pickups were a continuation of the C-Series pickups. C-Series frames
and wheelbases continued without change as did cabs and cargo boxes.
Changes in style from year-to-year were more or less limited to
the sheet metal from the cowl forward. As a matter of fact, the
Dodge truck cab which was new in midyear 1955 was used through the
1975 model year on most medium and heavy duty trucks and on heavy
duty trucks built for export only through the 1978 model year.
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. The Sweptline cargo
boxes' differed in lengths as well as widths from the old box, but
we will get into those details later.
Note the "100"
model number plate on the fender of this 1957 Dodge half-ton pickup.
This was the first year Dodge used the industry standard nominal
rating system -- D100 through D900.
standard 230 cubic inch L-six engine's output was increased to 115
horsepower in 1956 and to 120 horsepower in 1957. It continued as
the standard engine for all light-duty trucks through the 1960 model
year. A new 204 horsepower 315 cubic inch V-8 engine became the optional
engine for all 1957-1958 light-duty trucks.
A new light-duty
engine was introduced for the 1959 trucks. This was the first 318
cubic inch V-8 rated for 205 horsepower in 1959 and for only 200
horsepower in 1960. Dodge's famous Hemi engine saw its last duty
in medium- and heavy-duty trucks in the 1959 model year.
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.
Left to Right:
A 1958 Dodge D100 half-ton pickup, a D100 half-ton Town Panel and
a half-ton Sweptside pickup. Note its full chrome wheel covers,
grille bars, hood-side chrome trim, chrome side spears running from
hood to the rear fenders and bumpers. This Sweptside also has the
big back window.
new features for the 1957 trucks included for the first time ever
a full opening hood, power steering, power brakes, 12-volt ignition
system, tubeless tires and push-button LoadFlite automatic transmission.
The only new models (we will cover the new Power Wagon in a later
segment) for 1957 were the interesting 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.
Dodge pickups had either a 6 1/2- or 7 1/2-foot cargo box on 108
and 116-inch wheelbases respectively. The 3/4-ton pickup had a 116-inch
wheelbase and carried a 7 1/2-foot box. The one-ton rode on a 126-inch
wheelbase chassis and carried a 9-foot box.
Except for a
mildly restyled hood and grille, the 1958 pickups carried over without
further changes -- pickup models, engines, transmissions, wheelbases,
cargo boxes, etc.
cab-wide, smooth side Sweptline cargo box was new in 1959. Shown
is a 9-foot Sweptline D300 pickup. A flathead six was its standard
engine and the new 318 V-8 was optional at extra cost.
1959 pickups were given a fresh new grille design and concealed running
boards hidden behind the cab doors. The optional Power Giant engine
was upgraded to a 205 horsepower 318 cubic inch V8. The important
new 1959 model was the Sweptline pickup with a smooth, cab-wide cargo
box for half-, 3/4- and one-ton pickups. The half-ton 108-inch wheelbase
Sweptline and Utiline, featured a 6 1/2-foot cargo box, but the 116-inch
wheelbase Sweptline had a 8 1/4-foot box compared to a 7 1/2-foot
box for the Utiline pickup. Inside widths for the two types were 54-
and 70 1/4-inches respectively. The 3/4-ton Utiline and Sweptline's
boxes were the same sizes as that of larger half-tons and the boxes
for the 126-inch wheelbase one-tons were 9-feet long. Dual rear wheels
were offered for the one-ton Utiline only which gave it a maximum
GVW rating of 9,000 pounds.
1960 Dodge D100 Sweptline pickup was sold with either a 7 1/2-foot
cargo box, shown, or a 6 1/2-foot box.
last year of the Power Giant Era was 1960. The only changes included
a new grille design, the 318's output fell to only 200 horsepower
and new suspended brake and clutch pedals. Pickup transmission options
continued to include the 3-speed synchro for D100; 3-speed synchro
with overdrive for V-8 D100s; 3-speed synchro HD, standard in D200
and extra for D100; 3-speed synchro extra-HD for D200 and D300; 4-speed
synchro standard in D300 and optional for D100, D200 models and LoadFlite
push-button automatic for all pickups.