*This story is still actively being added to as of July ’21*
After I sold my ’70 D300 in ’18 I decided to wait and patiently hunt my next project. On the fence for another truck or a Mopar muscle car. July 2019, I got home one afternoon and starting looking at a few Facebook pages to see what had popped up when I saw the add for this ’70 D200 Crewcab with an 8′ Utiline Bed. My first thought was, well that’s definitely different. I decided to give Robert, the seller a call and get some more information on it. He described it as a running, rust free truck with the worst part being the right rear door. We discussed the price, he sent some more pictures and a video the next day and by the following evening we had a deal. I lined up with a broker to get transport for it and almost a month later while I was out of town for work, I got a call at lunch saying the hauler was on the way to pick it up. The following Saturday afternoon it arrived not to disappoint. The driver lost count of the number of people coming up to him when stopped wanting to buy the truck off of him!
So Robert who I purchased it off of in Nebraska, picked it up out of Wyoming from another guy who got it from a salvage yard (it went through a few quick flips). The truck along with other vehicles from the original families property were purchased when I’m guessing they decided to clean up. Unfortunately the original right rear door was damaged in the salvage yard worse then the door they swapped it out with. The truck had just shy of 75,000 miles on when I picked it up. It’s believed the truck was special ordered in this configuration and retrofitted with two additional fuel tanks under the cab before leaving Detroit. I’m understanding it either had a camper in the rear of the bed or pulled a camper a lot.
Truck specs: 383/3 speed auto. Factory options include A/C, Radio, PS, PB, polished aluminum grille, door panel trim, and west coast painted mirrors.
Once the truck arrived, the first step was to assess what I was working with, determine what direction I wanted to go in and what parts I needed. Fortunately there are more parts being reproduced today then while I was restoring my D300 between ’04-09 but at the same time the demand for these trucks has gone off and with that, the price for both NOS, used and reproduction parts has followed.
The first item on the agenda was a tune-up and to get the truck driving safely on the road.
Once I went through the mechanicals, I started inspecting the wiring. Just as you would see with any almost 50 year old truck, there were a few splices of wiring but surprisingly the overall harness was in great shape. A couple of corrections under the dash, hood and frame and I was good to go. While I was finishing that up, some other items were getting put on. A new set of Mickey Thompson Wheels and new rubber were put on. I had a grille repolished and found a good front bumper to get chromed and chrome a Utiline bumper Dad had for the rear. New reproduction antenna and side marker lights from AMS Obsolete along with a set of reproduction mirror arms from Vans Auto and the truck started looking a bit different.
The transmission had a leak so off to a local shop. After an inspection they determined the transmission was solid and just needed a quick reseal. After that, I got by the exhaust shop for a new exhaust setup front to rear and muffler to clean that up.
Over the winter from ’19 to ’20 I had the dashed pulled, gutted the a/c system and started the rebuild. The dash was off to the painters and the new parts from Classic Auto Air started arriving while I sent the parts for refurb off to them. It took some time but by spring the a/c system was back together, dash in and truck up and running.
By summer ’20 the front clip was off with the core support, fenders and inner fenders getting blasted, primed and painted. Took the opportunity to really clean under the hood, complete final engine detailing and parts replacement and get ready for sheetmetal reinstallation. The firewall paint is original and still in good shape. I’ve compounded and polished by hand and it will be left as is when the remainder of the truck is painted. Original paint color is Mojave Yellow, which was discontinued after Jan ’70 by the paint chip data, so this truck just made it in the window to get the color.
So as of mid 2021, the truck is idle as far as the restoration. I purchased an aluminum bed flooring with printed wood graphics from Smokey Road Rod Shop that I’m hoping to install here in the next few months as a pre-fit and by Spring of 2022 the goal is to finally get the bed stripped apart for body work and paint and finish up the cab interior/exterior paint.
Every time I take it out it get’s its fair share of thumbs up or hold on a minute, I got to check that out.
Stay tuned for more updates!