Ram has just announced their intention to build a new midsize pickup truck by 2022. While we may have to wait another several years for a smaller Ram truck – how about this blast from the past?
Based on the Mitsubishi Mighty Max/Forte/L200, the Dodge Power Ram 50 Pickup Truck was the 4-wheel-drive (4WD) version of the Dodge D50 pickup truck. The Dodge D50 entered the U.S. market in 1979, several variants were built including the short-lived Plymouth Arrow and a diesel engine option between 1983-1985. Rare by today’s standards, the ’83 turbo-diesel came with a TC05 turbo making 80 hp and 125 lb-ft of torque. The ’84–’85 TD04 turbo-diesel made 86 hp and 134 lb-ft torque. U.S. production ended in 1994. Four-speed manuals were standard and a three-speed automatic transmission was optional.
A (much maligned) 3.0-liter V6 became available in nearly every market, but it was not a popular power-plant.
In 1981, the Dodge Power Ram 50 4WD was introduced. At the time, all Dodge trucks that came with 4WD were known as “Power Rams.” It came with a carbureted 2.6-liter I4 that produced 106 horsepower and 139 lb-ft of torque. While those numbers were not class-leading, the truck weighed well under 3,000-lbs and was considered very capable off-road. Despite the fact that Dodge introduced the mid-size Dodge Dakota in 1987, sales of the Dodge Power Ram 50 Pickup Truck continued to sell.
The Dodge Power Ram 50 had two bed lengths available after 1987. A 72-inch and an optional 88-inch bed were available with both beds sitting on a 105.5-inch (short bed) or 116.1-inch (long bed) wheelbase. Both beds were 55.7 inches wide.
There’s been a lot of buzz in recent years around 1973-’87 Chevrolet light trucks (and their GMC counterparts), aka “square bodies.” Whatever you choose to call them, these boxy trucks are popular because they’re widely available at affordable prices, there’s an abundant parts supply, they’re simple to work on, and they’re a blank slate for modifications
.The current trendiness of 1973-’87 Chevrolet light trucks is inspiring this issue’s buyer’s guide, but it’s probably overdue. While values have been on the upswing—we’ve seen some examples fetch breathtaking amounts at auction—with more than 10 million built, these trucks are still plentiful.
When Chevrolet’s C/K light trucks broke cover for the ’73 model year, they sported a new, more modern-looking profile, with a hood that was flush with the tops of the fenders and doors that were set into the trucks’ roofline. (To clarify: “C” for two-wheel drive, “K” for four-wheel drive, and in ’87 the nomenclature changed for one year on full-size pickups to “R” for two-wheel drive and “V” for four-wheel drive.) A four-door crew-cab model was also introduced as a $1,000 option on 1- and ¾-ton trucks.
Under the skin, updates from the 1967-’72 series included a switch from standard rear coil to leaf springs on two-wheel-drive ½- and ¾-ton trucks, longer front leaf springs and a standard front stabilizer bar on four-wheel-drives, full-time four-wheel drive, and an energy-absorbing steering column. The 454-cu.in. V-8 was offered for the first time, and the fuel tank was moved from inside the cab to outside the frame rails.
It was that last change that would embroil these trucks in controversy and lead to accidental deaths, a federal investigation, millions in court settlement costs, and a nationwide class action lawsuit. Long after the last of these trucks had left showrooms, their side-saddle tank design received a double dose of national media attention. First, in 1992, NBC’s news series Dateline aired a segment that showed a GM truck exploding when it was T-boned by a speeding Chevrolet Citation. Subsequently, Dateline retracted the segment and admitted that it had rigged the truck with incendiary devices to make it explode. But, in 1995, GM agreed to a $600-million settlement over the sidesaddle tanks. As part of the deal, owners of 1973-’87 GM light trucks were issued $1,000 rebates toward the purchase of a new GM vehicle.
Today, 1973-’87 GM light trucks make great projects and excellent work or play rigs. Their popularity means you might pay more for good examples as time marches on, but it also means a better return on investment. Due to the wide range of this guide, it’s a little bit general in some areas. For specific year and model details, go to gmheritagecenter.com, where every brochure from 1973-’87 is available for download, as are detailed information packets with dimensions, options, specifications, and more. That said, if you’re considering one of these hardworking haulers, here are some points to be aware of.
Enjoying retirement at a lakeside “camp” nestled in the mountains of northern New England can’t possibly be any more idyllic, right? Imagine: Tranquil sunrises with a cup of coffee, hours of boating and fishing, long colorful sunsets while on the dock with early evening libations and, at times, a group of friends.
Still, one needs to get to town to restock supplies, and haul the refuse to the local waste transfer station from time to time, so why not do that in a vintage vehicle? That was the logic behind Jamie Longtin’s decision to purchase the 1931 Ford Model A pickup featured here.
