1986 Dodge Ram 50: Unearthed Treasure in the Junkyard

When GM replaced the Isuzu Faster with the S-10 in 1982, the trend of badge-engineered trucks continued. Ford sold Mazda Proceeds with Courier badges until the Ranger replaced it in 1983. Meanwhile, Chrysler turned Omnirizons into trucks by adding truck beds. Since they couldn’t develop their own rear-wheel-drive small pickup, Dodge-badged Mitsubishi Forte pickups were sold in the US until 1994. Here’s one of those trucks, found in a Colorado car graveyard.

The first Chrysler-imported Mitsubishi Fortes arrived in the US in 1979. Dodge-badged versions were known as the D-50, while Plymouth dealers sold them with Arrow badges. The Dodge D-50 was rebranded as the Ram 50 in 1981, with the final Plymouth Arrow trucks being sold as 1982 models.

In 1983, Mitsubishi began selling its own vehicles in the US, leading to the Ram 50 competing with similar models featuring Mitsubishi badges. This created an interesting dynamic with four marques selling essentially the same car in the US: Mitsubishi Mirage, Plymouth Colt, Dodge Colt, and Eagle Summit.

All Dodge D-50s and Ram 50s came with Mitsubishi engines, including this one with a 2.0-liter SOHC straight-four rated at 88 horsepower and 108 pound-feet.

A 2.3-liter Mitsubishi diesel was briefly available in the Ram 50, but was discontinued by 1986.

This particular truck has a base five-speed manual transmission.

It seems this truck was used for storing household items before being taken to the junkyard.

Many boxes of old items were found in and around the truck, possibly due to non-payment of storage fees.

Among the items found were newspapers and magazines from the 1960s and 1970s.

Scenes like these are a common find in discarded vehicles, with valuable items left behind unintentionally.

Over 50,000 miles had been logged on this truck before it was decommissioned and sent to the junkyard.

It’s a reminder of the competitive nature of the Japanese truck market during that era.

Looking at this truck, you see that small pickups were designed for big jobs.