1965 CSS HPP 426W
This truck is owned by Steve Bell. Steve writes that this was his father in-law's truck and he purchased it new. Steve has finished his frame-off resto and new photos have been addeded along with some background on the truck written by Steve and his son Casey
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1965 Second Series D100 Custom Sport Special
426 Street Wedge
Owned by Steve & Carolyn Bell
1205 S. 276th Pl.
Des Moines, WA 98198
Restored by Steve and Casey Bell
Originally owned by Fred B. Lang (Carolyn’s Father)

November 18, 2003
Fred Lang owned a 1964 Dodge D100 CCS with a 413-ci engine. When he found out about the new 65 _ model coming out with a longer wheel base and a wider tailgate he knew it was what he needed to haul his camper, boat and family of seven over the Cascade mountains to their favorite camping spot.
Fred special ordered this truck from BBC Dodge in Seattle, Washington early in 1965. The new model was being introduced in spring of that year. He ordered the truck with every conceivable option including the 426 street wedge engine. He didn’t know it then, but he was ordering one of the rarest Dodge pickups ever to be built. So few were built that they didn’t even keep production numbers. Fred became very frustrated with the delays and excuses on delivering his special Toreador Red pick-up. Only later did we find out the real reasons for all of the delays. His "baby" was delivered to BBC Dodge in August of 1965. Fred sold the 1964 413 to his brother.

This truck came to personify Fred Lang. Fred was a self made man with a less than high school education. Educated in the school of hard knocks Fred became one of the more successful homebuilders in King County Washington. Everyone knew Fred was coming when he drove up in his bright red, and fast, Dodge truck. He loved to take it to Seattle International Raceways and compete in the bracket races. He turned more than a few heads with ET’s in the low 14’s and high 13’s.
The truck has always been special to our family. When I married Carolyn I went to work for Fred. I used to drive the truck on material and dump runs. Through the years the truck has always been garaged. My son, Casey, admired the truck from the time he was small. When he was a senior in high school he was allowed to purchase the truck with the promise that he would not sell it outside of the family. Casey was the one who started researching the truck and found out how special it really was. When Casey went off to college he found that and an old truck with a gas-guzzling engine was not the most practical vehicle for him. I purchased the truck from Casey and stored it for a couple of years until I was ready to start working on it. I was finishing up a frame off on a 1953 Chevy pickup that I had retrieved from my fathers homestead in Montana.

Casey and I started taking the truck down in the fall of 2001. We completely dismantled the truck down to the frame. Every mechanical part on the truck has been rebuilt or restored. The 426 was taken apart, balanced, blueprinted and reassembled with the original heads and manifolds. The rear-end, transmission, power steering, power brakes, tachometer and complete drive train have been rebuilt. The truck was painted the original Toreador Red color. All of the bright work was re-chromed. The interior was restored to original condition. The black racing stripes were applied. The only thing I could not bring myself to do was to put the original style wheels and tires back on the truck. It looks a lot better with the heritage American Racing Torque Trust wheels.

Back to why it took so long to deliver the truck originally. The 426 high performance package on the newly re-designed 1965-second series truck was an after thought. When the truck came down the assembly line they actually had to take the truck off the line and send it to a special shop. There they had to modify the frame (they literally torched the transmission frame cross member), build special motor mounts, build a new transmission cross member, install torque rods for the 3:91 posi-traction rear end, modify the cab to allow clearance for the exhaust manifold (they just pounded out a dent in the firewall), install the add on power steering and power brakes. I can’t verify this, but I believe that after building our truck the Dodge engineers said no more. In 1966 (which came out one month later in September of 1965) you could buy the same truck but with the 318 as the largest power plant available.

This truck comes with all of the supporting tags and documentation that verify it as an original 426 Custom Sport Special. We have the SERT (Special Equipment Release Truck) sticker and the data plate that says "SPECIAL" for the horsepower rating.

Our goal was to complete the truck for Casey to drive his bride, Andrea, away from their wedding on September 20, 2003. We finished the truck one day before the wedding. Yes, he exceeded the speed limit as he drove to the reception. I’ve promised my father-in-law that he can take the truck down the strip next spring. You can be sure that at 78 years old he’ll try his best to beat his ET’s from the 60’s

Casey Bell 9:00 AM English 110
Documented Essay
The Rare Custom Sport Special

Take yourself back to the year 1964, imagine sitting in a luxury automobile as you stomp on the gas pedal and are thrown back in your seat. Well, up until 1964 this feeling could only be obtained in certain cars, this is where the Custom Sport Special changed the face of pickup trucks. What is a Custom Sport Special? It is a rare Dodge Pickup that was produced from 1964 to 1967. This truck is rare and was ahead of its time for four main reasons; engine, exterior, interior, and the number of trucks produced. This pickup was a revolutionary vehicle that is the most coveted Dodge Pickup of all time.

The Custom Sport Special was offered in Dodge's D-100 and D-200 series pickups. The D-100 is a truck rated to withstand a load of one-half ton, and the D-200 will hold a load of three-quarter tons. D-100 and D-200 Dodge pickups are common, but when one has the Custom Sport Special option package on it, it then becomes special.

