Droptop Pickup: 1989 Dodge Dakota Convertible – Sold?

Dec 2020 | Classifinds, Topless Thursday

January 7th, 2021 Update – We just confirmed the Craigslist ad for this ride expired. With no replacement listing found, we’re assuming this car sold.  This one may have got away, but if you have your heart set on something similar, email us the details of what you’re looking for or call Rudy directly at (908)295-7330.

Among the stranger segments of vehicles to show up at dealerships over the last few decades is the convertible pickup truck. Looking like something picked up after being left on the cutting room floor, this oddball 1989 Dodge Dakota Convertible first listed in December 2020 on Craigslist in Naples, Florida, is the ultimate expression of the Radwood lifestyle if your living arrangement demands having a pickup truck bed. The seller is asking $12,000, and it’s nearly impossible to form a good baseline estimate of what this limited-production convertible is worth. The NADA Price Guide does list the Dakota convertible, but with a “High” valuation of just $5,875.  Despite being one heck of an outlier in traditional vehicle demographics, it’s still considered a collectible worth more than the NADA’s assessment. 

You have to give credit to Dodge, and Chrysler Corporation in general: they’re not afraid of taking chances. Some of the best factory hot rods have come from the brain trust at Mopar, and even in the peak malaise era, they convinced Carroll Shelby to come by and tune up their four-cylinder econoboxes. Very few companies did it then and now, with the exception of Chrysler and Ford, major automobile manufacturers have little interest in creating hugely cool but low volume vehicles that sell for below $30,000. The Dakota convertible, unfortunately, did little to convince the industry that there was pent-up demand for a soft-top pickup, as sales numbers were fairly dismal. Like most any factory-backed custom creation coming out of the Big 3, American Sunroof Corporation had the honors of lopping off the roof.

Here’s an ’89 vintage Dodge Dakota commercial touting the virtues of their mid-size truck:

Today, these trucks are not necessarily celebrated for any one crowning achievement, but they are darlings of the Radwood crowd. In many ways, the Dakota convertible is peak 80s awesomeness, a creation basically built for fair-weather climates where tee shirts are optional and surfboards are mandatory. The Dakota convertible seen here is pictured against a perfect backdrop of palm trees in sunny Naples, perhaps one of the best destinations on the eastern seaboard for such a truck. The seller has priced this one at the top end of the market and doesn’t offer much information as to why his is one of the best. The functional air conditioning and super clean interior are two clues that this one has survived in better condition than the few remaining examples on the road, and it’s hard to argue with the top-down appearance with the black tonneau cover over the bed. Still, there’s a slim market for these, and asking all the money may result in a prolonged departure. Good luck negotiating a fair deal for this super rad convertible pickup.

Here’s the seller’s description:

“Dodge Dakota Factory Convertible. Dodge only produced 2,000 of these limited edition trucks and only 200 remain in existence. Tinted windows. Power steering. Cold air.

Do you have a Dodge Dakota Convertible story you’d like to share?  Comment below and let us know!

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