Junkyard Find: 1983 Dodge Ramcharger Royal SE

Murilee Martin
by Murilee Martin
junkyard find 1983 dodge ramcharger royal se

In the final year of the Malaise Era, truck shoppers could still get a Chrysler SUV that wasn’t trying to be a tall New Yorker. Because the echoes of the vans-and- Quaaludes ethos of the 1970s were still quite loud in 1983, this Ramcharger came equipped with groovy earth-tone stripes.

The Royal SE package came with all sorts of options that seem fairly primitive by 21st-century SUV standards: cigarette lighter, bucket seats, and so on. I am unable to determine whether the stripes were factory-installed or applied by a custom-minded owner with vivid memories of steamboating Acapulco Gold through a toilet-paper tube.

Power came courtesy of the same 318 or 360 engine that motivated variations of just about every rear-drive Chrysler product from the late 1960s until well into the present century.

It is a disappointment that no Royal SE Brougham Edition was ever sold.

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  • Moparman426W Moparman426W on Sep 18, 2012

    People swap magnums into old mopars and get good performance and mileage out of them. Rick Ehrenberg at Mopar Action swapped a 360 magnum into a 62 Savoy bolted to the car's original 727 trans. He added bigger injectors, headers with dual exhausts and played around with the software, no internal mods to the engine. It runs 13's and gets over 20 mpg. He has more things planned for the future including a 518 trans swap.

  • Corey Lewis Corey Lewis on Oct 23, 2012

    BTW, the Ram Charger lived on until 2001 - in Mexico - as a 2-door Durango model. Someone should go pick one up.

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