DECEMBER 2023: 1939 FARGO—YOU WON’T CUT THIS BRUTE OFF IN TRAFFIC

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We’ve all been there—some guy decides he wants to cheat on a stop sign, and he’s not intimidated by what you’re driving so he blows the stop sign and cuts you off.

That would never happen with this 1939 Fargo 1-ton.

Jerry Sutherland

Andre Theoret chased a 1939 Fargo for fifteen years. Just for the record—Fargo trucks were sold in Canada for decades before fading to black in 1972. The previous owner refused to sell it but, as Andre reported, “One day he called me and said you can have it free—the body was so good I couldn’t believe it”.  

Andre had a different vision for the Fargo—it had nothing to do with the stock version of the truck. He found a 1998 Dodge 1-ton with the legendary 2nd gen, 24-valve version of the Cummins diesel. That was the platform for what he wanted to build. Andre said he basically built the truck “from a lot of stuff lying around”.  

The concept was great, but Andre found out the Cummins wouldn’t fit within the fenders of a ’39 Fargo. He explained, “That’s why it looks like this”.   The truck looks like an extra in the Mad Max movie series now—that’s the menacing look Andre wanted.

The bumpers are a major feature of the truck—they are made from 10-inch I-beams, so they’ll stop a moose. Andre added the rubber wheels on the outside edge of the front bumper because he wanted people to get a sense of where these massive bumpers begin and end.

Andre replaced the original Dodge wheels with transport truck wheels because he wanted heavy duty performance from his new creation. The truck retained its 5-speed automatic so it’s performing like a 1998 Cummins Dodge would under load.

The truck is surprisingly smooth on the road because it has the Dodge undercarriage right up to the steering column. There’s no air conditioning in the Fargo but it does have the 1939 version of air conditioning—the windshield folds out for fresh air induction into the cab. The Theoret family said it works great.  

Andre runs this massive truck at highway speeds in the fast lane. He likes how people get out of the way when they see it in their rear-view mirror—if they don’t, he has an air horn from a train to get their attention, but he never needs it.

That’s how Andre drew it up on paper—this truck is intimidating when it’s parked, so at 75 miles per hour it’s ultra intimidating. It’s extremely loud in the cab, so there’s no sound system—just the roar of a Cummins.

There’s a philosophy behind this truck—it’s not politically correct in today’s world.

Andre has a few custom signs to emphasize what this truck is all about—he wants people to understand he built it with a sense of humor and purpose.

The purpose part of the truck is obvious. This is a daily driver and it’s a working vehicle because Andre has hauled loads with it for his business. One load that wasn’t business was a Smart Car for a Christmas parade. The Theorets believe the truck bed could have easily handled two Smart Cars.

Andre wanted to build something loud, large, and intimidating. Call it a success—nobody’s run a stop sign on him yet.

Jerry Sutherland

By: Jerry Sutherland

Jerry Sutherland is a veteran automotive writer with a primary focus on the collector car hobby. His work has been published in many outlets and publications, including the National Post, Calgary Herald, Edmonton Journal, Ottawa Citizen, Montreal Gazette, Saskatoon StarPhoenix, Regina Leader-Post,  Vancouver Sun and The Truth About Cars. He is also a regular contributor to Auto Roundup Publications.

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