Saturday, October 15, 2011

Dodges and Fargos-long gone from the big truck scene

It's hard to believe that Dodge has been gone from the big truck scene since 1975!
Chrysler Corp bought Dodge Brothers in 1928 and Dodge was a player in the medium to heavy truck scene up to the end, although their numbers certainly disintegrated in the 1970s before they pulled the plug completely.
To complete their truck line in Canada, Plymouth dealers got the Fargo truck, which was a Dodge of another name.
1. The Dodge Power Wagon was the 4x4 version of their large pickups. Using a pre-war cab, well in to the 1950s, I suspect the Fargos were the rarest Power Wagons of all. This one was still running strong in Trenton, NS in 1984.

2. The bugeye 1966 version used the contemporary pick-up cab, but was still marketed as a Power Wagon. West River, NS, VFD was running this unit in 1991.

3. The 1948-50 trucks had an all new cab, and smiling face look to them. They did build some fairly heavy trucks at that time, including this Fargo tandem tanker used by the Grand River, NS, VFD, in 1981.

4. This 1954-56 era Dodge was traded in on a new firetruck, and put out to pasture with an American LaFrance bathtub model at Pierreville, QC, in 1982.

5. Dept. des incendies de Rimouski, QC traded in their 1948-50 Fargo too.

6. The Department of National Defence ran this 1958 Fargo/Thibault 65 foot ladder truck at the HMC Dockyard in Halifax. It was recently surplus in this photo in 1979.

7. Pictou, NS operated this 1965-66 Dodge/ LaFrance. It was still in prime condition in 1995.

8. The LCF series was built from 1960 to 1975. It used a pick-up cab, which was continued in this model until well after it was replaced in the normal pickup line. The fenders were hinged at the rad shell and swing out for servicing. This Fargo had been restored in Quebec City in 2010. The quad headlights date it from 1969 or earlier.

9. Some big diesel rigs were built in this model. There was no room under the hood for an air cleaner - especially one this big! The oil cleaner was also usually mounted outboard on the driver's side. Wilfrid Allen was running this one near Trois-Rivières, QC in 1990.

10. Tremblay Automobiles Inc in La Malbaie, QC was the local Plymouth dealer and they had this Fargo wrecker on call. It was a pre-1969 model and was gussied up with chrome wheels.

11. The Canadian Broadcasting Corp had this Dodge diesel tandem, carrying a generator. The diesel model had a special emblem on the side of the hood indicating that they were not gas jobs. This one had seen better days, but was still running in 1996.

12. Pride of the Dodge heavy truck line was the legendary Big Horn. Of the 261 built, 70 were sold in Canada. They were only produced between 1973 and 1975, but they made a huge visual impact. The Big Horn hood emblem was almost as coveted as a Mack bulldog - but much rarer. This boom truck with extended frame was running in Dartmouth in 1989.

13. Another Big Horn, this one with a dump body (likely not its original configuration-most were built as highway tractors) was still going in 1995 in Kentville, NS.

14. Oddest Dodge award goes to these little tilt cabs, built using a Dodge A-100 van cab. Called the L series, they were usually P&D jobs, but this one was well suited to the narrow streets of St. John's, NF. I took this photo in 1982.

15. The heavy duty L series tilt cabs, had an aluminum cab and fibreglass fenders and were produced from 1964 until 1975. A fairly rare sight, they were a "stand up" truck.

16. This Dodge was a day cab version - even rarer- but was fitted with an air conditioner.

Dodge / Fargo R.I.P.

1 comment:

  1. Interesting read, Mac! I can't recall ever seeing a Dodge "big truck" in person before. Those Big Horns are fantastic.