Mopar has been very quiet about what concept vehicles the brand was going to showcase at this weekend’s 2019 Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) Show in Las Vegas. But this morning, Mopar broke the silence by announcing that two Mopar concept pickups would be showcased at the brand’s 15,000 square-foot display at SEMA. One of those two trucks is the Mopar Lowliner Concept.
With the hot trend of the aftermarket world customizing classic pickups, the Mopar design team decided to jump in on the fun too. While Mopar has had a lot of experience doing resto-mods of many iconic Jeep® vehicles for events like the Moab Easter Jeep® Safari as well as the 1968 Dodge “Super Charger” Concept that stole the show last year at SEMA, with its 1,000 horsepower Hellephant HEMI crate motor, this is the first time they have ton a Dodge truck.
So instead of going forward a half-ton pickup, the Mopar team restored a 1968 Dodge D-200 Heavy Duty pickup and created this amazing slammed truck that you see here. But the work wasn’t easy. The team purchased the truck locally and though it was relatively rust-free, the truck still needed a lot of bodywork. The team then fully-boxed the original C-channel frame of the rear-wheel-drive pickup, and then substantially lowered the ride height.
Thanks to moving the front axle 3-inches forward on the frame, the team also pushed the front wheels closer to the front corners of the pickup to achieve better proportions. Where most shops would shorten the wheelbase for a sportier look, the Mopar team lengthened the wheelbase to help give the truck a more dramatic stance and to help accent its look.
Painted in a very sharp Candied Delmonico Red and highlighted by Dairy Cream colored accents, the Mopar Lowliner Concept features a streamlined exterior with a smooth body appearance featuring crazy graphics, no door handles, no badging, no fuel-filler cap, or even a radio antenna. Instead, the design team decided to enhance and modernized the truck’s handsome profile with modern LED exterior lighting, and ghosted graphics of the retro Mopar Cummins logo on the front fenders and the vintage Dodge lettering on the tailgate.
The next big thing was to get the overall stance right, a custom air suspension was added to the front and rear axle adding three new levels of adjustment to the mix (low, driving height, and driving height plus). In order to package the air suspension components and relocate the fuel cell, the floor of the pickup bed has been raised 6-inches. This was achieved by welding a replacement bed floor from a 2020 Ram 1500 pickup and widened 5-inches to give clearance to the massive rear wheels.
A custom-designed “smoothie” set of stamped steel-looking aluminum wheels, look straight from the 1960s and give the pickup a more slammed looked. Upfront is a pair of 22-inch x 9.5-inch wide wheels which ride on Pirelli P-Zero 285/35-22 tires, while the rear wheels are 22-inch x 11-inch with massive Pirelli P-Zero 325/35-22 tires, giving the truck a more muscular and menacing look.
Now, under the custom power-tilt front end is where this concept really shines. Instead of slapping in their latest HEMI crate engine, the Mopar guys installed the iconic 5.9-liter Cummins 24-valve inline-six-cylinder turbodiesel. The engine is based up to a 6-speed manual transmission (that’s right, no automatic here), which features a custom floor-mounted shifter.
Inside, the Lowliner Concept continues the custom theme with the original bench seat now being covered in a beautiful Blazing Saddle Tan leather with a distressed look while the interior carpet with tan accents. The original 1968 steering wheel stays with the Dodge “Fratzog” logo on the horn cap. Instrumentation has been completely updated with seven custom Mopar gauges, which have been mounted to a unique “engine turned” aluminum panel, grabs your attention immediately when looking at the interior. The floor-mounted shifter for the 6-speed manual transmission features a translucent metal-flake retro Cummins shift-ball, while the interior headliner features a Mopar “M” logo stitched into it.
So what do you think of Mopar’s latest concept truck? What is your favorite thing about it? Leave a comment below.