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.

  • Theflyersfan The two Louisville truck plants are still operating, but not sure for how much longer. I have a couple of friends who work at a manufacturing company in town that makes cooling systems for the trucks built here. And they are on pins and needles wondering if or when they get the call to not go back to work because there are no trucks being made. That's what drives me up the wall with these strikes. The auto workers still get a minimum amount of pay even while striking, but the massive support staff that builds components, staffs temp workers, runs the logistics, etc, ends up with nothing except the bare hope that the state's crippled unemployment system can help them keep afloat. In a city where shipping (UPS central hub and they almost went on strike on August 1) and heavy manufacturing (GE Appliance Park and the Ford plants) keeps tens of thousands of people employed, plus the support companies, any prolonged shutdown is a total disaster for the city as well. UAW members - you're not getting a 38% raise right away. That just doesn't happen. Start a little lower and end this. And then you can fight the good fight against the corner office staff who make millions for being in meetings all day.
  • Dusterdude The "fire them all" is looking a little less unreasonable the longer the union sticks to the totally ridiculous demands ( or maybe the members should fire theit leadership ! )
  • Thehyundaigarage Yes, Canadian market vehicles have had immobilizers mandated by transport Canada since around 2001.In the US market, some key start Toyotas and Nissans still don’t have immobilizers. The US doesn’t mandate immobilizers or daytime running lights, but they mandate TPMS, yet canada mandates both, but couldn’t care less about TPMS. You’d think we’d have universal standards in North America.
  • Alan I think this vehicle is aimed more at the dedicated offroad traveller. It costs around the same a 300 Series, so its quite an investment. It would be a waste to own as a daily driver, unless you want to be seen in a 'wank' vehicle like many Wrangler and Can Hardly Davidson types.The diesel would be the choice for off roading as its quite torquey down low and would return far superior mileage than a petrol vehicle.I would think this is more reliable than the Land Rovers, BMW make good engines. https://www.drive.com.au/reviews/2023-ineos-grenadier-review/
  • Lorenzo I'll go with Stellantis. Last into the folly, first to bail out. Their European business won't fly with the German market being squeezed on electricity. Anybody can see the loss of Russian natural gas and closing their nuclear plants means high cost electricity. They're now buying electrons from French nuclear plants, as are the British after shutting down their coal industry. As for the American market, the American grid isn't in great shape either, but the US has shale oil and natural gas. Stellantis has profits from ICE Ram trucks and Jeeps, and they won't give that up.