Based on the Dodge A-100 pick-up truck, the radical Deora customized truck was fabricated in metal by the Alexander Bros. of Detroit. Chrysler commissioned Mike and Larry Alexander to customize their new economy pickup, the Dodge A-100. Based on automotive designer Harry Bentley Bradley’s illustration, the Alexander brothers created a low, cab-forward design with a front-opening cab. The windshield would rise up like a tailgate on a wagon, permitting the lower front section short of the headlights to swing open. At the same time the entire steering gear swung to one side to allow the driver to enter or exit. Engine instruments were located on a panel to the left of the driver with the important tachometer and speedometer being housed on a center console. Though the slant six cylinder engine powered the Deora, Dodge said that a 318 V-8 could be fitted.
After a naming contest it was called the Deora®. The winning entry was from a 13-year-old boy, and is a technically incorrect version of the Spanish word for “golden.”
The 1968 Hot Wheels® Deora® became a huge hit and an automotive legend.
Images: Chrysler; www.chicagoautoshow.com; RM Auctions; www.motortrend.com