1961 to 1971 Sweptline Pickups
Author: Don Bunn
After 13 model
years of highly maneuverable, short wheelbase, easy to drive trucks
Dodge engineers reverted back to the traditional method of light
truck chassis design. Dodge's new 1961 low-tonnage models featured
three new wheelbase lengths: 114-inches for the short box D100;
122-inches for the long box D100 and D200 and 133-inches for the
D300. These lengths compared to 108-, 116-, and 126-inch wheelbases
of the previous 13 model years.
construction of all models featured new heavier and stronger straight
frame rails with six sturdy industry standard 34-inch cross members,
strong I-beam front axles, new wider and longer multi-leaf springs
at all four corners, heavy rear axles and Chrysler's superior Oriflow
shocks. All low-tonnage trucks featured wider axles to provide greater
stability and easier maneuverability.
Sweptline Pickup Series was the first to feature full-width,
smooth side, cab-wide cargo boxes. All Utiline boxes, with fenders
bolted to their sides, carried over without change. Standard
1961 Utiline box lengths were 6 1/2-, 7 1/2- and 9-feet, for
the Sweptline models 6 1/2- and 8-feet; a one-ton Sweptline
was not available.
pickups sported a new grille design in 1962 which continued
through mid-year 1965. A 1964 Dodge D100 Utiline pickup is
shown. (Photo: Dave Mayer)
The 1960 Sweptline
boxes were completely new. They were a full four inches wider than
before and featured 10 percent more cubic load space.
Two new six
cylinder engines replaced the former L-head sixes. The 170 cubic
inch 101 horsepower slant six was optional for D100s only and the
225 cubic inch 140 horsepower slant six was standard for D100, D200
and D300. The 200 horsepower 318 V8 was optional for all D100, D200
and D300 trucks. Dodge trucks beginning in 1961 featured alternators,
they charged the battery even when idling.
LoadFlite pushbutton automatic transmission continued as optional
for all low-tonnage trucks. Other standard and optional transmissions
included a new 3-speed HD synchro; a 3-speed Extra HD 3-speed synchro
and a 4-speed synchro which featured a power take-off opening and
a floor shift lever.
personal use Custom Sport Special pickup was new in 1964.
Shown is a 1964 CSS which has the High Performance Package
consisting of the 365 horsepower, 470 ft-lb. torque 426 wedge
V8, automatic, power steering and brakes, tach, dual exhausts
and rear axle struts. This like new, low mileage beauty can
soon be seen in the Walter P. Chrylser Museum in Auburn Hills,
Michigan. (Photo: Don Bunn).
new 1964 trucks included the industry's first personal use pickup,
the Custom Sports Special, and the A100 compact trucks. The
CSS was an image pickup especially when equipped with the High
Performance package consisting of the 365 horsepower, 470 ft-lb
torque 426 wedge V8, automatic, power steering and brakes, tach,
dual exhausts and rear axle struts.
The A100 pickup
only accounted for 3 percent of total compact truck sales, but the
compact vans and wagons were Dodge Truck's most important new products
The 1961's "weak"
grille design was replaced in 1962 and it lasted up to midyear 1965.
In fact no changes in engines, styling, models, etc. were made until
1965 trucks featured an all-new grille, single headlights, re-engineered
Sweptline boxes which featured full-depth double wall construction,
a full-width tailgate and a longer wheelbase. The long box half-ton
and 3/4-ton pickup's wheelbase was increased to 128-inches but the
box remained at 8-foot (6 1/2-foot short box). Utiline pickup's
wheelbase also increased to 128-inches. Utiline's cargo box lengths
were 6 1/2-, 8- and 9-feet.
engine changes were made through the 1966 model year. The standard
engine for the 1964 A100 was the 170 slant six. The 225 slant
six was an option. The 273 V8 became optional for the A100 in
1965. In 1967 the optional A100 V8 was upgraded to 318 lb. ft.
torque due to an increase in its compression ratio.
Dodge short box half ton Custom pickup is an all-original
18,000 mile like new truck. It is powered by the 210 horsepower
318 cubic inch V8 engine. (Photo: Ken and Carol Merten).
258 horsepower, 375 lb. ft. torque 383 V8 became an option for D100,
D200 and D300 pickups in 1967. No other engine changes were made for
low-tonnage trucks through the end of the 1971 model year.
front appearance changed for the better in 1968 with a new grille
design. Also new for 1968 was the sports-type Sweptline Adventurer
pickup. The glamorous Adventurer included custom carpeting, chrome
grille and exterior moldings, added insulation, hooded dials, wheel
covers, dual arm rests and available bucket seats with a center
New for 1969
was a redesigned hood, instrument cluster and controls, flipup glovebox,
contoured padded dash, and a deep-dish energy-absorbing steering
in 1988, this 1971 Dodge half-ton Adventurer pickup still
looked good as new even though it was used to pull the horse
trailer shown. (Photo: Jim Benjaminson)
1970 pickups had another new grille. The Adventurer model became
more refined inside and out. This was the last year for the
A100 pickup. The A100 compact truck line was dropped and replaced
with an all new compact van line. A pickup was no longer part
of the line.
last year for the Sweptline series was 1971. Because it was the last
year no changes of note were made in models, style, drivetrains, or