The Mopar stories site

Car Spotter: Sam Spade finds a D-200 “Power Wagon”

by Tom Buss

I was just sitting there, see? Back in September of ’14. Beautiful sunny day. Glass of wine in my hand. An open-air lunch with my family. On a Hawaiian Island. Maui, to be exact. I was just sitting there, see, mindin’ my own business. And then sherolled in. She was tall. Mature. Weathered, but all there. Solid, like a Cuban coconut.

Dodge D-200 Power Wagon

She was red. Faded red, with a white roof and white-and-chrome trim. Said “Dodge 200 Power Wagon” on her flank. Made me sit straight up in my chair. Heck, made me run out in the street to get a closer look at this dame. I almost got hit by a Kia, but it would have been worth it.

D200 Power Wagon

No rust. Lifted. The opposed wiper arms, grille and likely aftermarket side marker lights whispered “1968” to me. A guy was driving. Had a girl in the middle and a dog on the right. Romantic. I knew that dog might get the middle seat someday, but for now, everyone had their place.

She had aftermarket wheels, a 128” wheelbase and a ¾ ton chassis. Four wheel drive, absolutely. She could have had a 251” six, a 318 or a 383. I’ll never know. She probably had a 4-speed tranny.

Dodge Power Wagon D-200

I managed to fire off three photos before she drove off into the mid-day sun. Of all the trucks on all the islands in all the world, she had to rumble past me…. I just stood there in the street and watched her roll away. She’s with me now, in my dreams. Palm trees, white sand and that red pick-up truck.

Thanks to Ed Botchie and Dave Zatz for guiding me back to 1968. Thank you, Rick Blaine, and thank you, Sam Spade.


This story originally ran in the National Chrysler Products Club Journal.

Other Car Spotter articles by Tom Buss

1975 Dodge Charger SE: Comfy but slow cruiser

1957 Plymouth Belvedere Convertible

1940s Dodge pickup: Car Spotter #20

1949 DeSoto Custom: Car Spotter #19

1967 Dodge Coronet 440: Car Spotter #18

Car Spotter #17: 1966 Chrysler 300

Car Spotter: 1950 Plymouth

Car Spotter: Imperial Crown and Valiant

Car Spotter: Dodge D-200 Power Wagon

Car Spotter: 1964 Jeep Gladiator Pickup

Car Spotter: Custom Ram Van Minivan

Car Spotter: Mopars of the Hagley Car Show

Car Spotter: C-100 California Pickup

Car Spotter: 1948 Chrysler Windsor and 1940 Dodge at a Newark used car lot

Car Spotter Plymouth Twofer: Belvedere and Horizon

Car Spotter: circa-1970 Dodge C-series medium duty truck

Van Spotter: Daily-driver Dodge B-van

Car spotter: Dodge D-200

Car Spotter: Plum Crazy 1971 Dodge Challenger

Car Spotter: 1971 Plymouth Fury Pursuit Car

Car Spotter: 1914 Dodge Bros. Touring Car

1951 DeSoto: Toothy-Grilled Car Spotter

Support us with Patreon

Books by MoTales writer David Zatz

This site is copyrighted © 2021-2022 Zatz LLC and is meant to cover Chrysler / Mopar car history.