Junkyard Find: 1983 Dodge Rampage Prospector

Murilee Martin
by Murilee Martin

Even as the K-cars became a huge success, Chrysler didn’t give up on the Simca-derived Omnirizon platform. In fact, the 2.2/2.5 engine helped extend the Omnirizon’s life until the 1990s. We’ve seen a fair number of Omnirizon-based Junkyard Finds, including this ’78 Horizon, this ’84 Turismo, this ’85 Shelby Charger, this ’86 Omni, and this this Shelby-ized ’86 Omni GLH, and now I’ve managed to find one of the rarest of all: the pickup-truck Omnirizon!

This truck came fully loaded with options, including cruise control, air conditioning, clock, and Prospector emblems.

Sporty red-striped bucket seats!

Chrysler was very proud of their all-Detroit 2.2 engine (no Mitsubishi, Hillman, or Simca genes in the 2.2), and this truck is covered with 2.2 emblems.

The chunky DODGE emblem on the tailgate would make more sense on a 3/4-ton pickup, but it still works here. Remember, 1983 was the last year of the Malaise Era, with a new optimism appearing in Detroit vehicles.

The Rampage couldn’t haul much of a load— you don’t want to shift too much weight to the rear on a front-wheel-drive vehicle, anyway— but it was quite useful for hauling of lightweight items.

I’ll need to let the members of the Haulin’ Ass Plymouth Scamp 24 Hours of LeMons team know about this truck, since I’m sure they always need parts.

America’s first sports pickup!

Murilee Martin
Murilee Martin

Murilee Martin is the pen name of Phil Greden, a writer who has lived in Minnesota, California, Georgia and (now) Colorado. He has toiled at copywriting, technical writing, junkmail writing, fiction writing and now automotive writing. He has owned many terrible vehicles and some good ones. He spends a great deal of time in self-service junkyards. These days, he writes for publications including Autoweek, Autoblog, Hagerty, The Truth About Cars and Capital One.

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  • MRF 95 T-Bird MRF 95 T-Bird on May 25, 2013

    I never know these came in a Prospector edition. Over the years I have seen the Prospector edition of the pick-ups, van and of course the Ram Charger.

  • Prancingmoose Prancingmoose on May 28, 2013

    Haha I JUST saw one of these coming home from school today. Same color, same seats, same awful decals.. Except in mint condition. Does it have the 2.2 liter? I wasn't sure..

  • Leonard Ostrander Plants don't unionize. People do, and yes, of course the workers should organize.
  • Jalop1991 Here's something EVangelists don't want to talk about, and why range is important: battery warranties, by industry standard, specify that nothing's wrong with the battery, and they won't replace it, as long as it is able to carry 70% or more of its specified capacity.So you need a lot of day 1 capacity so that down the road, when you're at 70% capacity with a "fully functioning, no problem" car, you're not stuck in used Nissan Leaf territory."Nothing to see here, move along."There's also the question of whether any factory battery warranty survives past the original new car owner. So it's prudent of any second owner to ask that question specifically, and absent any direct written warranty, assume that the second and subsequent owners own any battery problems that may arise.And given that the batteries are a HUGE expense, much more so than an ICE, such exposure is equally huge."Nothing to see here, move along."
  • Roger hopkins The car is in Poland??? It does look good tho...
  • Kwik_Shift_Pro4X The push for EV's is part of the increase in our premiums. Any damage near the battery pack and the car is a total loss.
  • Geozinger Up until recently this was on my short list of cars to replace my old car. However, it didn't pass the "knee test" with my wife as her bad knee makes it difficult for her to get in and out of a sedan. I saw a number of videos about the car and it seems like the real deal as a sporting sedan. In addition I like the low price, too, but it was bad luck/timing that we didn't get to pull the trigger on this one.