The World’s First Modern Day Dodge Ram Regular Cab Short Bed Step Side!

All the way back in 1978, before Chevy’s 454 SS and Ford’s Lightning, ...

All the way back in 1978, before Chevy’s 454 SS and Ford’s Lightning, Dodge built what many consider to be the first “Muscle truck”. Dubbed the Midnight Express, Dodge crammed a 255 horsepower – remember, this was the 70’s – 440 CID engine under the hood of a stepside D-series pickup. One of the rarest production trucks of all time, it’s believed that less than 300 were built, although I couldn’t find any firm numbers during my limited research. The truck featured exhaust stacks behind the cab, custom wheels and pinstriping to help it stand out from the crowd, and for the day, was a solid performer.

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After its single year model run, the Midnight Express was no more, until now. McDormand’s Hot Mods in New Hampshire has decided to build a one-off version of the Midnight Express based on what shop owner and builder Derek McDomand’s believes a modern version would look like. The build isn’t complete, but it’s far enough along that they’re ready to give the world a sneak peek, and to do that they turned to Speed Society!

As you can see, the truck is a late model Dodge Ram single cab with a custom stepside bed, an option that Dodge hasn’t offered in its single cab short bed trucks in decades. Something like a custom one-off step side short bed can only come from the mind and hands of an experienced fabricator with a ton of skill, and that’s exactly what McDormand’s has. They even hand-built the drop kit for the truck to make sure the stance was exactly perfect, and it definitely sits right!

“Not wanting to go over the top, we set out to build something practical that could be driven, just like any of the vehicles McDormand’s Hot Mods has hand built and fabricated. Everything is being custom built in house, right down to the custom drop kit. We are trying to keep the truck as true to the ’78 as possible!” said McDormand’s manager Kassandra in an email to Speed Society. She went on to add that the powerplant is to remain a secret for the time being, but hinted at some possibilities by adding “we are ‘planning for some evil upgrades!'” under the hood.


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