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 Post subject: The CALIFORNIANS
PostPosted: Fri Dec 26, 2008 5:57 pm 
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Location: Truckin thru NEVADA
It seems that the CALIFORNIANS, lost in the glittery, hairy,
inflationary 70s drove down a dead-end street. These little
Utilines, with their flashy wheels, vinyl bed covers, and
wild paint schemes took a short, fast ride. A crazy joy
ride stopped by a Federal road block sometime before
the 1978 models got out.

The old saying, "it seemed like a good idea at the time"
couldn't have been more true back in 76.

CALIFORNIANS came from a place and time that was
cranked up for the Custom Van phenomena of the mid
70s. Dodge dealers in California's Bay Area couldn't
get enough of the Vans with their wild paint jobs and
Shag Carpet. Then came the trucks. A company in
Sunnyvale, Ca. called California Stepside was making
stepside conversion kits for mini trucks (Datsun, etc)
and also produced enough other products for a catalogue
if you sent them 1$.

Somebody put the 2 together, first on Datsuns with
some custom paint and a Custom Chrome step bumper
by Safe T Bumper, and they were rolling. In fact,
when the owner of Sunnyvale dodge saw how well
the Custom jobs sold, he assigned his best body and
paint guy to doing in house customs. Though most
CALIFORNIANS were probably done by one of the
Van Co.s such as Kozy Kar or Mobility Industries
in Newark Ca.

It didn't take long for other Northern California Dodge
dealers to catch on. The CALIFORNIANS even impressed
quite a few NEVADANS. A salesman for Don Weir's
Reno Dodge recalls 7 or 8 of them rolling in and rolling
right out. They would be hard to miss!

Several Original owners, stated that it was love at first
sight. The dealers capitalized on a great way to have
a traffic stopper and big ticket sale. The customer got
a full custom package with no waiting and could finance
the whole deal. The estimated sticker bump was
$2K to $4K. One original owner told me that he went
all over Northern California, till he found one that was
just right, (a 77 2wd Medium Tan Metallic with dark
brown and gold hues fading in and out).

CALIFORNIANS were only produced for 76 and
77. as 1/2 ton 2wd or 4wd utilines
and came with the following:

1. Mag or Chrome wheels

2. Vinyl Bed covers

3. Chrome custom step bumpers

4. Body color tail light housings (black was stock)

5. Fiberglass rear fenders with recessed mopar
marker lights and integrated chrome steps

6. INSANE paint jobs

7. Rainbow reflective Mylar CALIFORNIAN decals
high on the front fenders.

And, some came with Roll Bars, Grill Guards,
and auxiliary lights.


The unique fiberglass rear fenders turned out to
be not so unique. General Motors saw a resemblance
that was likely the downfall of the CALIFORNIAN.
Actually, it looks like they used a Chebby rear stepside
fender to make the molds. OOPS, no 1978s have been
"discovered".

If anyone reading this has more information about these
Crazy looking trucks, please share it with the rest of
us on this post.

Till then, we know that in 77-78 Dodge had geared up to
go full bore with a complete line of ADULT TOYS,
and the ride was over for the CALIFORNIANS.

We look forward to seeing YOUR CALIFORNIAN
and reading your story right here!


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 Post subject: Re: The CALIFORNIANS
PostPosted: Sat Dec 27, 2008 1:58 am 
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Location: Truckin thru NEVADA
This is a 76 CALIFORNIAN POWER WAGON
with a 360 and 4 spd. back in the day. It
was totalled a short time after this picture
was taken. The owner used the insurance $
to buy a Metallic Black 77 CALIFORNIAN
POWER WAGON with a 400 auto, Air, Cruise,
and a factory Skylight.


Attachments:
76ylocalif.JPG
76ylocalif.JPG [ 735.62 KiB | Viewed 4203 times ]
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 Post subject: Re: The CALIFORNIANS
PostPosted: Sat Dec 27, 2008 11:58 am 
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Location: Truckin thru NEVADA
Here's the Metallic Black 77 CALIFORNIAN
400 auto, AC, Cruise, Skylight, Adventurer.
(Waiting for Restoration)


Attachments:
77califpwblack.jpg
77califpwblack.jpg [ 599.1 KiB | Viewed 4199 times ]
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 Post subject: Re: The CALIFORNIANS
PostPosted: Tue Dec 30, 2008 12:07 pm 
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Location: Truckin thru NEVADA
My 77 Power Wagon Californian 440 back in the day.
Wearing it's original custom paint. Metallic Rasberry
over medium tan metallic with air brushed accents.

I am about the 5th owner and when I got the truck
it was wearing it's third paint job in Kelly Green (yuk).

I was able to find the second owner who still had a
a photo of it in it's original form! 8-)


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77californian.JPG
77californian.JPG [ 191.64 KiB | Viewed 4193 times ]
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 Post subject: Re: The CALIFORNIANS
PostPosted: Tue Dec 30, 2008 1:01 pm 
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Posts: 1870
Location: The "PALOMINO Ranch", Central California.
nice....
so what does the tan metalic truck look like today?

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when in doubt, gas it hard!!!
Proprietor, "The PALOMINO Ranch", where old dodge trucks have a home...
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 Post subject: Re: The CALIFORNIANS
PostPosted: Tue Dec 30, 2008 9:30 pm 
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Location: Truckin thru NEVADA
I REALLY need to finish that truck.
Cant Find my picture.
Did have this one though.
77 2wd Med Tan 360 auto
From Sacramento, Ca


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77cal1.jpg
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 Post subject: Re: The CALIFORNIANS
PostPosted: Tue Dec 30, 2008 10:45 pm 
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Location: The "PALOMINO Ranch", Central California.
I think one of those would look sooooo coool with chrome side pipes.....

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when in doubt, gas it hard!!!
Proprietor, "The PALOMINO Ranch", where old dodge trucks have a home...
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 Post subject: Re: The CALIFORNIANS
PostPosted: Sun Jan 04, 2009 11:34 pm 
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Location: Truckin thru NEVADA
A white 76 sits waiting for a new owner.


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76 californian.jpg
76 californian.jpg [ 59.86 KiB | Viewed 4189 times ]
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 Post subject: Re: The CALIFORNIANS
PostPosted: Mon Jan 05, 2009 12:14 am 
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Location: The "PALOMINO Ranch", Central California.
there was a white one similar to that one somewhere south of reno in a small town, also a white 76 with green interior

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when in doubt, gas it hard!!!
Proprietor, "The PALOMINO Ranch", where old dodge trucks have a home...
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 Post subject: Re: The CALIFORNIANS
PostPosted: Wed Feb 18, 2009 11:54 am 
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Location: Truckin thru NEVADA
Still out there lookin' for LOVE :roll:

http://losangeles.craigslist.org/sfv/ct ... 76454.html


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