You probably know Steve Magnante from his years of background information he gives on televised car auctions, or maybe his years on Hot Rod magazine’s staff. He’s got a savant’s knowledge of cars and trucks that at times seems otherworldly how he can know so much. Anyway, he stumbled on the 1972 Dodge D500 medium-duty truck which he gives insight on in this video.
Steve loves to dig down into the history of all of the cars and trucks he finds in his Junkyard Crawl YouTube series. The D500 is special because it was a medium-series truck that was rare back in the day, and extremely so now. Dodge never made that many, and most had their fates end much like this one. These big trucks were used and abused, as you would expect.
Why is this Dodge D500 truck rare?
So just seeing one is rare, but then Steve gives you more information than you knew existed for these D500 trucks. This particular one is a very stripped version, as is true with most of these big trucks. However, this truck was ordered with a 318 ci V8 rather than being powered by Chrysler’s infamous “slant six” six-cylinder engine. A four-speed manual transmission transfers the power.
A look inside of the cabin shows a truck that had a “radio delete,” which means a block-off plate in place of a radio. It also has a block-off plate for the passenger side sun visor. Believe it or not, on these big work trucks, a passenger sun visor was an option.
Did Dodge also make heavy-duty trucks?
These medium-size Dodge trucks used the same cab as the half-ton pickups. But the frames, running gear, and front fenders, among many other things, were unique to these trucks. Interestingly, for Dodge heavy-duty C900 and C1000 trucks, the company used the previous pickup truck cab from the 1955-1960 era.
The reason for this is that Dodge offloaded the older body tooling to the Checker taxicab company to make the truck cabs. This freed up production of the new style cab for the D-Series trucks. As these medium and heavy-duty trucks saw much lower production, it made sense to pay Checker to make them.
Are there more videos like this?
This particular truck was the last year using the Sweptline D-Series cabs. In 1973 the all-new Dodge pickups debuted, with the medium-duty trucks also getting the modern body. That style of truck lasted all of the way to 1994. That year, Dodge debuted its retro-style D-Series pickups.
Steve has lots of these Junkyard Crawl videos covering a wide array of vehicles he finds in junkyards in and around his Massachusetts turf. They’re always full of great information and stories from the one-and-only Steve Magnante.