1978 Dodge Li’l Red Express Truck
The Dodge division of the Chrysler Corporation released the Li’l Red Express Truck In 1978 one of the most unique Dodge trucks that had ever been produced. The Li’l Red Express was not only a real looker but these trucks were also real performers also.
In 1978 The Dodge Li’l Red Express was the fastest American made vehicle from 0 to 100 MPH as tested by Car and Driver magazine.
Because of a loophole in the emissions regulations the 1978 Dodge Li’l Red Express Truck’s did not have catalytic converters what the Li’l Red Express did have was a special High Performance 360 C.I. 4-barrel small block engine code (EH1) which was a modified version of the 360 police engine (E58) producing 225 net horsepower @ 3800 RPM. The package also included Hemi style mufflers with a crossover pipe breathing through 2 chrome stacks located behind the cab, a special 727 transmission and 3.55:1 rear gearing.
The 1978 Dodge Li’l Red Express Truck rode on GR60x15 raised white letter tires on 7-inch Chrome wheels up front and LR60x15 on 8-inch chrome wheels on the rear and there was no spare included. All 1978 Dodge Li’l Red Express Truck’s were automatics the interiors were available with a standard bench seat in red or black or with optional buckets and a fold down arm/rest console which was available both years. 1978 and some early 1979 Dodge Li’l Red Express Truck’s used the “tuff” steering wheel.
The Dodge Li’l Red Express Truck was a hit with dealers and public 2,188 were produced in 1978 making these truck’s very sought after and very valuable these days.
1979 Dodge Li’l Red Express Truck
With the success of the 1978 Dodge Li’l Red Express Truck production of the 1979 Dodge Li’l Red Express Truck’s was increased to 5,118. Most of the features remained unchanged for 1979 however there was some changes which included a catalytic converter, unleaded gas, 85 MPH speedometer.
The most noticeable changes on the 1979 Dodge Li’l Red Express Truck’s was the new flat hood and dual square headlights replacing the round versions on 1978 Dodge Li’l Red Express Truck’s and the 1979’s rode on LR60x15 raised white letter tires on 8-inch chrome wheels on all 4 corners.
Due to rising gas prices and the Dodge Li’l Red Express thirst for fuel Dodge dropped plans to build the 1980 Dodge Li’l Red Express Truck causing the value of the 1978 & 1979 Li’l Red Express trucks to fall. Owners that managed to hang on to there Li’l Red Express trucks soon found out that the fall in value was temporary and like all rare mopars they would in the end be one of the most sought after dodge trucks ever produced.