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Those British Dodges – The 500 Series


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Originally designated as the Dodge K Series (and nicknamed the "Special K" by many customers), the Dodge 500 was a class 6/7 truck developed in the early 1960s by Chrysler's UK unit, Dodge Brothers (Britain) Ltd., for the English and global markets. Introduced in 1964, the Dodge 500 (K Series) remained in production until 1980. Smaller than Chrysler’s upcoming heavy Dodge trucks that would be produced by its Barreiros Diesel subsidiary in Spain, the “500” was branded as a Dodge in the UK, and Fargo or DeSoto in global markets.

The truck was engineered in Kew, UK and the cab was designed by Ghia in Italy.

Right hand and left hand drive

4x2 Rigids - 15,000-36,000lb GVW

6x4 Rigids - 40,000-48,400 lb GVW

4x2 Tractors - 40,000-67,000lb GCW

*The European name for a straight truck

Chrysler International wanted a Chrysler-made diesel and Cummins agreed to a 50/50 joint venture. Chrysler-badged Cummins V6 and V8 engines were produced in Darlington, County Durham, UK (Cummins remains there today). The engine’s auxiliary components including air compressors, fuel pumps and injectors were assembled in the UK as well.

The Chrysler/Cummins engines, known as the VAL (V6) and VALE (V8), were all-new designs developed by Cummins for Europe. But Cummins hadn’t been able to justify the European market investment until forming the partnership with Chrysler.

Engine options:

Perkins 6-354

5.8 liter in-line 6-cylinder

Bore x Stroke (inches) 3-7/8 x 5

120hp @ 2,800rpm

260ft.lb @ 1,750rpm

Perkins V8-510

8.36 liter V-8

Bore x Stroke (inches) 4-1/4 x 4-1/2

185hp @ 2,800rpm

398ft.lb. @ 1,650rpm

Cummins VAL

5.77 liter V-6

Bore x Stroke (inches) 4-5/8 x 3-1/2

130hp @ 3,000rpm or 140hp @ 3,300rpm

248ft.lb. @ 1,800rpm

Cummins VALE

7.7 liter V-8

Bore x Stroke (inches) 4-5/8 x 3-1/2

170hp @ 3,000rpm or 185hp @ 3,300rpm

328ft.lb. @ 1,800rpm

Note: The Cummins V-555 was derived from the VALE, with a longer 4-1/8” stroke.



















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The global efforts of Chrysler International can't be understated. Trucks under the Dodge, Fargo and Desoto brands were sold throughout western Europe as well as Argentina, Australia, Colombia, Mexico, Peru, the Middle East, the Philippines, South Africa, Turkey*, and Venezuela.

*Note: The Fargo and DeSoto names continue to be used today by Askam in Turkey, Chrysler's former partner.






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