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My 1957 Fargo D100 Shortbox Pickup

My truck is a 1957 Fargo D100 short-box with a 250 cubic inch flathead six engine and a three speed column shift.  The mechanical work is 90% complete, most of which I managed to do myself.  The body is still original except the box wood which I have replaced.  I haven't yet decided exactly what I want to do for body and paint work.  Click on the thumbnails to see larger pictures of my truck.

This is the truck I learned to drive on, I mean literally it was, so its special to me.  It was my dad's truck and we used it to run around the farm even before I had a drivers license.  It was a well used truck with probably well over 200 thousand miles on it when my dad and older brother rebuilt the engine in about 1972.  It was parked shortly thereafter.

So what is a Fargo?  Fargo trucks are almost identical to Dodge except for badging, engine displacement and a few other minor differences.  While Dodge trucks were sold in the United States, Fargo trucks were sold in commonwealth countries like Canada and Austrailia.  In Canada these trucks were built in Windsor, Ontario.  From a collectors point of view, 1957 is a particularly desirable model year for Dodge and Fargo trucks.  The body sheet metal with hooded headlights is unique to this year.  New for the 1957 model year was 12 volt electrical system and a V8 engine option.  For 1957 Fargo received a 301 cubic inch engine while Dodge trucks received a 315. These V8 engines were of polyspherical head design, a compromise between the earlier famous and powerful hemi engine design and the modern less expensive wedge design. These engines were referred to as the A series engines, and predate the more modern LA wedge design engines introduced in 1964. Other options available for the 1957 Fargo included a wide back window and a 3-speed push-button automatic transmission.  A very rare option was the sweptside box which was specially factory made by attaching the rear fender panels, lights and bumper from a two door dodge stationwagon.  The result was a very sharp looking truck indeed.  I dont have a sweptside, but even so, finding a 57 Fargo pickup at a classic car show is a rare event in itself.

Restoration...  Dirty Work For Fun

The following describes some of the adventure of doing the mechanical restoration.  Click on the pictures as you read. Keep in mind that I had never done this kind of thing before.  I'm not sure why I enjoy it, but I do!

When I first brought the truck home from the old farm it was in rough shape. The engine ran pretty good as it had been started about once a year, but the truck had no brakes, flat tires, leaking water pump, very loose steering, driver side door that didnt open from the outside, no signal lights, a shot interior and numerous other problems.  It was definitely not roadworthy.

Some Of The Mechanical Work Done

  • Engine was rebuit 20 years ago before being parked
  • Rebuilt all brake cylinders and machined all the brake drums
  • Rebuilt the brake master cylinder
  • Replaced both rear axles because the nuts were welded on the axle (removing the nut is the only way to get the drum off to get at the barkes and to remove the axles to get the differential out)
  • Repaced the differential from a worn out 4.10 to a 3.23 for better drivability
  • A complete new exhaust system
  • Cleaned the dash guages
  • Rebuilt lights and signal lights
  • Rebuilt the clutch
  • Dissasembled, cleaned and rebuilt the transmission form the best parts from 2 transmissions (I have since found another in better shape)
  • Replaced the universal joints
  • Replaced the king pins in the front axle
  • Replaced some of the suspension shackle hanger bushings
  • Dissasembled, cleaned and tightened the steering box (I have since found another in better shape)
  • Replaced the windshield with a better used one
  • Replaced the seat with a better used one
  • Cleaned the carburator
  • Adjusted the valve tappets
  • Replaced the points and condenser and retimed the engine
  • Repaired the gas tank
  • Replaced the bedwood
  • Straightened the tailgate
  • Replaced one rear fender and one running board with ones in better shape
  • Replaced the 15x4 rims with 15x5 rims to accomodate modern tires
  • Installed 5 tires P205-75R15

Some Of The Parts I Could Use

  • Vertical chrome piece for the front grill (original is broke in 2 pieces)
  • Blank dask plate for passenger side (original has holes drilled in it for a speaker)
  • Front bumper (original is bent but could be straightened)
  • Actually what would be really nice is an original 301 cubic inch V8 with 3 speed automatic with pushbutton assembly and crossmount, but this is hard to find
  • Actually what would be really really nice is original power steering, but this is very very hard to find
  • To finish the truck it will need minor bodywork, paint and a complete interior


Current Pictures

(Click on the thumbnails to see full size pictures.)

Thumb Nail Going for a spin.

Thumb Nail Front Left

Thumb Nail Front

Thumb Nail Left Side

Thumb Nail Dash


Restoration

Thumb Nail My dad and I looking things over assessing the potential.

Thumb Nail Towing it home. We used the original home-made tow bar.

Thumb NailThe axle nuts were welded on the axle shafts and drums. Axles are toast.

Thumb Nail Before the brake job. Brake fluid and gear oil leaking everywhere.

Thumb NailAfter the brake job. Rebuilt all four wheels and master cylinder.

Thumb NailThe original bed wood. It was rotted and came out pretty easy.

Thumb NailNew wood. Its just stained plywood for now until body and paint.

Thumb Nail Flathead Six Engine. Its from a 53 Dodge car and was rebuilt.

Thumb NailIt drives pretty good now. Needs body, paint and interior.