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Yeah, It’s Ugly—So What?

I’ll admit it—I once sold a favorite ride of mine because my wife didn’t like it. Not only did she not like it, she didn’t want to be seen in it. I still miss it, and she knows that if I ever come across another one like it, I’m buying it. Believe me—I bring it up weekly!

Dan Tallant of Kansas City, Missouri, is a bit more resilient than I was. His wife calls his ’69 Dodge D100 the “Super Turd” because she’s of the opinion that it’s ugly, but that hasn’t affected Dan’s love for the ol’ Mopar one bit. In fact, it’s one of Dan’s favorites, and as the owner of a hot rod shop, he’s owned more than a few custom rides.

YOU CAN GET REPOPS OF THIS WHEEL FROM SEVERAL SOURCES, BUT THIS IS A REAL-DEAL, ORIGINAL SUPERIOR 500 FLAKED STEERING WHEEL. IMAGINE THE STORIES IT MUST HAVE!

His journey with the Dodge began about six years ago when he picked it up from a friend.

“I bought it from a buddy who started the project—I had to have it since it wasn’t a C10 or F-100,” Dan says.

The truck definitely needed some cleaning up, but at the same time Dan didn’t want to clean it up too much since it would be seeing shop-truck duty.

“I started with the body,” he says. “The cab and doors were different colors, so I matched the color and patina do the bed and front fenders.”

His wife calls his ’69 Dodge D100 the ‘Super Turd’ because she’s of the opinion that it’s ugly, but that hasn’t affected Dan’s love for the ol’ Mopar one bit. In fact, it’s one of Dan’s favorites, and as the owner of a hot rod shop, he’s owned more than a few custom rides.

From there, Dan focused on getting the truck back on the road. And yes, he chose everyone’s favorite engine.

“I installed a 5.3 LS and drove it for a couple of years… hauling motors and pulling trailers. It was pretty much a daily driver,” he says.

But, as is always the case, Dan eventually wanted to do more to the truck—a lot more. That included upping the power quite a bit.

“I decided to install a Magnuson supercharger with 11 pounds of boost to wake it up,” he says.

Yeah, that certainly did the trick, as did the Hooker headers, and Dan also upgraded the 4L60E with a built version from Nichols Performance. After all, with 450-ish horses now reaching the rear tires, why take any chances?

Yeah, I can’t blame Dan’s wife for not liking his truck. Wait, yes, I can—you leave Dan alone, lady! After all, it’s had plenty of time to prove itself.

As you can tell, though, there’s a lot more going on with Dan’s Dodge. The original suspension was in terrible shape, so in went a JW Rod Garage Mustang II front suspension with Firestone airbags, and the rear got a parallel four-link welded to the Ford 9-inch, again with Firestone bags. These upgrades also yielded some added bonuses, such as disc brakes and RideTech shocks, which greatly improved drivability, but Dan did have to raise the bed floor to keep the new suspension package covered up. It was all worth it, however, especially once he saw the truck drop down over the 18×8 and 20×10 Detroit Steel wheels—perfection!

Another neat addition was the pair of ’66 Ford F-100 bumpers that Dan used to replace the originals. Although they’re similar to the factory Dodge bumpers, the Ford versions are slightly more streamlined and fit the body nicely.

I had already mentioned that Dan had carefully matched the cab and fenders to the bed’s original patina, but he had Eric from Pinstriping by Eric come in and work some of his magic by adding door signage and freehand pinstriping inside and out. And Dan was even able to adapt a Truxedo tonneau cover to the bed to protect anything that happens to find its way back there.

The truck’s innards are actually a bit more polished than the outside, with fresh carpet and a customized Chevy bench seat upholstered by Liberty Auto Upholstery. Dan used Haywire wiring products to update the electrical system, and Dakota Digital gauges add modern reliability without detracting from the interior’s classic look, especially with that rad Superior 500 vintage steering wheel sitting atop the rebuilt Chevy van steering column. Of course, Dan’s favorite mod has to be the Vintage Air climate control setup, which keeps things nice and cool on those hot and humid days.

Yeah, I can’t blame Dan’s wife for not liking his truck. Wait, yes, I can—you leave Dan alone, lady! After all, it’s had plenty of time to prove itself.

“I put 35,000 miles on it in the first five years,” Dan says.

We’d say the ol’ Dodge has earned its stay!

DAN DID HAVE TO RAISE THE BED FLOOR TO KEEP THE NEW SUSPENSION PACKAGE COVERED UP. IT WAS ALL WORTH IT, HOWEVER, ESPECIALLY ONCE HE SAW THE TRUCK DROP DOWN OVER THE 18X8 AND 20X10 DETROIT STEEL WHEELS—PERFECTION!

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