The argument about allowing trucks into Mopar Muscle gets fired at us like an artillery barrage every couple of months. When the question is posed to the readership, the overwhelming response is that trucks are an integral part of our Mopar hobby and should be included for the multiple functions trucks perform in our lives. No one can argue that parts hauling and towing are two areas that cannot be performed better by anything but a truck.
But what about performance? many will argue they're not musclecars. But Ma Mopar has periodically melded the two realms of performance and utility with the production of sport trucks, for lack of a better term, dating back to the early '60s when big wedges were dropped under the hoods of workhorse pickup trucks. The concept was again resurrected with the introduction of the most exciting vehicle to grace America's highways and byways in 1978 with the legendary Li'l Red Express, again in 1989 with the Shelby Dakota, and now with the outrageous SRT-10. So the concept really isn't all that new, attracting buyers from many a different ilk.
But what about building your own? That's exactly what Scott Kiger did when he finally pried this '79 D100 from his dad's grasp. You see, the senior Kiger bought this truck new in late 1978. Come 1997 and dad is finally ready to part with his old D100. Scott expressed the desire to buy the truck, but dad gave it to him for Christmas instead. Scott tinkered with the Dodge from 1997 till about 2002, then decided the truck needed the Pro Street treatment. But unlike many cars of the genre, this one would not only look the part, it would also run like a scalded ape. The transformation took two full years, and Scott didn't leave a stone unturned in making the truck into the vehicle he had dreamed of someday owning.
Since performance was Scott's number one concern, he commissioned a local shop to build him a 340-based 416-inch stroker small-block. That particular motor was good for solid 7.30s at 92 mph in the eighth-mile, which is equivalent to deep-eleven-second e.t.'s in the quarter. But that engine was eventually deemed a bit much for pleasure cruising and replaced with a .030-over 340, using a basically stock bottom-end bolstered with Ross forged pistons and a lumpy Comp Cams hydraulic bump stick. A set of J castings with blended bowls and pump-gas-compatible hardened seats were bolted on top, along with an Edelbrock Perfomer intake manifold and an AED-modified 650 Holley. A Mopar Performance electronic ignition was chosen for reliable firepower, and a set of 151/48-inch headers dump into a pair of Flowmaster mufflers for an unforgettable exhaust note. The whole mess feeds into a 727 trans with an ATI 3,200 stall torque converter.
The all-steel body was ironed out by Automotive Body Shop of Wilson, North Carolina, and sprayed with Tangelo Pearl paint by House of Kolors. An oak bed was crafted around the massive wheeltubs by Bruce Horkey's Wood and Parts. Afco A-arms and coilover shocks hold up the front end, while leaf springs moved inboard and Afco shocks are responsible for the rear. The narrowed 831/44 was filled with Richmond 4.56 gears and a Sure Grip unit, as well as a pair of Strange axles. Big 'n' little Weld Drag Stars provide that unmistakable race look, while Mickey Thompson steamrollers leave big black marks on the tarmac when Scott's right foot feels heavy.