Dodge's short-lived SRT-10 Viper-powered pickup was a mighty machine with stuff-you-in-the-seat power delivery and loads of V-10 bluster. However, another striped Dodge truck was not only the progenitor of the SRT but of sport trucks in general. In 1963, production of Dodge's Custom Sport Special pickup began. For the 1964 model year, pickup drivers didn't realize it but they were looking into the future.
Granted, it wasn't a very pretty future in '64. Dodge Utiline/Sweptline pickups were notably flat-nosed, awkward, and boxy looking with four headlights, chrome eyebrows, and a trapezoidal grille insert. But as the saying goes, "She may not be good-looking, but she sure can cook." With an eye toward street performance, the Sport Special could be had with a whopping 426-cid Wedge engine under the hood that pumped out 365 hp. And it wasn't just about the engine. Dodge promotional materials termed this a luxury truck, boasting vinyl bucket seats, carpeting, insulation, center console with optional four-speed manual trans, chrome grille and bumper, and the infinitely important pair of racing stripes.
This potent package was offered only for the '64 and '65 model years. 1965 brought an updated front fascia with only two headlights and integrated grille and turn signals, and the Sweptline boxes featured double-wall construction.
In the early-mid '60s Dodge truck sales were on the rise. In 1965 truck sales were almost 50% higher than two years before. Whether the Custom Sport Special had anything to do with that is purely speculative. Whatever role it played it's safe to say it is historically significant to performance truck enthusiasts. It's a very rare piece of Dodge history and certainly worthy of more than a historical footnote on the way to the SRT-10.