Economical, cute, and with a built Slant Six or LA-series V-8, the early A-Bodies are swee
Take the powertrain and chassis features that distinguished the little Mopars from their competitors, and wrap them in Elwood Engle-era slab-sided sheetmetal. That's the recipe for the '63-'66 A-Body cars, which includes the first Barracudas along with those years' Darts and Valiants.
V-8 power didn't appear until midway through 1964 with the first 273s; a four-barrel carbed, solid-lifter-cam-equipped, high-performance version arrived for 1965. Even the Slant Six-powered ones were good performers-they were sleepers in many a Stoplight Grand Prix of the '60s!
While the early Barracudas, as well as the Valiant Signet and the Dart GT hardtops/droptops, have been popular over the years, the sedans and wagons are also getting their due, ranging from weekend cruisers to trackside tow cars for 200-mph Nostalgia Eliminator Mopars at the dragstrip.
Why should the other truck guys have all the fun? D-Series Dodges, such as this '70 shorty
'61-'71 Dodge D-Series Pickups
If these trucks were good enough for "Big Daddy" Don Garlits to tow his Swamp Rat dragsters across the country, usually more than once during a season, that's good enough for us to have them here.
Overshadowed by their domestic counterparts doesn't mean they aren't worth a look. They came in short- and long-wheelbase sizes, with Utiline (stepside) or Sweptline styling, and their powertrains were work ready, with factory choices from the Slant Six through the B and RB V-8s-even a 426 Street Wedge in 1964. (If you find an original one of them, you've found a prize!)
With folks treating vintage pickups to updated chassis and other custom touches, Dodge D-Series trucks are a good choice for a dual-purpose cruiser/hauler. Be sure you look for the ones in the best condition, as cab and sheetmetal parts aren't being reproduced.