Back in 1978 one of the most interesting trucks ever made was released by Dodge. Called the Lil’ Red Express Truck, this vehicle offered unique styling and outrageous performance. In fact, in 1978, the Dodge Lil’ Red Express was the fastest American-made vehicle from 0 to 100 MPH as tested by Car and Driver magazine. Yes, this included the Corvette and other brute American steel in comparison.
How could this be? The service manager at Arrigo Automotive in West Palm Beach, FL tells us that it was due to the EPA emission regulations at the time. Because of a loophole in the regulations, the 1978 Dodge Lil’ Red Express Truck did not have to have any restrictive catalytic converters in the exhaust pathway like passenger cars did. What the Lil’ Red Express did have was pure performance. The engine was a special high performance 360 ci 4-barrel small block engine which was a modified version of the company’s 360 ci police engine. The package also included Hemi style free-flow mufflers with a crossover pipe breathing through 2 x 2.5” monster chrome stacks located behind the cab, a specially modified Mopar 727 automatic transmission and 3.55:1 rear axle gearing.