The Big Three all introduced new pickup trucks in 1948, but historians generally acknowledge that the Dodge B-series was the most advanced of them all. While Ford and Chevy tried to put new details in old trucks, Dodge went all-out and designed a completely new vehicle with several notable improvements to design, safety, and carrying capacity. The result is that trucks like this 1950 Dodge B100 drive like much more modern pieces, and when they're as nicely restored as this one is, they're unusual and admired additions to any collection.
The single most noteworthy design feature of the new Dodge trucks was the fender line that sweeps all the way into the door panel. Not only was this the first foray into the completely integrated designs that would come in the 1950s, but it instantly made the Ford and Chevy trucks look dated. Dodge designers referred to it as the Pilothouse safety cab. Refinished in bright red with a black bed, this handsome half-ton shows just the right amount of gloss, perfectly appropriate to a working vehicle. Nicely assembled, the door gaps are good, the fenders line up well, and that unique side-opening hood sits just right. There's not a lot of chrome, and the grille has been painted in white as was the fashion of the day, giving the truck an honest, blue-collar look that's extremely appealing. Bumpers are basic black, the bed features beautiful fresh planks and drop-in stake sides, and it's still running a single taillight, just like 1950.
The interior is spartan, yes, but still stylish in a hard-working way. The bench seat features new black vinyl as original, and the rubber floor mat meant that you could hose the interior out after a long day working out in the field. Dual pods create a symmetrical dashboard design, with only a speedometer and fuel gauge on the driver's side, with controls for the wipers, lights, and ignition in the center. Presumably, the passenger-side pod could hold an AM radio, although as a work vehicle, such equipment would be quite rare. All the gauges are fully operational and it isn't difficult to feel at home behind that big steering wheel.
Flip up the side-opening hood and discover Dodge's rugged 218 cubic inch inline-six engine, which was a mainstay of Chrysler products for many years. Virtually indestructible, these flathead engines made good torque and ran forever with only basic maintenance. Thanks to a freshly rebuilt carburetor, this one runs smoothly and moves the half-ton pickup very well on city streets, and will cruise happily at 50 MPH all day. It's not detailed for show but it's tidy, and from behind the wheel it delivers the true early truck experience. It also features heavy duty oil and air filters and a big radiator that will keep this hard working engine cool no matter what the conditions. It's backed by a 4-speed manual transmission with an ultra-low first gear for slow-speed work, but in most cases you won't need it. The front axles and wheels of all models eight inches further back than the former trucks and moved the engine slightly forward, resulting in shifting more of the payload to the front axle and allowing greater payload ratings without adding heavier rear axle springs. As a result, the Dodge rides and handles extremely well and feels much more car-like than its contemporaries. A set of blackwall radials on the original steel wheels certainly help ride and handling, yet look authentic under the fenders.
If you've been looking for a vintage truck to cruise around in, and are tired of all the Fords and Chevys you see these days, perhaps a B-series Dodge is what you've been looking for. Give us a call today!