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1978 Dodge Lil Red Express Pickup, Rust Free and Restored

  • Price: Ask a price!
  • Condition: Used
  • Item location: Honey Brook, Pennsylvania, United States
  • Make: Dodge
  • Model: Other Pickups
  • SubModel: Lil Red Express
  • Type: Standard Cab Pickup
  • Trim: Lil Red Express
  • Year: 1978
  • Mileage: 80,000
  • VIN: D13BS8J514748
  • Color: Red
  • Engine size: 360 Police Interceptor
  • Number of cylinders: 8
  • Fuel: Gasoline
  • Transmission: Automatic
  • Drive type: 2wd
  • Interior color: Black
  • Vehicle Title: Clear

Dodge Other Pickups 1978 Description

I apologize in advance for the LONG description. I believe if you are going to buy something for thousands of dollars sight unseen, should make my best effort to describe my truck as well as I can. Most questions will be answered by reading my ad, ut if you have something additional, y all means, mail me. I also have a video of the truck running that I can email you, f you want.

Brief background of the Lil Red Express trucks in general - Dodge produced these trucks for just two years, 978 and 1979. Production in 1978 was only 2,188, hile 1979 was 5,118. 1978 was the last year for round headlights, nd it also had factory staggered wheels, ith 15x7 up front and 15x8 in the rear (1979's were all 15x8). The "Tuff" steering wheel was standard in 1978 (it did make it on some early 1979's as well). Due to a loop hole in federal regulations, odge was able to produce all 1978's without catalytic converters (the loop hole was closed by 1979). The 360 engine E58 was a modified version of the "police" engine, nd had 225 HP, aking the 1978 Lil Red Express trucks the fastest American made vehicle from 0-100 in 1978, eating out the Corvette, rans Am, nd Camaro. These trucks were an effort by Dodge to refuse to succumb to the low performance standards of the day, nd are sure to be very desirable in the future. And if you think about collectability, t is all about rarity. So between the two years of production, ou want the 1978, ith lower production, ore performance, nd classic styling.

Brief history of THIS Lil Red Express - This truck was purchased new by a Mr. Outlaw from Delta Motor Service Chrysler dealership in Indianola, ississippi. The business still exists today, lthough it appears they no longer have a Chrysler franchise. The truck was driven regularly, nd at some point was sold to the second owner. Around 1989, he truck was restored by this owner, ith right around 70,000 miles on it. I have many receipts, ncluding for a complete engine rebuild. In the mid 1990's, he truck was sold again to the third owner, ho basically never drove it and just parked it under cover in his garage. At the time, was running my own used car dealership about 2 miles from the third owners home, pecializing in high performance and antique cars. In 1997, fter trying to buy this truck for months, he owner traded it in to me on a Jeep Grand Cherokee. We used the truck as a promotional piece until 2001, hen I closed my car dealership. The truck was then transferred into my name, nd I have owned it ever since.

Chassis / frame / body / paint - The chassis is very tight on this truck. It tracks true and straight. The rear is silent in operation, nd the brakes stop smoothly and evenly. The frame appears to have been sandblasted or at least sanded and thoroughly cleaned during the restoration. VERY solid and clean vehicle underneath. The body appears to be very solid, ith NO evidence of rust or previous rust repair anywhere that I have found. The truck was repainted the original color at the time of restoration. It is a very presentable paint job, ut lacks the super deep shine of a show vehicle. Perhaps it could be buffed out. There are several chips on the front of the rear stepside fenders, s the front tires toss stones back there while driving. Overall, t is a very solid truck with no rust and a strong drivetrain, howing minimal wear from years of careful driving since the restoration.

Drivetrain - The engine and trans both appear to function excellently. The trans does tend to drip some fluid when sitting, ut not enough to really be a cause for concern. The engine runs very strong, nd has excellent oil pressure (around 40 at warm idle, 0 plus driving). The original air cleaner remains on the engine, s does what I believe to be the original carb. Stock exhaust manifolds are likewise present, ttached to what is either the original exhaust system, r more likely a reproduction of that system. The chrome valve covers do not appear to be originals, s they are stamped "direct connection". The engine and transmission were both rebuilt during the restoration, nd I have a receipt as proof for the engine (I may have one for trans too, will need to look).

Wheels, ood, nd bed - The bed has been fully restored, nd is straight and smooth. The wood floor has been replaced, ut rather than paint it red as the factory did, t has been stained and cleared for a beautiful appearance more suiting of a quality restoration. The custom bed cover is very clean for its age, ith just some slight discoloration here and there. Underneath the cover is some foam, nd then a piece of plywood, o the cover is completely flat. The chains are missing from the tailgate, o there are two marks (one of each side), here the tailgate was lowered down and hit the bumper. I haven't opened the tailgate more than four times in the years I have owned the truck, o I never bothered with the chains. The wood panels on the tailgate appear to be original, ut refinished. These pieces do show some minor cracks. All of the rest of the wood pieces are excellent. The wheels on the truck are original. While not perfect, hey are in very good condition, ith only a few spots where there is very minor rust or thin chrome. Bear in mind this is the ONLY year for the staggered wheels. The last set of these I saw for sale were in need of a full restoration, nd the asking price was $1800. And that was 5 years ago. These wheels are nearly always missing, ven from some very high end restored trucks. As far as I know, o one makes an exact reproduction of these wheels, o if you don't have them, hey are very hard to find. The tires in the rear are 275/60/15, nd have 90% tread left (they are only 3 years old or so). The fronts are 235/60/15, nd have maybe 20-25% tread left. The fronts should be 245's, ut I had some 235's from another car, o I used them. My intention was to put 245's on when I replaced them. The fronts should probably be replaced before too long, s they are fairly old tires.

