Junkyard Find: 1988 Dodge Raider

Murilee Martin
by Murilee Martin
junkyard find 1988 dodge raider

So, out of the entire series of Junkyard Finds, which goes back three years and includes more than 600 posts, which vehicle has attracted the most readers? Strangely, it’s this 1987 Dodge Raider, which I shot in a Denver yard about a year ago. Why? Perhaps fans of the rebadged Mitsubishi Pajero are especially obsessed devoted, to a degree that the rest of us (I’m sure Raider/Montero/Pajero fans have a derisive nickname for us) will never understand. Anyway, here is exactly the second Raider I’ve seen in a wrecking yard since the start of this series; I found this little gold devil during my visit to the San Francisco Bay Area last week.

Just 136,000 miles on the clock, but I’m sure they were manly miles.

I don’t recall ever seeing Ram emblems on a Raider before. Could these have been lifted from a Dodge Ram 50 aka Mitsubishi Mighty Max?

Marques in the Chrysler family got pretty hard to follow by the late 1980s, what with all the DNA from AMC, Renault, Mitsubishi, Simca, and assorted second cousins of those badges coursing through the company’s veins at this point. The Raider makes for some good automotive trivia questions, though not quite as weird as questions related to early 1970s captive imports or the greatest Brazilian Chrysler of all time.

I don’t recall hearing about the lawsuits that must have led to these warning labels. Anybody know this story?

The coolest truck in the Napa High School parking lot!

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2 of 35 comments
  • Azmtbkr81 Azmtbkr81 on Dec 18, 2013

    I always thought that these were good looking, well proportioned vehicles with classic, clean 80's Japanese lines. Too bad Mitsu doesn't offer one today, it would be a way to set themselves apart.

  • MRF 95 T-Bird MRF 95 T-Bird on Dec 19, 2013

    The Ram badges were standard on these since Dodge did not offer a 2 dr SUV thought they did plan to have a SUV version of the Dakota. The purchase of AMC/Jeep by Chrysler probably put the kibosh on that since it would cut into Jeep, in particular XJ sales. My dad considered one of these back in the early 90's but went for a S-10 Blazer 4.3 instead. Except for the typical paint issues as well as suspension, torsion bar it turned out to be a reliable vehicle.

  • Tassos worthless pile of crap econobox. THe bottom of the barrel, and 20 years old.I'd take $100 to drive it to the junkyard.Tim goes back to his old ways...
  • SCE to AUX Metallurgy - a new science for 2021.Look at the bright side: Thanks to the cheaper valves, F stock price doubled in 2021. So the change was worth it, and somebody got their bonus.
  • Ajla Use compacted graphite iron for the block and then cheap out on the intake valves? 🤷‍♂️
  • Cprescott Fix or Recall Daily
  • Steve S. That's a very early '75 model called a "Swallowtail" due to the dipped lower body line on the back panel. Worth restoring? Maybe that's why the owner held onto it for so long. "Hyup, ahm'ol fix 'er up someday. Now GIT!"https://smallbumpers.mx/swallowtail-mk1/