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Sunday, January 3, 2016

M2 Machines 1957 Dodge 700 COE Big Hemi Express

Everyone should know about the Dodge Lil' Red Express truck that ruled the road between 1977 and 1980.  It was the pickup with the wood-trimmed bed outside and inside, the big gold badges on the doors and tailgate, and those awesome dual exhaust tips just behind the cab letting the police-interceptor V8 under the hood to exhale.  However, one would guess if there was ever a Big Red Express truck ever made?  Well, not really but there were a few areas of interest: One was the medium-duty trucks that Dodge made, including a show truck that was dressed up like the Lil' Red Express Truck.  The other is another show truck in 1998 when Dodge used a 3500 one-ton extended cab Ram to show off the new 24 valve Cummins turbodiesel engine.

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For M2 Machines their answer was simple: Take a '57 Dodge COE and call it the Big Hemi Express.  The truck starts out with a red cab that has the headlights under fender coves much like the rest of the Dodge Truck line in the late 1950's.  DODGE letters between the headlights, external round signal lights, crossbar grille, and a chrome bumper.  The hood opens by two separate side panels to access the Hemi V8 under the hood that powers this truck.  On the sides the Dodge 700 badge joins the Big Hemi Express door badges in, of course, gold.  There are two items that make the Lil' Red Express truck look easy on this truck: the dual exhaust that comes out between the bed and cab that is standard fare on the pickup bed COE's at M2 Machines, and then there's the large rear bed with flared fenders that allow the wood trim to separate itself from the rear fenders.

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The back area has a wide appearance with angled taillights and a tailgate, with wood trim, featuring the Dodge name in gold and the Big Hemi Express name just below the tailgate.  The bed area does not have wood trim like the outsides of the bed have, and the chrome 5-spoke wheels have Goodyear white letters on the tires, yet mines have one set missing on the right-rear tire.  Underneath shows a metal base with the short COE frame still able to carry the large bed at the rear, and typical COE traits like leaf springs beam and live dually rear axle.  The interior is standard-fare Dodge truck with 3-spoke steering wheel just ahead of a simple set of gauges and most controls located in the center, bench seat, and a floor shifter for the manual transmission.

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Now compare it to the Johnny Lightning version that I have to see how it matches up.  Looks pretty darn impressive!  Want more?  Look out for the Chase versions at Target that are black with gold trim.

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