This truck was my (now ex-)mother-in-law’s truck for many years. She pulled a horse trailer all over the west coast and complained about the low power and terrible MPG the entire time. It was a 1978 Dodge D200 Camper Special (1 ton without dual rear wheels), 360, automatic, 4:10 Dana, with tons of factory options (A/C, cruise control, 2 fuel tanks, rear jump seats, cloth interior, and an AM/FM/CB radio).
I borrowed this truck for the 2nd trip of stuff when we migrated back out of Virginia to Idaho in November 1991. And I had the same complaints as my M-I-L for the entire trip. Specifically, I was towing a 27 foot 3-axle trailer with my (green) 1971 Charger R/T and most of a house full of furnishings, so to say I was “overloaded” would be an understatement. Somewhere near Denver I encountered the worst hill imaginable. I had just left a gas station and the entrance ramp to the freeway went up, Up, UP and just kept going towards the sky, so I did not get a running start at it. My (now ex-)brother-in-law was with me on that trip and we both were contemplating whether or not we’d make it over this hill. Even with 4.10 gears out back and the trans shifted down into 1st, the vacuum secondaries on the 4 barrel carb had faded out and we very slowly chugged at 8 MPH up the freeway on this (seemingly) never ending incline. The engine was groaning and it sounded like it was turning slower than idle. My B-I-L asked me “Do I need to get out and push?“. I replied “I don’t dare let up the gas because if we stop moving, we’ll never get it going again“. That one hill took close to 20 minutes to limp over.
About a year later, I lucked into a deal on a used ’89 Cummins diesel pickup. My M-I-L was interested in it, so I bought it and she made the payments (under $200/month); in return she GAVE me this orange truck.
After many years of being my work/beater truck, the front plastic fuel tank was severely cracked and impossible to find a suitable replacement. By then I had bought a used 1992 Dakota truck (The Duck-ota), so I sold the big dodge for $800.