1957 Dodge D100 Sweptside Pickup
Slideshow: In a world of function over form, Dodge created a gorgeous pickup truck that stands out from the rest of the '50s crowd.
Let's be honest - when it comes to classic trucks from the '50s, Ford and Chevy trucks tend to get all the love. Despite producing some pretty incredible pickups themselves, you rarely ever see Dodges from this era, and that's a real shame. Because as you can see from this incredible 1957 Dodge pickup featured over at Hot Rod, they're more than capable of matching right up with those "other" brands.
The '50s were also a pivotal time for pickup truck styling. Prior to this decade, manufacturers didn't really try to differentiate their pickups from their passenger cars. But as their popularity began to rise, truck makers began incorporating unique styling elements. For Dodge, these dramatic changes came about in 1957.
Truck and Wagon All in One!
Dodge's answer to the pickup truck styling wars was this - the Sweptside. Created by Dodge’s Special Equipment Group, it essentially incorporated sweeping station wagon fenders onto the sides of their traditional truck offering. Which, as you might imagine, wasn't easy to do.
But it was nothing that Dodge's in-house custom shop couldn't handle. They masterfully aligned the truck's chrome trim with its giant fins and cut the tailgate down to fit the station wagon-sourced bumper. The result of all this hard work was one of the most stylish trucks ever conceived.
Ahead of Its Time?
Regardless, a mere 1,260 Sweptside pickups were built from 1957-1959. And only around 200 still exist. Despite the truck's fantastic styling, real-truck capability (unlike the Chevy Cameo), and a solid marketing campaign, the Sweptside never really won over truck buyers at the time.
Almost a Hemi
Even the engines in these interesting trucks were wholly unique. The Polyspheric V-8 wasn't technically a Hemi, yet shared the same configuration, crankshaft, and block with its more famous brother. Only the heads, pistons, and exhaust manifolds were different.
One of a Kind?
The simpler, dual concave domed heads also made these engines cheaper to build and lighter. However, the owner of this particular truck has installed a set of Hemi heads on it, which seems like a logical upgrade. And there are unsubstantiated rumors that Dodge built at least one such truck in this configuration from the factory.
Thus, it shouldn't come as a surprise that the owner of this amazing truck, Chuck Foley, has been a Dodge fan his entire life. He inherited this love from his father, who owned a number of them while Chuck was growing up.
Foley has owned a number of Chrysler vehicles over the years, but he remembers being blown away when he spotted his first Sweptside. “We were awestruck by a truck with fins and a push-button transmission selector,” he recalled. And it turns out that it was also a perfect match for his '57 Dodge Coronet. Today, after a thorough restoration, he's got himself one heck of a beautiful pair!
If you need help with your big Dodge/Ram truck, check out the how-to section of DodgeForum.com