Monday, March 3, 2014

Rotting In Style - 1970s Dodge D400

1970 dodge d400 turck rotting in style central florida the gabel collection

It’s more or less common to see cars and maybe a pickup truck or van rotting in someone’s yard, but it’s not too frequent that you come along a full sized truck sinking into the ground amongst various other automobiles.  Odds aside, that is exactly what we have here sitting in the back of “The Gabel Collection” in central Florida.

What we have here is an early 1970s Dodge D400.  Let me first start off by saying that this is not like looking up a Mustang or even a Gremlin online: there is not much information.  Just by looking at the front end of this truck, I guessed it was early to mid 70s, but to be sure, I decided to do an image search on Google for a Dodge D400.  What I ended up finding was that a lot of these trucks (of this generation) are still quite common and used daily in South American countries, especially Brazil.

Sweptline has a great write up on these trucks.  As far as I could find, it is the most information in one place on the internet about these trucks.  The D400 is apparently the smallest of the D Series trucks that Dodge offered from the 1960s through the 1970s.  The D800 is the largest.

The D400 came standard with a 225 cubic inch two valve straight six engine.  There was also an optional 318 cubic inch V8.  I am not sure which one this particular truck has.

What I can say this truck has plenty of though, is grunge.  There are completely rusted out sections, the paint is covered in various green life forms, it’s buried under leaves and branches, and the passenger window has met up with the running board somehow.  The back of the truck (and interior) is packed with various car parts for cars in the Gabel Collection.  However, that wasn’t always the case.

Once upon a time, the previous owner was going through a nasty divorce.  Instead of hiring movers, the owner bought this used truck, packed it up with all his stuff, and moved across country.  He was only 300 miles from his destination when the passenger front tire blew out.  He replaced it, drove to his destination, and it’s been parked there ever since.  To this day, that tire remains the newest thing on the truck with only 300 miles on it.

While I love the artistic nature of abandoned things, it always pains me to see once good vehicles lying around.  Perhaps this one may be better off with its brothers down in South America, or maybe it will get another chance here.  For now, it’s just rotting in style.


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