(1978 Dodge Power wagon)
From its fiery Cush orange custom pearl exterior to the deep rumble of its Chrysler 318 engine, Gregory Duncan’s 1978 Dodge Power Wagon, affectionately named “Cheeto,” is more than just a vehicle. It’s a bold statement on wheels, embodying six years of passion, customization, and a hint of spontaneity. Let’s delve into the story of this extraordinary build.
The Origin Story
At 14, Gregory made a savvy investment, purchasing this classic truck from the original owner’s son for a mere $750. This wasn’t just a financial transaction; it was the start of a journey. “I bought the truck when I was 14 for $750 dollars from the original owner’s son,” Gregory recalls. His inspiration? “Nothing special, just went with the flow.” That easygoing approach has culminated in a unique creation that stands out both in performance and aesthetics.
Over six years, Gregory, with the support of his sponsors including Vision Wheel and Duncanpowdercoating, transformed the 1978 Dodge Power Wagon into ‘Cheeto’. Starting from a simple, stock truck, this build cost upwards of $50,000. The final product? A harmonious blend of classic truck charisma and modern automotive innovation.
Under the Hood
At the heart of ‘Cheeto’ lies a Chrysler 318 engine, a 2020 addition boasting 8 cylinders and a displacement of 318. This “pretty simple build” is enhanced by a Holley intake and an Edelbrock carburetor. Complemented by Hooker headers, the powertrain exudes both power and nostalgia. The build was skillfully managed by One Stop Truck and Auto, ensuring that ‘Cheeto’ runs as impressively as it looks.
A Bold Exterior
The truck’s striking exterior, a Cush orange with custom pearl, is a testament to Gregory’s personal touch – he painted it himself with a buddy. Keeping the chassis stock, Gregory elevated ‘Cheeto’ with a 10-inch lift, courtesy of Rough Country shocks. The truck rolls on 24×12 Vision wheels wrapped in 37×13.50 tires, combining robust functionality with an imposing stance.
Inside the Beast
Inside, ‘Cheeto’ is a blend of classic and custom work. The dashboard remains stock, while the gauges have been upgraded to Glow Shift. The seats are reimagined with custom diamond stitch and black leather, contrasting beautifully against the starlight headliner. Entertainment is powered by a DS18 system, installed by the same team that outfitted the truck’s interior.
When asked about the future, Gregory hints at more ideas in the works, keeping the mystery alive around what’s next for ‘Cheeto’. One thing is clear, though: his journey with this remarkable 1978 Dodge Power Wagon is far from over.
Gregory Duncan’s ‘Cheeto’ is not just a modified truck; it’s a rolling canvas of creativity, mechanical prowess, and childhood dreams realized. It’s a vivid reminder that sometimes, the best outcomes arise not from meticulous planning, but from simply going with the flow.
Owned by: Greg Duncan
Photos by: Chris Gosda