BaT Auction: 1979 Dodge Li’l Red Express

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This Dodge Li’l Red Express is one of 5,118 built for the 1979 model year at the Chrysler Warren plant in Detroit. The seller purchased the truck in 2013 from his brother-in-law, who had owned it for the previous 20 years. Subsequent modifications included installation of a 360ci Magnum V8 crate engine from ATK, an Edelbrock carburetor and dual-plane intake manifold, Summit Racing headers, Painless wiring, custom seats, replacement instruments, a modern sound system, and more. This D-series pickup is offered with a carpet kit, window sticker, partial records, recent dyno sheet, spare parts, and a clean California title in the seller’s name.

The Li’l Red Express came finished in Canyon Red with a wood-trimmed stepside bed, gold pinstriping, polished bumpers, and vertical exhaust stacks just aft of the cab. The seller reports body and paintwork to correct damage at the right front corner incurred under previous ownership. Remaining damage is noted behind the left corner of the front bumper, and other issues include rust holes around the lower doors and fenders on either side, peeling paint on the roof, and wear around the drip rails and tailgate.

BaT Auction: 1979 Dodge Li'l Red Express

Cosmetic changes in 1979 also brought quad rectangular headlamps with a revised grille, a flat hood, and slotted 15″x8″ wheels. The latter are mounted with 275/60 BFGoodrich Radial T/A tires, and an extra set of wheels is included in the sale. The truck has been fitted with new LED rear lighting, bed floor planks, exhaust tips, and weatherstripping for the doors and windows. Original-style door decals will be included in the sale.

BaT Auction: 1979 Dodge Li'l Red Express

The cabin is equipped with aftermarket bucket seats trimmed in black cloth, new seat belts, and an original-style foldable “buddy” seat finished in vinyl. A new uninstalled carpet kit will be included in the sale.

BaT Auction: 1979 Dodge Li'l Red Express

Modifications include new Vintage Performance gauges, a RetroSound Bluetooth-capable stereo, and aftermarket speakers. Just under 1,700 miles are shown on the digital odometer, with total chassis mileage believed by the seller to be approximately 105k. A factory gauge pack will come with the truck.

BaT Auction: 1979 Dodge Li'l Red Express

An ATK HP73C Chrysler 360ci Magnum V8 crate engine was installed under current ownership in 2014, reportedly within the past 5k miles. The last oil change was completed in March 2016 according to the seller. Additional features are as follows:

  • Edelbrock 650 CFM 4-barrel carburetor with electric choke
  • Edelbrock Performer 7577 intake manifold
  • MSD electronic ignition
  • Summit Racing G9064 Block Hugger Headers
  • Painless wiring harness

BaT Auction: 1979 Dodge Li'l Red Express

Power is sent to the rear wheels through a 727 3-speed automatic transmission. Additional work in 2014 included fitment of new front wheel bearing seals, front brake rotors and pads, rear drums and shoes, a Moog steering linkage, and fresh front suspension bushings. Several gallery photos are provided to illustrate the condition of the chassis, underbody, and suspension components. A chrome cover is mounted to the differential, which received a new seal in December 2018.

A dyno run was performed in August 2018, with results of 223 horsepower and 298 lb-ft of torque posted on a summary page in the gallery below. Service records from current ownership will be included in the sale.

A driving video is provided above. Spares include a stock Carter carburetor, A/C compressor, differential cover, and more shown in the gallery below.

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