The story begins on the calming shores of the aptly named Sunset Lake in Benson, Vermont, where Jamie has long maintained a cozy summer cabin away from the hustle and bustle of his winter home in Arizona. Having already purchased and become acquainted with a 1929 Ford Model A Fordor and a 1930 Ford Model A roadster—the latter of which remains at his Arizona residence for “enjoyable winter use”—a Model A pickup seemed the perfect choice as a vehicle he could, “bang around camp in.”
“Something I could run into town with, and haul the trash to the dump in,” Jamie says. “I didn’t want another show car, just a mechanically sound, fun vehicle that, if it got scratched, wouldn’t cause heartache. Basically, a turn-key-and-go, yet easy-to-maintain truck.”
As the humble pickup truck’s place in American culture steadily evolved from simple-but-valued tool to modern fashion statement, it gained a huge fan base. While admiration grew and trucks aged, restorers began returning some of them to showroom shape.
Meanwhile, hot-rodders and customizers crafted their own interpretations of the classic pickup.
The years rolled on and certain models emerged as favorites, spawning a vast aftermarket blooming with reproduction and upgrade parts and kits. So widespread is this enthusiasm for classic pickups today that values of the most popular models have swelled substantially during the past decade or so. It’s good news if you already have one, but not so great for anyone on the hunt for a budget-friendly alternative to pony cars or muscle machines.
Consider the 1967-’72 Chevrolet trucks, popular from new and long adored by enthusiasts. Today, they’re nearly as sought after as the muscle cars of the same era, and values have followed suit, making them less accessible to the younger builders trying to get into a vintage project.
More recently, the following generation of Chevy trucks— the 1973-’87 “square-body” era—has been following the same trajectory, with values escalating rapidly.So, where does that leave the aspiring young builder on a budget? Or even the seasoned tinkerer looking to start a new project with a casual cash commitment? Fortunately, GM kept right on building pickups, and its next generation proved to be a winner.
A candy red Ford pickup that you might spot on the roads of the North Coast has a fascinating history.
Manufactured shortly before the start of World War 2 when Ford halted the production of 1942 Ford pickups, this one was found in pieces by local Ford enthusiast Poobal Govender and lovingly restored to mint condition.
Poobal, who owns a farm slap-bang in the middle of Seatides and Westbrook, picked up the iconic truck for R120 000 – even then a hefty price as the truck was in pieces.
With trucking in his blood, the retired trucking transport Ford owner who dabbles in the restoration of tractors spent 3 years restoring the Ford to an almost original condition, with the exception of some chrome work and a lick of paint.
What makes this Ford stand out is the 99.9% original engine, with the only exception being a modern alternator.
It even sports its original carburettor which is in near mint condition.
Poobal added custom 76mm stainless steel exhausts to highlight the already flamboyant pickup which originally hails from Rhodesia.
According to Poobal, he originally intended to buy a Mini Minor, which he enjoyed restoring at the time, from a Durban car dealer in 2013.
By chance he spotted the pickup and it was love at first sight.
The Ford F-100 helped Ford establish its leadership position in the pickup truck segment. Though the F-100 was a very capable machine for its time, it wasn’t really anywhere close to being a lively performance vehicle. A company called QA1 is hoping to change that with a line of performance parts for the F-100 that have culminated with the test truck you see here.
Discovering a dusty old classic pickup truck in a barn is a treasure hunter’s greatest dream. Here are some of the dustiest and best truck finds.
Barn hunters always seem to find the coolest buried treasure. In the car world, there isn’t anything much better than coming across a vintage, classic pickup truck, and then owning it. You can restore it, flip it, modify it, auction it—the possibilities are endless.
But first you have to find the trucks. Every year publications let us know of the year’s greatest barn finds—the Baillon Collection from France, which uncovered $20-million-plus worth of cars a few years ago, being just one example.
We’re waiting for an epic find like Baillon to reach vintage trucks, but until then, feast your eyes on these 15 individual, dusty, classic pickups—all of them made during the ‘60s or before. Some of them were modified, some were parked in the barns for decades and never touched, but all of them make a barn hunter’s life extra exciting when they’re discovered.
The Last Full-Size Pickup Truck With A Manual Transmission
The Ram 2500 represents the end of an era in which farmers, construction workers, and even suburbanites could shift their own gears in a brand-new full-size pickup. That’s right, the Cummins diesel-powered heavy-duty Ram was the U.S.’s final full-size truck with a manual transmission, and after having driven it, I can say: My god are we now deprived.
When I set out to buy a classic pickup years ago, I wanted three things: a practical bench seat, a smooth and torquey inline-six motor, and a fun manual transmission. These desirable attributes, once common among American trucks, have been disappearing at an alarming rate. But my friend Michael Douglas, an engineer at Fiat Chrysler, owns a modern truck with all three.
The Last Full-Size Pickup Truck With A Manual Transmission
In some ways, it truly is the holy grail. This is a 2017 Ram 2500 Laramie Sport Mega Cab outfitted with the optional6.7-liter Cummins inline-six rated at 350 horsepower and 660 lb-ft of torque at a low 1,400 RPM (that’s 20 horsepower and 140 lb-ft fewer than the automatic model, in case you’re curious).