Short Bed Bruiser: 1987 Dodge Power Ram W150 – SOLD!
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In the world of pickup trucks, it’s getting harder and harder to find a good deal. The Chevrolet C10 has been on fire for some time, especially when found in two-wheel drive, short-bed form. And, unless you stumble upon one before anyone else does, be prepared to pay real money for a driver. Ford’s full-size F-Series trucks are catching up as well, but the competitive offering from Dodge – the so-called Power Ram – seems to be the lone bargain of the moment, as you can still get into a short-bed truck for reasonable money. This 1987 4×4 short-bed truck once listed in June 2022 on Craigslist on Long Island comes with all the right boxes checked, including a 318 V8 and manual transmission. The seller is asking just $4,250 for the truck, and comparing that price against the Classic.com model guide shows us that with an average sale price of over $15,000, this looks like quite the bargain.
There’s a toughness to 1980s pickup trucks that modern rigs seem to lack. To me, it’s like watching highlight reels from the NBA playoffs in the 1980s when teams like the Detroit Pistons and the New York Knicks essentially brawled with each other for three hours. The amount of hard hits is stunning to watch on fuzzy YouTube clips all these years later, especially considering what passes for a foul call in today’s league. The amount of fouls they didn’t call when someone effectively got body-slammed to the ground is stunning! The trucks of today with their $50,000 starting prices and acres of leather and naturally-aged wood trim alongside a center stack touch screen that lowers the tailgate and side steps look like total pansies compared to the trucks like these – and I highly doubt anyone will want to try and restore their needless techno-gadgetry that all but guarantees trucks like the modern Ram and F150 will be totaled when one of their 12 airbags explodes. Thankfully, driver-grade trucks like this Ram that are cheap to buy and own but loaded with style and attitude are here to remind us how good life used to be for a truck shopper.
The Shane8911 YouTube Channel features this compilation of first-generation Dodge Ram commercials:
The seller seems to be leaving a fair amount of money on the table for a truck like his, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see it gone by this time tomorrow. The combination of four-wheel drive, a V8, a short-bed box, and a stick is pretty hard to repeat, especially in a somewhat obscure model like the Ram. Compared to a comparable C10, these trucks are much harder to find. The seller reports that it runs well aside from the carburetors perhaps needing cleaning and that there is no rust on the frame. I wondered if by specifying the frame, he is indicating there’s rust elsewhere on the body, but the seller confirms that the rockers and wheel wells are solid. The paint shines quite nicely for an older rig, and it’s possible that the paintwork was redone at one point in time; the interior appears to be original and is, not surprisingly, clad in maroon cloth. Overall, if it runs and presents as the seller describes, this looks like a smart buy in the white-hot short-bed pickup market.
Here’s the seller’s description:
“1987 Dodge PowerRam W150
5.2L 318ci V8 – 4WD – Manual Trans
Selling my lovely first-gen square body dodge ram
Hate to see it go but need the money & space
Runs & drives, motor is tip top, carbs could use a cleaning but are fine
No rust on frame, rockers & wheel wells are solid, paint good, body good w/ wear & tear for age, pas fender dented
Fresh bed liner
Comes w/ title, haynes manual, a few spare parts
Very upset I can’t hold onto this – anyone who knows these trucks knows how good of a find this is
Cash only, no funny business, thanks”
Bargain short-bed: Can you find a cheaper short-box pickup truck that runs and drives?