1957 - 1960:
The four Power Giant years can easily be divided into two segments of two years each: 1957 to 1958 and 1959 to 1960. This division was due to the addition of the new Sweptline cargo box in 1959. The traditional narrow cargo box was continued without change. Dodge designers introduced an all new front appearance -- from the cowl forward for the 1957 pickups. The new look was part of Chrysler Corporation's "Forward Look" design for all Corporate vehicles. Other important new features included a full opening hood, power steering, power brakes, 12-volt ignition system, tubeless tires, and push-button LoadFlite automatic transmission. New were the Dodge Sweptside half-ton pickup and the Town Wagon, a Suburban-type cargo / people mover. The Sweptside was designed to give Dodge dealers something to sell against Chevrolet's Cameo and Ford's Ranchero.
After 13 years of highly maneuverable, short wheelbase, easy to drive trucks Dodge engineers reverted back to the traditional method of light truck chassis design. Dodge's new 1961 low-tonnage models featured three new wheelbase lengths: 114-inches for the short box D100; 122-inches for the long box D100 and D200 and 133-inches for the D300. These lengths compared to 108, 116, and 126-inch wheelbases of the previous 13 model years. Two important new 1964 trucks included the industry's first personal use pickup, the Custom Sports Special, and the A100 compact trucks. The CSS was an image pickup especially when equipped with the High Performance package consisting of the 365 horsepower, 470 ft-lb torque 426 Wedge V-8 with an automatic transmission, power steering and brakes, tachometer, dual exhaust, and rear axle struts. The A100 pickup only accounted for three percent of total compact truck sales, but the compact vans and wagons were Dodge Truck's most important new products ever. 1970 saw the B-Van version come into production. At the time, cargo vans were marketed as the Dodge Tradesman and Dodge Sportsman. The A100 line was a model range of American compact vans and trucks manufactured and marketed from 1964-1970 by Chrysler Corporation for the Dodge brand in the United States and the Fargo brand in Canada.
The A100 Van debuted in 1964. The nose was flat, with the engine placed between the driver and passenger, who sat above the front axle. The unibody vehicles used a short, 90-inch wheelbase. An A108 was also available from 1967-1970, with a longer 108-inch wheelbase. The A108 was popular with camper conversion companies. We all know the Little Red Wagon driven by Bill "Maverick" Golden, which ran at popular drag strips from the 1960s through the early 2000s, before his retirement.
1972 - 1980
Lifestyle Pickups. In the early 1970s, when Dodge engineers and designers developed this new pickup series the nation was deeply immersed in travel and camping. So the camping special came out and the interiors were upgraded to better suit travelers than construction workers. In 1973 Dodge introduced the best new idea in pickups since the fully-enclosed all-steel cab of the mid-1920s -- the Club Cab. The entire pickup buying public immediately embraced it. Dodge pickups got a huge boost in performance when the optional 235 horsepower 440 was added as an option for 2WD pickups in 1974. The 400 was brought back as an option in 1976, 1977 and 1978.
For 1977, performance was coming back in trucks and Dodge answered with the Warlock. It featured a short wheelbase that could be equipped with just about every engine offered-even the 440. A Street Van, a special version of the best-selling Dodge Tradesman full-sized van for individuals who want to do their own customizing and a Macho package for the four-wheel drive Ramcharger and Power Wagon.
The Dodge Warlock pickup started out as a concept, and stirred such interest that Dodge moved quickly to introduce it late in the 1976 model year as a limited production vehicle; its popularity when it first hit the street made it a regular production model in 1977. The Warlock came with either conventional two-wheel or fourwheel drive, with the D100 model (rear wheel drive) having H70-15 raised white letter tires and the W100 (four-wheel drive) having 10 x 15-inch tires. Optional equipment included five-spoke wheels, bucket seats, tinted glass, bright rear bumper, and power steering. All had black interiors accented by gold tape on the dash and the doors, and a Tuff wheel. Both models were available in Black, Dark Green Metallic or Bright Red the first year. Completing the custom look were solid oak sideboards above the box with gold accents, and chrome plated miniature running boards. The exterior had gold pinstriping that outlined the wheel wells and body lines; the pinstriping was continued inside, on the doors, dashboard, and the instrument cluster. The script word "Warlock" was emblazoned in gold on the tailgate.
The Warlock's oak-lined pickup bed was later used by the more popular L'il Red Express Truck, which had the same body panels and mechanicals. The Express also used the Warlock's standard step-side chrome bumpers and grille, though it had new, five-slot disc wheels instead of the Warlock's eight-spoke gold wheels. Those gold wheels only lasted for the first year, with the Warlock II of 1979 having chrome wheels. Six colors were available in 1979. 1978 and 1979 featured the fastest production vehicle, the Little Red Express with the 360 engine. It was faster than the Corvette. The Dodge L'il Red Truck was limited production (2,188 units in 1978, 5118 in 1979). Dodge did offer a diesel in 1978, the Mitsubishi built 243 cubic-inch. D150 pickups were added in 1978. In 1979 the big block V-8s were dropped, never to return. The Mitsubishi-built D50 mini-pickup was also new in 1979.
The Street Van package consisted of a "Street Van" logo on the passenger and driver's side door in lieu of the Tradesman logos, chrome trim on the grille and windshield, simulated wood grain inlays in the steering wheel horn cover and passenger side glare shield, five slot chrome wheels or white spoked "off-road" type wheels, chrome front and rear bumpers, chrome trim on the gauges, smaller chrome side view mirrors, patterns and plans to create custom interiors, and membership in the "Dodge Van Clan". This package was available from the 1976 model year until it was discontinued in the early '80s. This was not an overly popular option from the factory, and Street Vans are somewhat rare. The chrome metal Street Van emblems found on later Street Vans (emblems through mid-1978 were stickers) in good shape are quite valuable to collectors or restorers.