Manual Motivation: 1988 Dodge D150 Short Bed V6/5-Speed – SOLD!

by | May 2023 | Craigslist ClassiFINDS, Truckin Tuesday

(To stop the slideshow and expand the pictures, click on the current photograph below)

June 5, 2023, Update – We confirmed the seller of this “Classifind” deleted their listing, so we’re now able to call this one “SOLD!” While this one got away, please reach out either by email or call us directly if you’d like to be informed when we come across something similar.

May 25, 2023 Update – Just three days after posting their last listing, the seller replaced it with a fresh Craigslist ad. In it, they lowered the price again from $13,900 to $12,500, so it’s clear this truck has a very motivated seller.

May 22, 2023 Update – After deleting their ad just a few short days after posting it, we assumed the seller of this 5-speed manual-equipped 1988 Dodge Ram we first featured in April sold.  However, we wonder whether a deal fell through as the seller relisted the truck with all-new pictures.  They also lowered their asking price from $16,900 to $13,900.

May 9, 2023, Update – We confirmed the seller of this “Classifind” deleted their listing, so we’re now able to call this one “SOLD!” unless we come across a replacement listing.

When Lee Iacocca took over Chrysler Corporation in 1978, the company’s D-Series line of light-duty pickup trucks was already six model years old. Facing many higher-priority projects needing funding in order to turn the company around, a complete redesign of Dodge’s trucks would have to wait another decade. In the interim, Iacocca approved a mild restyle of the D-Series line that included the introduction of the “Dodge Ram” brand name. In addition to embossing the tailgate with “DODGE RAM” and adding a Ram Head hood ornament, Chrysler introduced significant corrosion protection as a selling feature for the restyled trucks, many of which remain in great shape to this day.

One example was this red 65K 1988 Dodge D-150 short bed pickup, first spotted for sale in April 2023 on Craigslist in Henderson, Nevada.  While the shiny red paint (which we believe to be original) initially attracted us, what motivates us to catch a flight to Las Vegas to buy this truck is the fact it’s powered by the entry-level 3.9L LA V6 (essentially a six-cylinder version of Mopar’s 318 cubic inch V8) mated to an even rarer floor-shifted five-speed manual transmission.  The seller hints this combination provides 25 miles per gallon, a feat that is rare even for modern non-diesel or EV-powered light-duty pickup trucks.

Last offered for $12,500 (the original ask was $16,900),, the analytics and search engine for the collector car market, confirms the ask is slightly well the one-year rolling average of this guide’s summary for Ram-generation produced between 1980 and 1993.  By clicking on the green dots in the graph below, you can navigate to each comparable car sold as a way to help you evaluate the price of the truck featured here:

As a second data point, the  Collector Car Market Review Online Tool reveals the seller’s ask falls between this guide’s #2 Very Good” estimate of $13,700 and its #1 “Excellent” appraisal of $23,900 before deducting ten percent for the 3.9 Liter V6 engine.

This final generation received a facelift in October 1980 when the D series was rebadged as the Dodge Ram pickup around when Lee Iacocca took charge of the ailing Chrysler Corporation. Such things including an embossed “DODGE RAM” name on the tailgate, along with other obvious changes like the grille and hood, the taillights, and the entire interior. More subtle was the addition of a “shoulder” line reminiscent of the GM competition. Beginning in 1982, even more corrosion-resistant steel was used in the construction of the trucks. This body style continued until 1993 and many of these vehicles are still on the road. Many body panels are interchangeable for all models from 1971 to 1993, so it is not uncommon to see a “hybrid” with, as an example, a 1978 grille mounted with a 1974 hood and a 1991 cab. Sometimes the bed is swapped with a moving truck-style box for models like these. In most jurisdictions, the year is dictated by the year of the truck’s chassis, regardless of the body which has been bolted to it. Also kept was the narrow Utiline bed that dated back to the 1940s; this was dropped in 1985. Throttle-body injection was introduced in 1988.

The 238.2 cu in (3.9 L) V6 was released in 1987 for use in the Dodge Dakota and as a replacement for the older, longer Slant-Six for the Dodge RAM. It is essentially a six-cylinder version of the 318 V8. The bore and stroke are 99.3 mm (3.9 in) and 84 mm (3.3 in), respectively. Output was 125 hp (93 kW) and 195 lb⋅ft (264 N⋅m) until it was replaced by the Magnum 3.9 starting in 1992. In 1987 it used a two-barrel Holley carburetor and hydraulic tappets. In 1988 it was upgraded with throttle-body fuel injection and roller tappets which it retained until the 1992 Magnum update.

The Beta MAX YouTube Channel features this 1988 Chrysler commercial launching the short-lived “The Tough New Spirit of Dodge” ad campaign:

This 1988 Dodge Ram D-150 short bed pickup for sale appears to be a very clean and rust-free survivor.  Our only questions for the seller include why the truck carries Utah plates in the pictures provides as well as what they did with the original set of wheels, which we hope are included in the sale of this truck.

If you are serious about buying this Dodge D-150, you can start the conversation using the contact information they provided in their Craigslist ad.  When you connect, please remember to mention you saw their Ram pickup featured here on Good luck with the purchase!

Here’s the seller’s description:

“Selling our beautiful all original 1988 Dodge Ram D-150 short bed 2wd regular cab this is a rare pickup that has a 3.9L fuel injected gas engine and manual transmission. With only 65,000 actual original miles this thing runs like a dream and looks like one too. Gets about 25mpg. And starts on the dime. Smooth handling and steering. Gets lots of attention down the road. I just put new tires has some rare Indy 500 mag aluminum wheels. Just had the bed sprayed with Rhino liner. All glass and trim molding is in excellent shape. Body has no damage paint is excellent. The Interior is excellent. I have a clean title in hand to much to list call for more information thanks. Don’t email me. I don’t need help selling no scammers. $16,900

Show or go: What would you do with this 1988 Dodge Ram short-bed survivor?  Please comment below and let us know!


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