1979 Dodge B200
1979 Dodge B200 Maxi Wagon Sportsman SE
(Please note: If you happen to be viewing this 1979 Dodge B200 Maxi Wagon Sportsman SE on a site other than GarageKeptMotors.com, it's possible that you've only seen some of our many photographs of this vehicle due to website limitations. To be sure you access all our more than 150 photographs, as well as a short walk-around-and-startup video, please go to our main website: GarageKeptMotors.)
“If vintage vans are going to be the next big thing—and I'm proclaiming here and now that they are—this is the one to get if you want to be in on the ground floor.” Barnfinds.com
This iconic Dodge Sportsman SE van is a true survivor; its original purchaser owned it until just this year. Knowing how this owner special-ordered and maintained the van speaks volumes. Now 82 years old, he chose the top-of-the-line vehicle from the Montague, Michigan Dodge dealer's order book, checking nearly every available option. When it arrived, he had the van professionally rust-proofed, and repeated that service every five years thereafter (the Ziebart application sites can be seen on the front-fender tops in the door-jamb areas). He called it “the family fun bus” and used its commodious space almost exclusively for family trips. Just after taking delivery, he also had dual exhausts mounted.
Over its life, this Sportsman SE was literally garage-kept, and never driven during the winter. The 70,000 miles shown on the working odometer—a mere 1,700 miles per year over its life—is an extremely low number by any standard. Finally, keeping a vehicle's original factory window sticker (included) for 41 years is yet another piece of evidence this van has been loved through the years.
Outside, the van's sharp two-tone Canyon Red Sunfire Metallic-and-Wedgewood Gray Metallic exterior paint is in excellent condition overall. Exceptions include one small wear-mark on the rear door, two small dents on the same door, a minor dent on the driver-side rear fender, and a minor ding on the passenger side. Chrome bright work, full wheel covers, lenses, factory emblems, windshield and other glass all display virtually no wear or sign of even slight damage. New whitewall tires have recently replaced the original optional whitewalls.
Inside, the condition of the “family fun bus” suggests dad enforced some pretty strict rules over kids' behavior in the vehicle. All the lovely red fabric upholstery is clean, fresh-looking, and without rips or tears. The carpeting literally looks new with one exception: in the cargo area, there's a stain from the owner's wife once spilling bleach (imagine how that played with dad!) There are red privacy curtains included for all the windows. The woodgrain trim on the dash and door panels is in excellent condition showing only a couple of wear marks (most noticeable on the passenger-side dash). The van's very rare "Travel Seat" option (allowing the rear two rows of seats to be front-facing for riding, or facing each other with a table for dining, or folded flat for a double-bed) is in place and functional. An aftermarket pop-up roof vent located over the rear cargo area was added by the owner. Dashboard controls are all present and, with the exception of the horn and the air-conditioning system which will also require servicing, operational. An aftermarket windshield-wiper interval control, an analog dash-mounted compass, an indoor-outdoor digital thermometer, and a secondary backup ignition are in place. The optional factory steering wheel shows patina consistent with its age, and the upper dash surfaces display some sun-fading and minor discoloration.
Under the short hood, the engine compartment (fully serviceable from inside the van after the engine cover is removed) is complete and tidy. The original 360-cubic inch V8 engine is in place, linked to the automatic transmission and 3.2-ratio rear differential. The van's undercarriage is also complete displaying the dual exhaust, replacement shock absorbers, and only expected surface rust. Recent service included a rebuild of the power-steering box, replacement of the power-steering line, correction of a vacuum-line leak, and an oil and filter change. A front-end alignment is recommended.
In the more than 150 high-definition photographs and the short walk-around-and-startup video available on the GarageKeptMotors website, the van's standout condition is faithfully presented. Nonetheless, we encourage in-person inspections at our Grand Rapids Showroom (and by all means bring your own camera!) Please call to arrange an appointment in advance, or get in touch by phone or email if you have any questions.
This beautiful Dodge Sportsman SE really only needs one quick upgrade to make it ready to serve as the new owner's fun bus: A period bumper sticker announcing: “If this van's a rockin,' don't be a-knockin'!