The engine type that will be found in a Custom Sport Special is one of three different engines:
Standard engine was the 225ci (cubic-inches), 140hp (horse-power) slant six; the 318ci, 200hp V-8 was an option, but the greatest excitement was derived from an optional high-performance package consisting of a 426ci, 365hp V-8 which pumped out 470lb-ft (pounds-per-foot) of torque thanks to a 10.3 to 1 compression ratio, four-barrel carburetor, and a high lift, long duration camshaft. (Bunn 191)
The first two engines mentioned were available in all Dodge pickups including the Custom Sport Special with a three-speed manual transmission, a four-speed manual transmission, or a three speed automatic. However, the high-performance 426ci engine was something reserved only for the Custom Sport Special and was available only with a three speed automatic transmission. The 426ci engine was produced just in 1964 and 1965 because of the lack of sales. Though all Custom Sport Special trucks are valuable, one containing a 426 is without a doubt the rarest.

Due to the tremendous power available with the 426 high-performance package along with most owners of these trucks being lead footed drivers, special exemptions had to be made on warranties for these trucks (Mueller 92). The Chrysler Corporation assumed no responsibility for repair due to extreme acceleration of the vehicle (93).

The most noticeable feature of a Custom Sport Special is its one of a kind racing stripes:
Custom Sport Specials could be ordered in any Dodge truck standard paint color. The four one-inch racing stripes were white on dark-colored models and black on lighter ones. Besides the interior, these stripes are the only thing to set this truck apart from other Dodge trucks. (91)

Along with the striking paint scheme the truck exterior also includes a bright chrome trim package. The paint and the trim package alone sets the Custom Sport Special apart from any other Dodge truck.

Paint scheme and trim on the Custom Sport Special stayed pretty much the same from 1964-1967, but there were a few changes made to the exterior mid-way through 1965. The grill of the truck was changed along with going to from four smaller headlights to two bigger ones. The rear of the truck got new taillights and went away from the chain system of opening the tailgate to a wider tailgate with a more efficient chain-less system. A six-inch lengthening of the bed of the truck from 122 inches to 128 inches was also made. These changes made were not only made on the Custom Sport Special they were made on all Dodge D-series pickups.

The interior options that came in a Custom Sport Special were unlike anything anyone had every seen in a pickup truck. All Custom Sport Specials were equipped standard with black vinyl bucket seats from a Dodge Dart GT, with a console in between the seats equipped with a cigarette lighter, ashtray, and map light (Brownell 136). Full carpet interior was also a feature found on all Custom Sport Specials (136). These interior features that I've mentioned had only been seen in cars up until the Custom Sport Special. Nobody had seen such luxurious truck, yet it was still tuff and durable like a pickup was expected to be.

Along with all of these upgraded features that came standard on the Custom Sport Special, there were a few more extras added if you owned a Custom Sport Special equipped with the 426 engine. Due to the extra weight of the larger engine, power breaks and steering were added, along with a heavy-duty instrument panel that included a tachometer (RPM gauge).

All of the attributes of this truck that have been mentioned make this truck very unique, but the thing that brings the rarity and value is the number of these pickups that were produced. Because of the low number of these trucks that came off the line Dodge kept no production records on the pickup. This means there is no way to ever tell for sure how many were made. Here are a few expert opinions pertaining to the rarity and value of the truck; "you can be assured that the Custom Sport Special especially one with the 426 is by far the most valuable Dodge pickup ever made…" (Wickstead). This is what Tom Brownell Author of Dodge Pickups History and Restoration Guide 1918-1971 has to say about the Custom Sport Special:
It is suspected that few were sold because virtually none exist today. Or, it could be that they were driven into the ground. If you stumble on one, especially a 426 powered Custom Sport Special, buy it. It is a rare and valuable truck, which will not only appreciate, but be a lot of fun to own and drive. (137)

Clearly the value and rarity of this Dodge Pickup is not in question.
Along with being a valuable truck, the Custom Sport Special truly was a revolutionary vehicle. It was the first "sport truck" ever produced. Up until the Custom Sport Special nobody ever thought of a truck as any thing other than something to haul things with. The Custom Sport Special was fun to drive because of its unmatched performance, and it was equipped with many of the features found in a luxurious car. Even today, every major American truck manufacturer makes some version of a sport truck.

You may wonder why I have such and interest in the Custom Sport Special; the reason is because my father and I own one. This 1965 Custom Sport Special came original with the uncommon 426 in it. The truck is special to my family because my grandfather originally bought this pickup when it was brand new in 1965. The truck is in good shape right now, but my father and I have plans of taking it back to its original condition.

The Custom Sport Special is the most valuable and rare Dodge pickup ever made. It is not widely recognized for the value that it does have because not many people know the history of the truck. Not only should the truck be more recognized for its rarity, but it should be looked upon as a vehicle that revolutionized the way that Americans looked at the pickup truck.
Bucket seats and console - Notice frame member is torched -
this was done at factory and other 426 powered
examples have this done to them as well-
Rebuilt 426 Wedge
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