Category Archives: Dodge Truck

What should Santa drive?

Santa's 'stang

Santa’s ‘stang

As Boxing Day approaches we were taken with a pristine ’65 Mustang convertible in red with a white top. It struck us as the perfect vehicle for Santa Claus if he were to ever cut that flying sleigh and reindeer loose.  It’s festive, fun and sports the right color combination for the jolly one.

Santa's macho rig

Santa’s macho rig

Then, again, it doesn’t have a huge trunk so the question of where the stash the presents looms.  Perhaps this huge ’63 Dodge Power Wagon would be the right answer to St. Nick’s theoretical quest.  It’s red and white so the color combo fills the bill and the pick up bed would accommodate lots of loot.  It’s a lifted four wheel drive truck which means snow drifts could be successfully challenged.  The fact that it’s a crew cab means he could bring along some staff to help with the schlepping.

Wagoneering at the pole

Wagoneering at the pole

If he were to seek a bit more civilized conveyance he could try this terrific Jeep Wagoneer that dates from the days when Jeep was a product of American Motors.  The same basic truck, produced successively by Willys, Kaiser, American Motors and Chrysler, was introduced in 1962 and continued in production through the 1991 model year.  It certainly has more creature comforts that the Dodge Power Wagon but not quite the payload.  Unlike the Mustang, he wouldn’t be able to take the top down which leads us to this early ’70s International Harvester Scout finished in spruce green .  It’s got four wheel drive and the top comes off and the exterior color offers a nice contrast to Santa’s outfit.

Green machine

Green machine

But what of the little guys?  Yes, the elves need appropriate wheels and we’ve come up with a few suggestions for them.

Elves' pet Met

Elves’ pet Met

What about this Nash Metropolitan convertible we found at a light the other day?  The color combo is right up Santa’s alley and the continental kit means the miniscule trunk has that much more space.

Sprite-o!

Just buggin’

Or what about this Austin-Healey Sprite, a “bug eye” that dates from the late ’50s. It certainly gives the Metropolitan (with which it share the same motor, by the way) a run for the money in the cute department.  It would seem to compliment Santa’s Mustang very nicely.

Mini for the help

Mini for the help

Lastly, for the little folks, we suggest this very original Austin Cooper, the Mini that started it all.  The sliding windows saved British Motors, its manufacturer, money on the mechanics of roll down windows and created a tiny bit more space for stuffing presents in the door shelves.  BMC actually built the Metropolitan for American Motors as well as the Sprite and the Mini.  It’s a wonder they couldn’t stay in business.

Next year if you don’t hear the sound of hooves on your roof but, rather, a Mustang, Power Wagon, Wagoneer, Scout, Metropolitan, Sprite or Mini you’ll know why.

The Bug Eye Guy has lots of Sprites for sale and, yes, they all have human names.  With a face like that it’s only to be expected.

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Note: While we strive for factual accuracy in our posts, we readily acknowledge that we we sometimes make inadvertent mistakes.  If you happen to catch one please don’t sit there and fume; let us know where we went wrong and we’ll do our best to correct things.

Gift rack optional

Gift rack optional

 

 

Big family fun on the run easy as G-M-C

The General goes camping

The General goes camping on six wheels

Back in the early 70s, when gas cost less than 40 cents per gallon, it seemed like a great idea for General Motors to enter the RV field with its own motor home. The burgeoning market for RVs, led by Winnebago, Travco, Clark, FMC, Glastron, etc., convinced GM to jump into the business, whole hog, rather than just providing chassis and drive train components to third parties.  The result was the stunning GMC Motorhome, a self-contained vehicle that was groundbreaking in terms of design, engineering and packaging.  Taking advantage of the Oldsmobile Toronado-derived motor (a 7.5 liter beast) and front wheel drive set-up, GM engineers came up with a vehicle, produced from 1973 – 1978,  that continues to be a cult favorite.  Of the almost 13,000 built over the course of that time, it is estimated that 9,000 have survived and thrive today.

Feral Cars fan Andrew Keeler captured this one in rural Anderson Springs, California just the other day and it looks factory fresh.  Note the Freeman Family’s coat of arms that adorns the six- wheeler’s flanks.  If driving a 12,500 pound vehicle that gets somewhere between 9 to 11 miles per gallon wherever you damn well please doesn’t make you free you don’t know the meaning of the word.

Ye olde arrvee

Motorhomies

The camper van trend began, of course, much earlier with conversions that changed delivery trucks into mobile abodes such as this ’69 Dodge Tradesman-based Travco Family Wagon with optional wooden front bumper.  Looks like claustrophobic fun, no?

High camp from the Dodge Boys

High camp from the Dodge Boys

The wackadoodle font tells you this is a fun ride!

The wackadoodle font tells you this is a fun ride!

Of course, ground zero for all of this in-vehicle camping is the good ol’ Volkswagen Microbus.  Here’s a late 80’s Vanagon with a pop-top roof for enhanced headroom.  It looks like it could use a good going over with a damp mop before hitting the open road.  By the way this third generation VW Transporter is the last rear-engined vehicle VW ever introduced.

Pop top Veedub needs scrub

Pop top Veedub needs scrub

Check out this GMC Motorhome demo video hosted by an RV salesman whose comment about the vehicle’s size, “Twenty-six foot, you can park it just about anywhere anywhere,” bears repeating.  Got the GMC Motorhome fever?  Click here to shop and become an honorary member of the Freeman Family.

If you’ve stalked a feral car and would like to submit a photo of it for posting consideration please send it to us:   info (at) feralcars (dot)com OR through our Facebook page.

 

 

 

RAMchero? El CaRAMo?

Dodge goes half hog

Dodge goes half hog

Back in the mid-80’s  Dodge Trucks actually wore Dodge badges and weren’t RAMmed down your throat in commercials seen on just about every televised sporting event with narration by a basso profondo who sounds like he just gargled with testosterone-flavored mouthwash.  In those days, Dodge marketed a little front wheel drive coupe called Omni O24.  Having no competition against the long entrenched Ford Ranchero and El Camino, Chevy’s car-based truck, the Dodge boys came up with the idea of transforming the 024 into a mini pick up truck.  Thus was born the Dodge Rampage (they were toying with that “Ram” thing even then), a goofy little vehicle that was rare in its short lived (1982-1984) day and is now seldom seen except, perhaps, in select junkyards.

Screen Shot 2013-11-06 at 10.13.10 PM

Luckily, FeralCars fan Mark Rose documented this matte black specimen on a street in Venice, CA.  It wears a Prospector decals, indicating a trim package that conjures up images of the old west; it was time when a mule was a miner’s best friend.  This particular beast of burden was powered by a 2.2 liter 4 cylinder motor producing 96 horsepower and was rated to carry a half ton of picks, shovels, ore and ingots or whatever you chose to heap in that little  load bed.  About 37,000 of these were built over the three year run but finding a survivor now is as difficult as discovering that elusive mother lode.

There’s just one of these on Ebay at the moment, festooned with all manner of macho decals and fake ducts.  The Buy It Now price ($2677.77) seems fair so what’s stopping you?

Dodge didn’t seem to have much of a budget for Rampage commercials but they did run this 15 second spot and had the, ahem, balls to actually use a woman’s voice in the voice over.  Refreshing!

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Include your name, location of the car and some thoughts about the vehicle and we’ll look into getting it posted.