In 2000, I purchased this truck from the daughter of the original owner with a whopping 104 ORIGINAL MILES! You read that right, 104 original miles. Let’s backtrack to 1971 briefly. The original owner purchased the truck to use to go fishing in. The 1971 model was the last year of the Sweptline trucks and this particular model was a Sweptline Special. Bare bones, no thrills, no options. It was a cheap truck to compete against Ford and Chevy for a basic work truck.
It was purchased in Sept ’71 at Bitzer Dodge-Chrysler in Collinsville, IL. for $2,332.15. The owner drove it home from the dealership and parked it in the garage with 23 miles on it. Two additional payments were made in Nov and Dec to pay off the truck. Shortly after he purchased it though, he became ill and never got to drive the truck again. For the next 28 years, the truck stayed garage kept and if it was moved from one to the other, it was trailered.
Fast forward to 1999, the daughter inherited the truck and decided it was time to sell. She had it hauled to a local mechanic shop where they replaced the muffler, tires and a few hoses due to dryrot. They got the truck tuned up and ready to go. She proceeded to put additional miles on it in the neighborhood just keeping it active until it was purchased. In early 2000, I found the truck on one of the Dodge Sweptline forums for sale. We came to agreement and Granddad, Dad and myself loaded up and went to St. Louis, MO. Went to bed that night with good weather only to wake up in the hotel the next morning with snow coming down quickly.
We met with the owner, loaded the truck up with 104 miles on the odometer, exchanged paperwork and money and proceeded back through what was the worst winter snowstorm we had ever been in, which much of the interstate in Indiana and Illinois nothing more than a two rut road. Needless to say, if the truck hadn’t experienced snow during it’s previous 29 years of life, it definitely did then.
For the first few years of the truck’s existence in my possession, it did get driven. There were a few truck shows near Columbia, SC that I attended with the truck and a few local as well. After the first few years, it was decided to trailer the truck from then on due to the survivorship of the truck and just trying to prevent anything from happening to it.
Over the years, it ended up in multiple magazines:
- Shifting Gears
- Mopar Muscle Magazine
- Dodge Truck World Magazine Issue #30
In 2011, I decided to sell the truck. It sold on an ebay auction to a collector in Canada where it resided until 2021. In May, it rolled across the auction block with some of Moe’s other survivor Dodge products for over $30,000. Not bad for a truck that cost just over $2,300 50 years before. If your curious, the truck still had that new truck smell when we picked it up in St. Louis through the day it loaded up on the truck headed to Canada.