Versatile Vehicle: 1985 Dodge Vancharger Pathfinder 4×4 Conversion – SOLD!

by | Jun 2023 | Craigslist ClassiFINDS, Truckin Tuesday

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June 27, 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.

June 16, 2023 Update – Eight days after first posting their Craigslist ad, the seller of this rare Quigley-converted Dodge 4×4 van lowered their asking price from $16,900 to $15,999.

If you have been following GuysWithRides for a while, especially on Truckin Tuesday, you know we always look for vintage vans converted to four-wheel drive.  For reasons never quite clear to us, domestic truck manufacturers never thought there was much of a market for four-wheel-drive vans, so consumers looking to buy one typically had to go to one of two companies.  For many years, the only two companies we’ve been aware of providing such services were Quigley and Pathfinder.

While Quigley continues to convert modern company converting a variety of vans and cut-away chassis (used for Class-C motorhome builds), Pathfinder has long been out of business with a cottage industry of small fabricating shops trying to keep the defunct company’s vintage products in working order. When in business, Pathfinder specialized in converting Fords into Quadravans), Chevrolets into “KVans,” and Dodges into “VanChargers.  Here are two vintage Pathfinder ads we came across for their Dodge Vancharger offerings:

Typically commissioned for rigorous off-road duty applications, most vintage Pathfinder conversion vans have long since rotted out. One exception is this white 20K-Mile 1985 Dodge Vancharger Pathfinder 4×4 Conversion we last spotted for sale on Craigslist in June 2023 in San Antonio, Texas.  The seller notes that the 24,000 miles on the odometer corresponds to the 1,554 hours on the meter the original buyer of this van had installed.  Unlike many other vans of this period, this 1985 Dodge Vancharger appears to be an extremely solid, rust-free, low-mileage survivor.  The seller reports the owners of the Texas fast-food restaurant Chicken Express originally ordered this van and ordered it and used it for promotions and moving employees around. While the full window body, multiple rows of seats, and full cabin air conditioning support that story, we’d like to know whether they specified the weird front brush bar bumper or if a subsequent owner added it.

Last offered for $15,999 (the original ask was $16,900), Classic.com, the analytics and search engine for the collector car market, confirms the ask is slightly above the five-year rolling average of this guide’s summary for all Dodge Ram vans produced between 1971 and 2003.  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 van featured here:

As a second data point, the  Collector Car Market Review Online Tool reveals the seller’s ask falls above this guide’s #1 “Excellent” appraisal of $12,600 for a regular MaxiVan. The premium here is for the rare Patherfinder 4×4 conversion.

The 1985 Dodge Maxivan, also known as the Dodge Ram Van, was a popular full-size passenger van produced by the American automaker Dodge. It belonged to the third generation of the Dodge Ram Van series, which was in production from 1971 to 2003.

The 1985 Dodge Maxivan featured a boxy and utilitarian design typical of vans from that era. It had a large, flat front grille with rectangular headlights and a prominent Dodge emblem in the center. The van had a high roofline, providing ample headroom inside the cabin. It came in a standard wheelbase and an extended wheelbase version, offering different options for cargo capacity and passenger seating.

The interior of the 1985 Dodge Maxivan was designed with practicality and versatility in mind. It could be configured to accommodate either passengers or cargo, depending on the needs of the owner. The seating capacity ranged from seven to fifteen passengers, depending on the chosen configuration. The rear bench seats were removable, allowing additional cargo space if required.

The 1985 Dodge Maxivan offered a variety of engine options to cater to different needs. The standard engine was a 3.7-liter inline-6, producing around 95 horsepower and 173 lb-ft of torque. There were also V8 engine options available, including a 5.2-liter V8 and a 5.9-liter V8, which provided more power and towing capacity. The van featured rear-wheel drive and came with either a three-speed automatic or a four-speed manual transmission.

The Dodge Maxivan in 1985 came equipped with various features and amenities to enhance comfort and convenience. These included air conditioning, power steering, power brakes, and a wide range of options for audio systems. The van had ample storage compartments and cup holders throughout the cabin, making it suitable for long trips or daily use.

The Dodge Maxivan, particularly the third-generation models like the 1985 version, gained popularity as a reliable and versatile option for families, businesses, and recreational use. Its spacious interior, customizable seating arrangements, and robust engine options made it suitable for a wide range of applications. Over the years, the Dodge Maxivan became a symbol of practicality and a workhorse for many individuals and organizations.

Overall, the 1985 Dodge Maxivan offered a blend of functionality, durability, and utility. It provided ample space for passengers or cargo, had various engine choices, and featured a range of amenities to enhance comfort. Its classic design and reputation for reliability have made it a sought-after choice among van enthusiasts and collectors even years after its production ceased.

The The Swim Shop 4×4 Van Conversions YouTube Channel features this video of what it takes to convert a vintage van to four-wheel drive:

If you are serious about buying this 1985 Dodge Maxivan Patherfind 4×4 Conversion, you can start the conversation by using the seller’s contact information provided in their Craigslist ad.

Here’s the seller’s description:

“Finding a classic 4×4 van is always hard. When you find one…..it usually has bad rust from living in snow country. Not this rig!!!

This 1985 Dodge “Van Charger” four-wheel drive van was ordered new here in Texas by the owners of the fast food restaurant “Chicken Express.” It was said to be used for promotions and likely moving employees around.

The van runs well, has low miles, and the hour meter reads only 1554. The rig has a 360 V8 automatic transmission and air conditioning. As well as Power Steering and Power brakes.

The body is superb! The paint is original, so what you see is what you get. No body rust or Bondo.

The van has been sitting in indoor storage for years. So it will need new tires, belts, and hoses replaced, etc.

This thing is super cool and rare! Located in San Antonio, Texas. Comes with a clear Texas title.

Show or go: What would you do with this survivor-quality 1985 Dodge Maxi Van Pathfinder 4×4 conversion for sale?  Please comment below and let us know!

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