In 1975 at the age of 16, Jim Longoni became the owner of a '60 Dodge D-100. His father had been searching the classifieds when they came across the listing for a '60 Dodge pickup-V-8, A/T, custom camper shell, excellent condition, $650-and had to check it out. The seller was the original owner, and although he had kept it in good condition, Jim's first impression of the truck was: "This is an old man's truck." Jim drove the truck around the block; the speedometer needle was bouncing all over, and the original poly 318 with push-button LoadFlite transmission struggled to move the heavy beast. After testdriving the "old man's truck" Jim and his father returned the keys to the owner and asked him to call them first if he received an offer. About a month had passed when the man called and said he received an offer of $550, Jim offered him $575, and the rest was history.
Like most teenagers, Jim wanted to change the original look of the truck to fit his style. First, he removed the original wheels and hubcaps and put a set of 15x8 deep-dish chrome wheels with baby moon hubcaps. Then, he took the camper shell off to make the truck lighter and faster. Next, he removed the stock exhaust and added glasspacks that exited to the rear of the front tires. He adapted a Holley 500-cfm four-barrel carb that gave the truck new life. He also repainted the truck a two-tone red and white from the original faded turquoise and cream colors. The original stereo was left alone, but Jim wanted to hear his tunes so he added an eight-track player underdash to overcome the exhaust noise.
Fast-forward to 2004, and the truck was still kept as a member of the family. It was then, 29 years later, that Jim pulled the truck into the garage and started a four-and-a-half-year restoration back to the stock old man truck. Although Jim started the project then, he had been searching the Internet years prior trying to find parts for the '60 Dodge. There's no luxury of an aftermarket parts catalog for this truck-very few were built and almost none get restored, so the availability of parts was a bit challenging. The more Jim delved into this rebuild the more work had to be put into the restoration. Being an aerospace engineer, he expected the highest quality on every aspect of this painstaking project. So when he removed the cab and bed for bodywork, he realized the engine and transmission needed to be cleaned and repainted. Then when Jim removed the cylinder heads, he noticed one of the heads had a scratch, and the head gaskets had been leaking, so out came the engine and transmission. His minor rebuild intentions soon became a full-blown show-quality restoration project with no compromise.
At this point Jim was mentally and physically involved and many late nights were spent working on the D-100. Jim saved every nut and bolt in plastic peanut jars he saved from Costco. Fortunately, Jim found Vintage Power Wagons of Fairfield, Iowa, to help out with those rare parts like taillights, new gas tank, brake pedal pads, various switches, and rubber floor mats that all had to be correct N.O.S. parts.
When asked what he would have done differently with this build he said he would have made all the alignment adjustments prior to paint. Painting before the reassembly made things more challenging.
With the restoration complete as of September 2009, Jim entered the truck in its first show, the Snohomish Classic Car show. This turned out to be a memorable show because Jim took First Place in the Stock Truck class for model years 1960 and later. The truck garnered a lot of attention because of its uniqueness, looks, and overall restoration quality. I am sure you agree a lot of hard work and attention to detail was put into this rebuilt unique Sweptline.