Thursday, May 4, 2017

Stock Oddity: 1978 Dodge Li'l Red Express Truck

The third generation Dodge D-series was built from 1972 through 1980 and you can still see them driven around the street by collectors, old folks, and lawn/gardening companies alike.  For the most part, the D-series is pretty boring, but Dodge introduced a line of trucks they tragically called  "adult toys."  Find this 1978 Dodge Li'l Red Express Truck here on eBay bidding for $10,100 reserve-not-met with one day to go, located in Salinas, CA.


Fresh on the heels of the success with their factory hot rod Dodge Warlock pickup, Chrysler management green-lighted the release of the '78-79 Dodge Lil' Red Express.  It is clear that a gear-head of some kind was in charge of the project, because it combined the truck exemption from catalysts with a 360 cubic inch V8 to produce serious performance for the day.


The 360 cubic inch LA V8 was rated at 225 SAE net horsepower (this would be equivalent to a 300ish rating from a pre-1973 SAE gross rating) at 3800 rpm and 295 ft-lbs of torque.  The Lil Red Express added a 727 Loadflight automatic transmission and a 3.55:1 rear axle for a great launch and decent top end performance.  The dual exhaust with vertical stack-pipes and assorted accoutrements add up to a feast for the 70s fanatic.


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7 comments:

  1. I'm pretty sure the "adult toys" slogan wasn't an accident. This is the same company that named one of their color codes "Curious Yellow" after a notorious adult movie - and that was after the higher-ups vetoed calling another one of their color codes "Statutory Grape."

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  2. No, don't worry. You won't look ridiculous driving this. Chicks will totally dig you.

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    1. I got plenty of Thumbs up with my 79 Little Red Express and plenty of Gas Pump Questions.My 03 Indian Chief was the only thing that was close to my Dodge p/u.

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  3. These are pretty rare - and at the time they were the quickest American made vehicle from 0 -100. Granted that could be considered damning with faint praise given the factory offerings in 1978, but still... And they tend to hold their value. There's a market for them, a small one, but still this is one example where "rare does equal valuable" - somewhat. http://www.dodgeconnection.com/LilRedInfo.html

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  4. I had a 79 they came in higher numbers then the 78 prefer the 79 Quad headlights gas hog 4 sure.
    My Seats were black like this one but a few came with the red interior now that is rare.

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  5. One other note those are the Factory Slotted chrome wheels they are replaced a lot because of rusty tin-worm issues and age.

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