Junkyard Find: 1987 Dodge Raider

Murilee Martin
by Murilee Martin
junkyard find 1987 dodge raider

Remember the Raider? No, you don’t. Nobody remembers the Raider, because this one that I found yesterday at a self-service wrecking yard near Denver was the only Raider Dodge ever sold.

All right, Chrysler probably moved a few more rebadged first-gen Mitsubishi Monteros out of the showrooms, but it’s hard to think of an example of Japan/Detroit badge engineering that vanished into more complete obscurity than this one. Maybe the Toyota Cavalier comes close, but supposedly there are (dozens of) avid fans of the Cavalier in Japan.

Anecdotal evidence (from everyone I’ve ever known who has owned or worked on a Montero) suggests that these trucks weren’t quite as reliable as, say, Blazers and Broncos. In fact, the expletive-heavy anecdotes that I’ve heard about the first-gen Montero suggest that the world would be a better place if they’d all been driven directly from the assembly line into the jaws of The Crusher. Members of the Pajero Jihad, feel free to tell us about your 900,000-trouble-free-mile Raiders.

This truck was powered by the 2.6 liter Astron engine, the same one used in the Plymouth Arrow and (in turbocharged form) the Mitsubishi Starion.

My shot of the odometer didn’t come out, but this truck’s life ended with about 175,000 miles on the clock.

Such a macho name!

It seemed appropriate that F-16s from nearby Buckley AFB were screaming low overhead as I contemplated the warlike name of this piece of automotive history.

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  • ApK253wa ApK253wa on Dec 02, 2013

    I always thought it'd be cool to own a Dodge Raider or a Daihatsu Rocky (remember those?). Both were rugged-looking little trucks with badass names and were uncommon enough to stand out from the crowd. The downside would have to be parts availability, especially now that it's been over 20 years since they quit making them.

  • Paintedfool Paintedfool on Jan 05, 2014

    I have an 87 Dodge Raider (non-running)that my family would like to send out to scrap. I grew up with this car, purchased new from the dealership and it was awesome to drive. The main reason I don't want to scrap it is that it was in a movie with Claude Skins called Pushed Too Far. While he didn't drive it, the main family drove it across the Greenfield, Indiana courthouse lawn. We have a VHS tape of the movie somewhere. It was a B film if you ever saw one. Quite possibly C quality. If you know of anyone interested, this is free to a good home, provided you pick it up. We are located outside of Columbia, SC. Please let me know if you are interested, or if there is a better website for this. Thanks, Dylan

    • Papi Papi on Apr 26, 2014

      if you still have it email me patohara84@live.com I have one im fixing would love another

  • SPPPP Very nice shape, but I just never warmed to the E60 car like I did the earlier generations of the 5-series, or the contemporary 3-series.
  • Mike Beranek They're building a brand-new "vending machine" in Schaumburg, right on my way home from work. Maybe after they go belly up, I could buy it, build out living space on the top floor, and use the rest to display my awesome car collection (ha!)
  • VoGhost We're at the point where the stock price is no longer relevant; focus on how the debt is priced.
  • MaintenanceCosts Nice color combo. Worth noting that this is not a conventional automatic but an automated manual, which gets you all the roughness of a real manual with none of the fun. Also not sure why everyone loves the V10 so much; it sounds more UPS truck than performance car except at the extreme high end of the tach. Having said that the E60's looks have aged VERY well; the car looks nicer now than it did when it was new.
  • Kcflyer just happy it's not black, white or silver. hooray for color choice