Keep On Truckin'

This month’s Hidden Treasure was submitted by Clare Martin from Evanston, Wyoming, and is a great example of the cool trucks built by Dodge during the ’60s. The Martin family is known locally as having an interest in classic Mopars, so Clare wasn’t surprised when a young man visited the workplace one day and asked, “Do you like old Dodges?” Already having several ongoing projects strewn across a very full shop, Clare hesitated to ask, but curiosity forced the question: “What is it? “The young man stated that the old Dodge was a truck that his great-grandfather had used to pull a camper around with, and that it was in good shape with a 383 big-block engine. With a daughter who was a Mopar enthusiast (featured in our Young Guns section in Feb. ’07) and who had already expressed an interest in ’69 and ’70 Dodge trucks, Clare knew that this might be a good opportunity to score a deal.

Upon seeing the truck in person, it was clear that Clare’s daughter Alicia was interested in the baby blue Dodge. This particular Dodge truck is a W-200 equipped with a 383 two-barrel engine, automatic transmission, and Dana 60 rear differential with 4.10 gears. Even better, the Dodge had never been modified or painted, and the faded original paint had only some minor surface rust and just a few small dings in the body. When Clare asked the truck’s owner if the engine ran, he stated that it ran good when it was parked but now seemed to leak fuel around the carburetor. With Alicia’s approval, the Martin’s quickly negotiated a great price of $1,000 and the ’69 Dodge W-200 was theirs.

Upon getting the Dodge home, a quick rebuild of the Carter two-barrel carburetor had the 383 running like new. The Martins were pleasantly surprised to find the blue interior to be in excellent original condition, and the odometer of the Dodge showed only 97,000 original miles. The carpet, seat, headliner, and dash are in great shape and all of the truck’s lights and equipment work like new. Torn between leaving the truck as is or painting the Dodge, Clare says the truck will likely be treated to a new paint job and that the rest of the truck will be cleaned up to maintain its originality.

So far Clare says that the truck has been a fun family project and that the family is happy to have the opportunity to preserve a piece of Mopar history. We congratulate the Martin family on their find and can’t wait to see the truck once it is finished. Of course they’ll have to work this project in amongst their other Mopars, a ’74 Duster, ’71 Barracuda, and ’70 Dart, but hope to have the truck detailed and on the road by spring. Since Alicia is studying mechanical engineering at the University of Wyoming, we don’t think they’ll have any problems with the technical end of the project!