Dodge’s Modern Lineup vs. Its Historic Vehicles

Dodge’s contemporary vehicle lineup stands in stark contrast to its illustrious history. Currently, it mainly comprises the aging Challenger and Charger models, both nearing the end of their production cycles. The Durango SUV is also in the mix, alongside the compact Hornet, a vehicle closely related to the Alfa Romeo Tonale and the Jeep Compass. However, Dodge’s rich heritage includes more than just muscle cars. Among its historic offerings was the Ramcharger, which graced the automotive scene from 1974 to 2001. This off-road-capable SUV, sharing its platform with the D Series/Ram truck chassis, even had a Plymouth counterpart named the Trail Duster. Over the years, Dodge produced three generations of the Ramcharger, and if you’re enticed by the idea of owning a second-generation model, the one depicted above certainly warrants your attention.

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Unveiling the 1983 Dodge Ramcharger

Crafted in 1983, just the second year of its production run, this particular Ramcharger was designed as a bona fide off-roader and was equipped with a potent V8 engine. The engine options encompassed the 5.2-liter and 5.9-liter powerplants, with both manual and automatic transmissions on offer. The second-gen Ramcharger boasted a relatively short 106-inch (2,692 mm) wheelbase, approximately 14 inches (355 mm) shorter than the current Dodge Durango. Its robust, boxy design harked back to an era when it aimed squarely at rivals like the older Ford Broncos.

Under the hood, you’ll find a 5.2-liter V8 engine mated to a three-speed automatic transmission. This Ramcharger is equipped with four-wheel drive, front brake discs, rear drum brakes, 15-inch aluminum wheels fitted with 33-inch tires, a transfer case, a front axle featuring manual lock-out hubs, and a rear differential. The underbody benefits from an anti-corrosion treatment, and its lifted suspension provides ample ground clearance, ideal for tackling challenging trails. The power steering ensures ease both on and off the road, and a custom exhaust system enhances the V8 engine’s breathing capabilities.

Sporting a black exterior with a red interior, the cabin has undergone cosmetic restoration, including new carpets and upholstery. While some interior components have been updated, the exterior paint finish appears to be original. Notably, the vehicle retains its factory air conditioning system and an AM/FM stereo. The odometer indicates around 142,000 miles (~228,500 km) traveled. While there may be better-preserved Ramchargers out there, this one remains a captivating prospect, particularly due to its trail-conquering prowess, a trait seldom seen in modern high-riding SUVs.

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This 1983 Dodge Ramcharger is currently listed by Garage Kept Motors, and it’s available for $19,500. This price tag positions it at less than half the cost of a new Dodge Durango, which boasts an MSRP of slightly over $40,000 for the 2023 model year. In comparison, the smaller Hornet crossover starts at $30,735 in the United States. So, could this 1983 Dodge Ramcharger be your next pre-owned adventure companion?


Q1: What is the history of Dodge’s vehicle lineup?

A1: Dodge’s contemporary vehicle family is considerably different from its historic offerings. While today’s lineup mainly includes the aging Challenger and Charger models, the past featured a more diverse range of vehicles, including the iconic Ramcharger.

Q2: Tell me more about the 1983 Dodge Ramcharger.

A2: Crafted in 1983, this Ramcharger represents the second generation of its lineage. It was designed as a robust off-roader and featured a powerful V8 engine. The model was known for its shorter wheelbase, boxy design, and strong off-road capabilities.

Q3: What are the key features of this 1983 Ramcharger?

A3: This Ramcharger is equipped with a 5.2-liter V8 engine paired with a three-speed automatic transmission. It features four-wheel drive, front disc brakes, rear drum brakes, 15-inch aluminum wheels with 33-inch tires, a transfer case, manual lock-out hubs for the front axle, and a rear differential. Additionally, the vehicle has received underbody anti-corrosion treatment and boasts a lifted suspension for enhanced ground clearance.

Q4: How does the price of this 1983 Ramcharger compare to modern Dodge vehicles?

A4: The 1983 Dodge Ramcharger is listed for $19,500, which is significantly less than the starting price of a new Dodge Durango, priced at over $40,000 for the 2023 model year. This makes the Ramcharger an appealing option for those seeking adventure at a reasonable cost.

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