Junkyard Find: 1982 Dodge Ram 50

Murilee Martin
by Murilee Martin
junkyard find 1982 dodge ram 50

There was a time, when American truck shoppers were willing to tolerate the shame of driving small pickups, when the members of the Detroit Big Three couldn’t/wouldn’t build their own and thus sold rebadged Japanese trucks. GM had the Isuzu-built Chevy LUV, Ford had the Mazda-built Ford Courier, and Chrysler had various flavors of the Mitsubishi Forte aka Mighty Max. In 1982, you could get your Forte as a Mighty Max, a Plymouth Arrow, or a Dodge Ram 50. Though you could buy the Ram 50 until 1986, examples of this truck are very rare these days. Here’s one that I spotted in a Denver yard last week.

There was no mistaking this truck for a luxury vehicle. Cloth bench seat, manual transmission, no air conditioning.

Power came from the 2-liter Mitsubishi Astron L4 engine, which wasn’t quite up to, say, Toyota R reliability but made decent power.

The tape-stripe graphics were very much of their time.


Whitewall tires standard, in the “Ram 50 Royal,” whatever that was. One of the weirder ads of the Late Malaise Era.





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  • Nichodemus Nichodemus on Dec 19, 2012

    I drive an '87 2wd, long bed model regularly, with just over 200k miles. It was my grandfather's, and he ordered it with no power steering, no A/C, no radio, nothing. Vinyl seats, no visor mirrors or tint at the top of the windshield. It's as basic as it gets. I learned how to drive a manual using it. I still haul a riding mower in the back a lot (also from 1987) because of that low bed. I can do stuff with that truck that I can't do on my '97 F150 because of its smaller size. It's been a great truck and I hope it will keep going a long time. Only current problem with it is it needs a set of lifters pretty bad. Sounds like a diesel now.

  • Andy D Andy D on Jan 01, 2013

    The trouble with Rangers was they got about the same MPG as the F150. other than that, I love my '94.

  • Wolfwagen I always thought the HRV and CHR looked similar and ugly and unuseful
  • DedBull How much of that debt is directly tied to their purchase of ADESA? While wholesale volumes are down, the dealer auction is still a backbone of the used automotive industry. I assume ADESA was a functional and profitable business before it's acquisition. Break it back off, with some amount of it's debt following, and start shrinking the retail side until it is stable.
  • Jon This does not seem like anything new for Oxford. In my one visit to England 10 years ago I received a random bill from the rental car agency for a ticket long after I had come home. I was driving in Oxford, made a wrong turn, and needed to turn around. The street ended at a cross street so the only way to do so was to cross over a "bus gate" which was just some lettering painted on the street. I think it was a weekend and there was no traffic, no busses around, etc. I drove over it made my u-turn and drove back down the road I was on. I did not continue on in a bus lane or cause harm or danger to anyone. One of their cameras caught my error and sent a hefty fine. After I received it I did some research and found many folks complaining of the same thing after visits to Oxford.
  • SCE to AUX Probably couldn't afford it - happens all the time.
  • MaintenanceCosts An ugly-a$s Challenger with poor equipment choices and an ugly Dealership Default color combination, not even a manual to redeem it, still no sale.
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