Interior - Dash pad is very good, ith the only crack being in the glove box door. This is apparently very common for these trucks. The dash bezel has been replaced and is excellent. The fuel gauge is not working, nd has not since I have owned truck. I never attempted to repair, ut suspect either a bad ground, r bad sender unit. The oil pressure gauge is currently unhooked, s it was reading low. I replaced it with a mechanical gauge mounted under the dash. The amps and water temp appear to work as intended. The speedometer works, ut reads fast by about 20%. Story goes that while in Mississippi, he owner changed the rear gears to make the vehicle more friendly to drive on the open roads out there. He also changed the speedo gear when he did that. When the truck came east and was restored, he original gears (3.55) were put back in the truck, ut the speedo gear was not changed, esulting in the incorrect speedometer reading. I have never attempted to repair, ut it is a very simple job. It should also be noted that the original speedometer stopped functioning during my ownership (back in April 2006), howing 80,064. I replaced it with a good used one that was showing 70,996. So the "new" one is showing roughly 9,000 miles less than it should. I do still have the original speedometer, nd it will be included with the truck. The carpet has been replaced, nd while in good condition, ppears to be a generic piece that was trimmed to fit (not a model specific molded version). The drivers seat does show some vinyl cracking along the side bolster. I believe the seats to still be wearing their original vinyl. It is NOT ripped to the foam, ust appears the vinyl has pulled away a little from its backing. The Tuff steering wheel is in good shape, ith just minor spots on the metal spokes. This is likewise a very rare piece, s they were normally ripped apart from weather and use, nd are normally replaced with the standard Grant wheel. And although it did appear on some very early 1979's, his wheel is essentially 1978 only. The door panels both are solid. The original am/fm stereo is in the truck, nd I believe it works. To be honest, don't think I ever turned it on. I prefer to listen to the music coming out of the twin stacks. The driver side door glass has pitting in it, nd while it functions as intended, t should be replaced to improve the appearance of the truck. I always drive the truck with the windows down, o I was only reminded of the window when I closed it to wash the truck before preparing this ad. The heater core was unhooked when I bought the truck. I assumed it leaked, o I bought a replacement heater core. I never installed it, s I do not use the truck in cold temps, ut it will be included with sale.

If you know these trucks, ou know finding a rust free example is extremely difficult. You know that finding one with the original wheels still on it, n good shape, s very hard. You know that 1978 is the year you want, ue to lower production, etter performance, taggered wheels, o converters, lassic styling and TUFF steering wheel. You know that in 1978, HIS was the fastest American made vehicle from 0-100mph. If you know these trucks, hen you will know this is a good one.

Paperwork/Documentation: Yes, his is a REAL Lil Red Express! I have the under hood decal (build sheet) to prove it. I also have the original owners manual in great condition, he original sound system and tire manuals, nd the original bill of sale (the truck sold new for $6,200, hich would be around $24k in today's money). I even have some of the original loan paperwork. I have a slew of receipts from the restoration. All of this paperwork will go with the truck to the new owner.

Trades: I will consider a trade of a Street Rod Sedan. 4 door or 2 door. Not looking for a "project", ut doesn't need to be perfect either. I currently have one that needs work, nd if I found the right deal, would sell mine and keep yours. I will also consider a convertible, ny year. Other than that, et me know what you have. I am not looking for a trade other than what I listed, ut I am a car guy, nd maybe I will be interested in your offer.


The Lil Red Express is being sold as is, ith no warranty expressed or implied. Please understand this is a 1978 vehicle. While very solid and presentable, t is not without flaws, nd shows wear from having been driven regularly. The paint has chips here and there, he interior has marks and defects, he grille has some blemishes. I am not trying to make the truck sound bad because it absolutely is not, ut be realistic. It is not new, or is it a fresh $50,000 restoration. If it was, t would be way more money. I strongly encourage you to look at the truck before committing to buy it, s a bid in an auction sale is a commitment to buy according to Ebays terms of use. I have clear PA title to this vehicle that is ready to transfer to your name. Please feel free to email me with any questions you might have. I can provide my phone number to serious buyers who prefer to communicate in person instead of email. Just let me know. Payment must be in the form of cash, ank to bank wire transfer, ashier's check or personal check (all of which will have to clear before I will release the title or the truck).

I will require a $500 deposit via PayPal within 48 hours of the auction ending. That deposit is not refundable, NLESS there is a significant difference between the description written here and the vehicle. You shouldn't pay for my mistakes. The remainder of the monies due must be paid within 10 days in the form of cash on pickup, ashier's check, ire transfer or personal check. In all cases except cash, he funds must CLEAR MY BANK before I will release the truck or the title. Too many people are faking bank checks anymore. You are solely responsible for shipping or picking the truck up once payment has cleared. I will do all I can to be available on your schedule, f possible. I can store it for a little while after full payment is made, ut part of the reason I am selling it is because I desperately need the garage space.

NO INTERNATIONAL SALES UNLESS YOU CONTACT ME FIRST. I have sold a car to a gentleman in Canada, nd had no problem. I had a guy win my auction from Australia on another car, nd mess around for well over a month before refusing to pay because the shipping cost was too high. Listing on ebay costs money and time. And shipping a car half way around the world can be pricey. Please only bid if you understand these points, nd are serious.

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