- 1936-38 Plymouth Dodge Ads

1936 to 1938 Fore-Point Pickups by

Author: Don Bunn
Dodge truck sales hit rock bottom in 1932, but so did the rest of the industry as this was the year which proved to be the worst of the Great Depression . Fortunately Chrysler's fortunes reversed and sales increased by a factor of eight during the Glamour years of 1933 to 1935. Mr. Chrysler was never one to sit still. His company fielded an interesting, modern, and advanced line of trucks in 1936.

The new trucks featured Fore-Point load distribution which was a fancy term marketing used for their construction. Dodge engineers moved the front axles forward which shifted the load forward in relation to the axles. This way the front axles carried more of the load's weight than previously able. Fore-Point resulted in greater stability and allowed for a minimum over-all length.

Another major change in the construction of 1936 light-duty trucks was the adoption of a truck-type frame featuring parallel side rails with double drops and five heavy cross members. Moving the front axle forward and the change to a truck-type frame meant that for the first time Dodge half-ton commercials were real trucks. The Commercial Sedan (Sedan Delivery) was the only exception as it was a modified 2-door Dodge sedan.

The half-ton trucks had a 116-inch wheelbase which replaced the 111 1/4- and 119-inch wheelbase of the 1935 series. By shifting the engine and cab forward the CA (cab-to-rear-axle) dimension of 37 11/16-inches permitted the use of a 72-inch body for excellent load distribution.
The half-ton models continued to be powered by the 70 horsepower 201 cubic inch L-head six cylinder engine. The 3-speed synchro-silent transmission was easy to shift with a floor mounted lever. Rear axle ratio options included a 3.7 and 4.1 to 1 for excellent performance. Standard tire size was 6.00x16s.

Late in the 1935 model year Dodge began offering a 3/4 to one ton truck series. These trucks were simply 1 1/2-ton trucks built with lighter/smaller wheels, tires, and springs. Body models offered included a pickup, panel, canopy, and screenside. The same models continued into the Fore-Point series. What is interesting is that the same truck, whether rated as a 3/4-, one-, or 1 1/2-ton, sold for the same price.
1937 Dodge trucks were given this modern "high safety" instrument panel. The entire cab interior was trimmed in an attractive gray material and the instrument panel was painted gray. At the center bottom of the dash were located the control knobs for headlights, throttle, choke, and panel lights. (Photo: DaimlerChrysler)

Maximum gross vehicle weight rating for the 3/4-ton series was 5700 pounds, 6200 pounds for the one-ton, and 7000 or 9500 pounds for the 1 1/2- tonners (with single or dual rears). All models were equipped with the same 201 cubic inch six cylinder engine, 4-speed transmission, and 10-inch clutch.

The difference from the previous 3/4-1 ton models in that the new trucks were styled with the same look as the half-ton trucks; not as lighter models of a larger truck. Models offered included a panel, pickup, canopy, and screen. Dodge 3/4-1 ton trucks were available on both 120- and 136-inch wheelbase chassis designed for mounting seven or nine-foot bodies.

A 75 horsepower 218 cubic inch L-head six cylinder was the new standard power plant for 1937 / 1938 half-ton and 3/4-1 ton series. A 3-speed transmission was also standard for all light-duty trucks.

The only change of note for 1938 Dodge trucks was a restyled grille. The Dodge truck line also included a 1 1/2-, two-, and three-ton series and the four-ton custom- built Airflow during the Fore-Point Era of 1936 to 1938.

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