IT!

    Like 3
  3. Dave Bielecki

    I wrote a book about taking a road trip in one from Ca. to Md. Always loved this era of Dodge vans. Seems like a reasonable price for what you are getting here. http://www.restoredheartandsoul.com Dave

    Like 4
    • Zachary Clement

      What an awesome book too. I read it and could not put it down.

  4. A-body Fan

    Great truck, how difficult it is to change over to a 340 or 360?

    Like 1
    • Moparman Member

      Very easy! I have a ’73 340/727 auto in mine! :-)

    • Terry Bowman

      I have a 72′ B-300 with a 70′ 340, same bock as a 273 or 318(motor mounts are different with the 340) just an adjustment will work, as I did 40 years ago. A stock 727 transmission will work better than the 904, unless you beefed it up. My van came with a 318 so I didn’t have to change the drive shaft. Should be able to find a set of headers and I installed 2.5″ exhaust with turbos mufflers. Again being a heavy duty, the stock Dana 60 worked well, but a 8 3/4 will be just fine. Not sure on the A-100, but a b-body rear fits a B series van, just 1/2″ difference in width.

      Like 1
  5. R Reagan

    The Corvair van was such a superior vehicle to this style van. Flat front floor, four wheel independent suspension etc. The engine makes the seating area tight, loud and hot. Cool van though!

    • misterlou Member

      I owned a Greenbrier. I heavily researched installing a helicopter PL system so I could talk to passengers.

      • TimM

        A buddy of mine has had a 69 in his yard for years!! The body looks pretty good it’s got the slant six and three on the tree!! He won’t sell it!! Great looking van!!! Got to love the two piece windshield!!!

        Like 2
    • Howard

      The corvair van was a piece of garbage, just like the cars. Try driving it with a heavy load on that independent suspension. And Chrysler’s engines and drivelines of that era were bulletproof, the corvair’s air cooled engine was just the opposite. And the rear mounted engine took up a lot of load space.

  6. TinCanSailor

    My college girlfriend had one of these with a leaning tower of power and a three on the tree.

    We lived about 500 miles from the college, and in late summer, we’d stuff 2 students worth of crap in the back and drive to college. Lots of tailgating memories as well.

    Her dad bought it new and she still has it I believe. It looked just like this one, and she lives near this one. I thought for a moment it was hers until I saw the California heritage.

    Like 4
  7. Ike Onick

    not one comment about surfing??!!!

    • A-body Fan

      now that you mention it how about asphalt surfing down the strip powered by one of the crate engines from the mopar catalog. Not sure if we still have to wait a half hour after lunch.

  8. Del

    These are very cool.

    The automatics had a shift lever on the dash ?

    • Marty Member

      Funny (to me) that you should ask. Yes, the automatic transmission gear selection was done from the dash. It had a shift cable that was about 19 miles long. I’m familiar with this fact as I bought one of these vans in the 1980s for $50. I was not able to use it until I bought a new shift cable from the dealer. The cost?
      $55.00, of course.

      It was a great vehicle though. A tow-beast with the 318. I never quite got used to the way it felt to steer it around corners while sitting directly above the front wheels. Still, it was a great vehicle that I’m glad to have owned.

      This one looks a lot nicer than mine did!

      Like 2
    • Karl

      It makes me think of ladders on top and guys wearing white cover all and the van is stuffed with all the painting tool the guys need to paint a house!

  9. Howard

    Regarding the comment in the article ” they didn’t beat ford, chevy or VW at their own game” is incorrect . Chrysler engines and drivelines during this era were virtually bulletproof , particularly the /6.

    Like 2
  10. JK

    Just bought it and picking it up tomorrow. Went to see it in person and couldn’t pass up a van in this shape in PA. There were quite a few other awesome Mopars in this collection.

    Like 4
    • Ike Onick

      Congrats and have fun! Looks great.

      Like 1
  11. Terry Bowman

    JK, keep it sweet. It looks like a nice van. You may want to insulate the engine cover a little. It gets a little noisy and heated with the engine at your feet and side.

    Like 1
    • JK

      The guy actually spent a lot of time fully insulating the engine compartment. Interior is fairly quiet as far as engine noise and next to no heat. He was pretty meticulous. Put quite a few miles on it today showing it off to friends. Not changing anything except a good cleaning and wax.

      Like 1

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