pickups will be known forever as the first V-8 powered Dodge trucks.
The thoroughly modern lightweight, compact 241 cubic inch Power-Dome
V-8 engine featured overhead valves, 145 horsepower and 215 lb. ft.
gross torque at only 2,400 rpm. It was optional equipment for all
light-duty trucks. The dependable Dodge L-head 218 ci, 100 horsepower
six continued as standard equipment for half- and 3/4-ton models.
The 230 CI, 110 horsepower L-head six was the standard engine for
B-2-B-108 half-ton pickup sitting beside a 1954 C-1-B-108
shows us at a glance the big difference in style and lower
overall height between the two series. (Photo: Don Bunn and
cargo box seen on this 1954 C-1-B-108 half-ton pickup was
standard for all half-, 3/4- and one-ton C-Series pickups.
The high-side box was an $8.75 retail extra cost option.
the light-duty V-8 were the Hemi V-8 engines powering medium-
and heavy-duty trucks. Dodge engineers released three Hemis
for these trucks. The small Hemi used in 1 1/2-, 2-, and 2
1/2-ton trucks was the 133 horsepower 241 CI V-8 producing
220 lb. ft. gross torque. The big Hemi engines were standard
in 2 3/4-, 3- and 3 1/2-ton trucks. These 331 CI V-8s had
either a single or double barrel carburetor. Power outputs
were 153 and 172 horsepower and 268 and 294 lb. ft. torque
respectively. These engines gave buyers of Dodge heavy-duty
trucks higher average highway speeds and better performance
in hilly country driving a low-priced truck than was available
if they had purchased one of the high priced trucks.
trucks featured all-new modern styling. They were new from the frames
up. Wheelbases remained the same as before. The new frame design permitted
maximum front wheel clearance to maintain Dodge's industry leading
maneuverability and tight turning radius. Dodge engineers curved the
frame rails forward of the front axle inward to permit the front wheels
to turn tighter. The cab sat lower on the frame for easier entry and
exit and featured vastly increased glass areas for excellent driver
visibility and thus safety. The single piece curved windshield was
a modern styling touch.
pickup lineup continued the B-Series' pattern, that is 6 1/2-
and 7 1/2- foot cargo box for half-ton pickups, a 7 1/2-foot
for the 3/4-ton model and 7 1/2- and 9-foot boxes for the
one-tons. The big one-ton's boasted of a maximum payload capacity
of 4,250 lb. The 9-foot cargo boxes' cubic capacity was a
whopping 67 1/2-cubic feet.
view of a 1956 Dodge B-3-B half-ton pickup affords an excellent
view of its new cab-wide wraparound rear window. (Photo: Clayton
As a midyear
1955 model Dodge engineers introduced a seriously revised cab with
a "Pilot-House" or "Full-Circle" wraparound
windshield and cab-wide rear window for even better visibility.
The trucks were offered with the highest level of cab interior trim
and exterior ornamentation than any previously offered Dodge pickup.
New features included two-tone paint schemes and bright new upholstery
colors. The upscale cabs displayed new Custom and Custom Regal nameplates.
"Forward-Look" emblem on this C-3-C-116 long box half-ton
pickup tells us it is a 1956 model. A left side mounted spare
tire was a factory installed option. (Photo: Bob Seymour)
218 CI L-6 engine which had powered half- and 3/4-ton trucks since
1942 was dropped in favor of the slightly larger 110 horsepower
230 cubic L-6. The 241 CI V-8, Dodge's first OHV V-8. These engines
continued through the 1956 model year.
cargo box lengths for half-, 3/4- and one-ton pickups remained unchanged
from 1954 through 1956.
broadened the light-duty truck's transmission offerings in 1955
to include a fully automatic PowerFlite transmission and a gas-saving
overdrive unit mated to the normal-duty 3-speed transmission. PowerFlite
was an option on all light-duty pickups, overdrive was limited to