What About My Dodge?
I am a 20-year-old Norwegian boy that has a '78 Dodge Stepside, like the Little Red Express pickup, that I would like to customize. I can't find anything on the internet about this kind of truck. The car is absolutely free of rust and had a 2.8L Nissan diesel engine in it . I need tips about how I can go to shows and race with it.
The Little Red Truck was introduced mid-year in 1977 and was built upon the 1/2-ton D150 platform, which had a 115-inch wheelbase. The original engine for your truck, if it is an authentic Little Red Truck, was a high-output 360-cid V-8 with "super flow" cylinder heads, a Thermo-Quad four-barrel carburetor, and police spec camshaft with 252-degrees of duration. The engine also featured a cold-air induction system and dual exhaust system. The power was transferred to the 3.55:1 live axle by a performance-modified automatic transmission. The engine came factory equipped with a chrome air cleaner, valve covers, and vertical exhaust stacks. The body of all Little Red Trucks featured genuine oak side running boards, Canyon Red paint with accent stripes, and gold stickers. This was a limited production truck designed to get buyers into the doors of Dodge dealerships. If you are looking for a little more show and go for your truck, then we say ditch the old diesel and replace it with a screaming 360 small-block.
One of my hobbies is antique vehicles and the other is comic books. Through the years, I noticed that any research I did on comics led me all over the place and there was no central source. The idea hit, why not use a vehicle as a canvas. I've always owned a truck, so why not use a truck as a canvas to showcase my love of comics? I chose one of the first Molel As, a '28 Ford Model AR Roadster Pickup. Since these were commercial vehicles that were often repainted to serve as advertising for businesses like Coca-Cola or your local carpenter, my paint design would not hurt the antique restoration. I did push the envelope!
I realized everyone had their favorite character, so I decided to do a documentary on comics. I located the vehicle in the Midwest. It needed some work like pulling the engine and transmission and fixing the clutch. The steering gears were shot-I had to send that out, but I did all the mechanic bodywork myself. It's all steel, and friends from my Model A Club, The North Jersey Regional A's, helped me put the engine back in. I started painting on Oct.18, 2004, on the anniversary of the first published comic The Yellow Kid, Oct. 18,1896, and finished on Jan 12, 2006. A lot of it was painted in back-breaking positions. The only record I kept was on airbrush painting hours, which number more than 2,000. This does not include original restoration of the Model A research and layout. I expanded also into war-time illustrations, political cartoons, movie stars, and sci-fi. I guess my favorite would be Rat Fink by Big Daddy Roth on the front.
Bob, all we can say is holy crap!