Viable Project: 1978 Dodge Lil Red Express – Sold!

May 2020 | Classifinds, Truckin Tuesday

Update: This one got away, but if you have your heart set on something similar, email us the details of what you’re looking for or call Rudy directly at (908)295-7330

In 1978, Dodge discovered a loophole in the E.P.A. regulations that helped them create the fastest vehicle available that model year in the U.S. no, it wasn’t a car, it was their limited edition Lil’ Red Express Pick Up Truck like the one currently listed in Little Falls, New Jersey (North Jersey).  Reported to be a running project that hasn’t been driven since 2000, the current caretaker is currently offering their Lil’ Red Express with many spare parts for $9,500.  Checking the Hagerty Insurance Online Valuation Tool confirms this private seller has his limited-edition Dodge priced $3,300 below the current #4 “Fair” (Daily Driver) estimate of $12,800.  If you are serious about buying this Dodge, you can start the conversation by emailing the seller here.  We note that the seller does provide contact info in their post, unfortunately, we could not get the link to work so if you can you may want to use that information first.  When you do make contact please remember to mention you saw the seller’s listing featured here on

Leveraging a loophole in emissions regulations at the time, in 1978 Dodge released the Lil’ Red Express Truck which turned out to be the fastest American-made vehicle from 0 to 100 MPH as tested by Car and Driver magazine.  The E.P.A. loophole meant the truck did not have catalytic converters handling the exhaust gasses of a special High Performance 360 cubic inch, four-barrel-topped small block Magnum V8 producing 225 net horsepower @ 3800 RPM. The package also included Hemi-style mufflers with a crossover pipe breathing through 2 chrome stacks located behind the cab, a special 727 transmission, and 3.55:1 rear gearing.  All 1978 Dodge Lil’ Red Express Truck’s were automatics the interiors were available with a standard bench seat in red or black or with optional buckets and a fold-down arm/rest console, the latter of which the example featured here appears to sport.

On the rare occasions one of these real ’78 Lil’ Red Express trucks appear for sale, they typically tend to be way over-priced relative to their condition.  This project checks all of the right boxes with low original miles and many spare parts provided.  We would work hard to get the truck roadworthy again as quickly as possible, enjoy it all summer long, and then worry about taking to the next level over the winter.  Good luck with the purchase!

Here’s the seller’s description:

“1978 lil red express 1 of 2118, hasn’t been driven since 2000 , runs good , decent interior and body, has 25,732 orig miles, needs some work to be road worthy again, has many NOS parts collected over the years, looking for 9500 or best offer! will send pics to serious only show contact info

Do you have a Dodge Lil’ Red Express story you’d like to share?  Comment below and let us know!


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