1978 Dodge Lil' Red Express
Fastest American Built Vehicle in '78
1978 Dodge Lil' Red Express -
Limited Production - 360ci V8 - New Upholstery in 2003 -
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We're excited to be able to offer another low production vehicle for sale - A Dodge Lil' Red Express. A little known fact about the Lil' Red Express is that it was the fastest American production vehicle from 0-to-100 in 1978. (As tested by Car and Driver.)
Just to look at it you would figure it was something that a car enthusiast built on a whim to make a fast, custom truck in their own vision. Chrysler Corporation built the Lil' Red Express for the '78 and '79 model year, with only 2,188 of them produced for the '78 model year.
Under the hood is a 360ci V8 (Code EH1) which was a modified version of the police engine, mated to a slightly modified automatic 727 transmission, and 3.55:1 rear differential. The engine breathes through an exhaust system that consists of Hemi style mufflers, a crossover pipe, and no catalytic converters. The wheels on this truck are the staggered 15”x7” front and 15”x8” rear “chrome five slot” wheels, which were only available on the '78 models. For the '79 model year, only 15x8 wheels were available.
The interior of this truck was optioned with red trim and shows very well. Recent updates are new upholstery and carpeting. At first glance it looks as though the truck has a bench seat mounted in the cab, but taking a closer look you will see that it is actually two bucket seats with a center arm rest/center console. The bucket seats/center console configuration was an option on these trucks rather than a standard bench seat. A factory AM/FM/CB Radio is mounted on the dash…...yes, you read that right, a factory CB Radio. Another feature only on the '78 model year trucks was the “Tuff Wheel” steering wheel. The gauge cluster looks as if it was lifted from one of the early '70's Hemi powered cars; multiple auxiliary gauges, a large speedometer mounted right in the center, and a tach off to the right.
Wood paneling on a fast truck? Not exactly a lightweight material, but the wood paneling sure looks nice with the contrasting “Bright Canyon Red” paint (Code PY3442). Especially on this particular truck. The wood on both the inside and outside of the truck bed is in great condition along with all the body panels. We can't forget about the other design features that make the Lil' Red Express trucks so unique: the exhaust stacks, gold trim and gold Lil' Red Express logos on the doors.
From a time when sports cars were underpowered thanks to emissions regulations, a Lil' Red Truck kept the muscle car spirit alive with its unique styling, and capable straight-line acceleration thanks to the V8 under the hood.
Be sure to check out all the photos and video on our main website: Garage Kept Motors. Call if interested or e-mail with any questions. Thank you for looking.