8 October 2012

"He's Got To Be So Macho"

This may be the coolest truck you've never heard of. Who called it a Macho Power Wagon? Dodge did. I don't know who's idea it was in 1977, but painting a mid-70s 4WD truck like a 1960's muscle car, equipping it with big off-road tyres and a 440ci V8 (catalyst-free dues to a loophole in the emissions regs)  was a stroke of marketing genius. The Macho was released under the 'Adult Toys' range, along with a van and a sports wagon.

The Macho was based on the Dodge D-series range that was introduced in 1972 and introduced a contemporary look more in keeping with the rest of Dodge's range than it's predecessor. it was long-lived, as it it was face-lifted in 1980 and ran until 1993 with minor changes. They were built with more galvanized steel than their predecessors (as was Mopars' ongoing programme at the time) to help stave off corrosion; as a result they survive in large numbers. 1972 also saw the introduction of the 440ci V8 engine as a standard option for the light trucks.

There were also a number of special editions with great names; the Li'l Red Express (aping a fire engine, with exhaust stacks, wheels, and gold pinstriping), the Warlock, the Adventurer, the Midnite Express (a weird one that, considering it was released the same year as the film - a unfortunate association?) and the subject of this post, the Macho Power Wagon. Lets just dwell on that name; you can just imagine the likes of Chuck Connors or James Arness (oh OK, maybe Burt Reynolds), replete with denim or check shirt attire, medallion, cigarette on the go and fully-stocked rifle rack in the bed. A creek swimming, moonshine sippin', deer skinning, beer drinking, Johnny Cash listenin' S.O.B. A man with a 'tasche you could lose a hand in. A man that smokes Marlboro Red Tops so strong the passengers get a buzz off them and whose idea of a light lunch consists of a whole Deer and a coupla six packs.
Where do we sign up?

Er, ahem, this great restored example sold on eBay recently for $7,500 recently:

And a guide to being macho here.

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