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This 1950 Dodge Truck Packs Modern Hemi Power, Steals Hearts

While the 1950 Dodge D100 shown above doesn’t preface a future high performance model, this crate Hemi-powered rat rod pickup was among the most popular old school rides at the 2016 SEMA Show – with a crowd gathered around this patina-clad machine all week long.

Last week, we brought you a look at a huge spread of customized vehicles from the 2016 SEMA Show in Las Vegas and while the majority of them were based on newer vehicles – this 1950 Dodge D100 proved to be one of the more popular vehicles at the show. Built by Saldana Speed Shop, this rusty old Dodge features modern performance bits from top to bottom.

The Saldana Speed Shop 1950 Dodge D100
The biggest news from Mopar at the 2016 SEMA Show is the 5.7L and 6.4L crate engines, which are now available with a complete plug-and-play setup that makes installing these modern engines into classic vehicles very simple. To illustrate the application options of the new 5.7L and 6.4L Hemi crate engines, Mopar brought out the CJ66 Jeep Concept with the 5.7L mill and the 1971 Challenger Shakedown with the 6.4L Hemi, but Mopar wanted private builds to showcase these new crate engines.

This 1950 Dodge D100 is one of those private builds and among all of the trucks at SEMA, this is one of my favorite – and I am traditionally not a big fan of the rat rod movement. I like shiny vehicles with nice paint and a stance like a muscle car, so this patina-heavy 1950 D100 with an uncomfortably low stance is not something that would usually appeal to me, but there is just something about this truck that really gets my goat.

First and foremost, the Saldana Speed Shop 1950 Dodge D100 pickup is powered by the 6.4L, 392 cubic inch crate Hemi, sending 485 horsepower and 475lb-ft of torque to the rear wheels by means of a Tremec 6-speed manual transmission fitted with the bell housing, clutch and flywheel from the 2016 Challenger SRT 392. The shop used the motor mounts from the 2016 Challenger to secure this engine in place and the 2016 Challenger cooling system keeps the 392 Hemi running cool while a full custom exhaust system from the headers to the exhaust tips give this Hemi a healthy roar.

To give this classic Dodge D100 pickup the proper stance for a rusty rat rod while still being able to drive it around, the Saldana Speed Shop turned to Fatman Fabrication for a full suspension system featuring air ride so that they can get the slammed look when parked, while also being able to raise to a safe height for road use. When combined with the unique white painted 20 inch wheels in low profile Mickey Thompson tires, this classic pickup looks great parked and on the move.

Next, this lightweight classic Dodge truck surely gets up and goes with some authority with all of that power, so Saldana’s fitted this 1950 D100 with a high performance Wilwood Dynalite brake system to get it slowed down.

Finally, the crew rebuilt the original 1950 Dodge D100 gauge cluster to work like new and they wrapped the factory bench seat in white and grey leather, complete with their company logo in the middle of the seatback.

Of course, the Saldana Speed Shop also added a faded version of their logo to the doors, leaving the faded dark blue paint on the cab and a bare metal, rusted look everywhere else. This looks like a truck that has been sitting in a field for 50 years, except it packs the performance of the new Mopar 392 Hemi crate motor.

This 1950 Dodge D100 is hard not to love and I have talked to scores of SEMA Show attendees who had their hearts stolen by this slick little Dodge pickup.