1979 Dodge Power Wagon: As New

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There are vehicles that just seem destined to be used hard from the day they roll off the lot, with little thought given to preserving it for future generations. The Power Wagon from Dodge has always been such a vehicle, given its marketing hype and overall reputation for being a workhorse. That’s why this 1979 Power Wagon here on eBay with only 7,128 original miles is listed with an asking price of nearly $30,000!

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By the time they get to this age, most Ram pickups in general are sporting a body littered with dings, dents and rust. This sky blue pickup is quite the opposite, with an unmarked exterior and perfect chrome. Between one owner not being able to afford gassing it up and another not enjoying the driving experience, this Power Wagon has been spared a hard life due to a variety of factors.

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The 360-2 bbl is paired with the 727 automatic transmission. The truck was also optioned out with the limited-slip rear end and obviously 4-wheel drive. It’s too bad the first owner didn’t budget for fuel expenses because he really built himself a nice truck, which also included air conditioning, skid plates and off-road tires.

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This truck will likely forever be a conversation piece and part of a collection. Not only because of the price but because it’s quite unrepeatable. Frankly, a more likely buyer should be a Mopar museum or a factory display of significant vehicles. But the question remains: would they even pay $30,000 for the privilege? Thanks to Barn Finds reader Paul J. for the find.

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Comments

  1. ed

    the price …please… love the truck, but just go to nbcsn right now and see what you can buy for that price at the mecum auction

  2. Dan

    If I were in the market for a pickup I would get this instead of new one. I would just drive it as long as I could.

  3. Rich

    Maybe half that price.

  4. billy boy

    Did anyone else notice that the bed is a shade off from the cab.its close but it looks like a repaint to me.js

  5. jim s

    i like my trucks predented and low cost. and i daily drive them. for the asking price i could get a new truck with warranty but i wouldn’t. seller also has a ford station wagon for sale. still an interesting find.

  6. don

    B/S! previous owner/s could not afford to put gas in it? didn’t like the truck so never drove it? come on! the whole story line is bull!

    • Walter Joy

      My 89 W250 is similar. Owner bought it brand new off the showroom floor. 360 TBI V8 with the automatic and the heavy duty axles and suspension packages. Had A/C too and a long bed. Had it for a short time because it only got 9 mpg, then sold it. My grandfather bought it right after that and has had it until he gave it to me. On a side note, the wheel covers are for the later model (my truck has them)

    • Jason Houston

      Of course it’s a line of bull. It’s called eBay. What else do you need?

    • Terry

      I can believe the “couldn’t afford gas”. The Chrysler 360 was a gas hog, especially with carburetion, thanks to all the smog equipment they came with.

  7. JW

    I love old trucks and this is a nice example of the Power Wagon but come on it’s not a collector muscle truck, I agree 15K tops and use it as a truck.

  8. Mark P

    Love the old Dodge’s but MPG is the worst. Had an ’84 D250 with the 360, it got 10mpg whether it was loaded or not. My coworkers used to say the space shuttle got better mileage. Loved it though. One time I needed it trailered home when it broke down. When the tow guy was unloading it in my driveway he says “Damn that thing’s heavy” I also bought a used ’99 Dakota 4X4 years back, it was a 318, it got at best 12mpg………..I found the original window sticker in the glove box, it had 12 city / 15 highway on it. Love to have this but unfortunately I’d be driving and using it and being in New England, seems the cars rust in summer too.

  9. Randy D

    I like this Dodge. I bought one like it new back in 79.

  10. AMCFAN

    Something isn’t right. That Rams head hood ornament did not come out until 84 or 85. Not correct for this truck nor are the wheel covers already mentioned.

    I know as my father took alot of ribbing from everyone for buying a new Dodge in 1979. Chrysler Corp was in a heap of trouble and was about to go belly up. That combined with the fuel crunch the dealers were giving them away. The owner of the small town dealer only made $13. dollars on it. He paid just a little more then $6300 for it and was very sharp to look at. Had the Prospector package with the multi color blue stripes going down the sides with block letters on the door spelling Dodge. The tail gate had a huge decal that said PICK EM UP. White wagon wheels and Good year tires that lasted a little over 18 K miles.

    The old man still has the paperwork on it. He keeps files on everything. Notable things I remember about it. Yes 6-8 MPG. These are a 4X4 all the time. No lock outs. It was a turd to drive from a stop sign if you tried to out run a kid on a bike. Remember those lock up torque converters? Ugg! Out on the road had decent power. Off road never go without a friend who can pull you out. Had to be pulled out of the snow many times as well. What a slug.

    The truck always had wind noises. Later in life the windshield was broke and had to be changed. The cab was off center and the difference was made up in the rubber seal. Talk about quality. There was none. The workers at the factory were about to loose their jobs and were throwing them together. No one at the dealership noticed the front bumper was crooked. No one seemed to care. Paint was silver and failed to shine after about a year. Doors and bed and tail gate rusted after 4 years. Funny the data plate was stuck under the grill. Not screwed on.

    Best thing? The Mopar battery lasted nearly 8 years. Buying this truck for $30K over something new? ARE YOU CRAZY?? I would pass even if at the original purchase amount my father paid for his. More fun to look at then to own.

    Like 2
    • Bobsmyuncle

      Remember lock up torque convertors? They are still around and more common than ever.

      Or am I missing the meaning of your statement?

    • Rodger

      Everything you mentioned sounded just like a toyota pickup my neighbor had bought in 85. Unfortunately it only lasted about 4 years until the frame gave way from rust.

  11. Jason Houston

    Like all these cars, if the owner can document the mileage, it might make a good museum investment, but little else.

  12. Howard A Member

    It is pretty amazing, like the Toyota pickup, to see one in this condition. Again, like most other 4 wheel drives, many were used as plow vehicles, and rusted to bits. For what they were, they were bulletproof, dependable vehicles, despite the shabby gas mileage, but you didn’t buy a truck like this for gas mileage. While it is clearly a low mileage truck, I too doubt the 7K mile claim. These just aren’t that wanted, so I wish the seller a lot of luck.

  13. rancho bella

    There are these types of Dodges for sale on Craigslist thru-out the U.S .

    Find one like this. Look at the pix of the frame, engine and body. If you bought a fixer to look like this I am certain you would spend almost that much in all.

    I must admit I am a bit of a nut for stock 4×4 equipment like this. I know nothing about the hub caps or hood dressing. I’m looking at the all around vehicle. Guess I’m just week.

  14. seth

    all pickup trucks got lousy gas mileage back then. 12 mpg in a 2 wheel drive was good back then. 9-10 mpg for a 4 wheel drive was what you would expect. Just bought two years ago a 1980 power wagon snow commander to plow my driveway with an owner built flat bed for $535.
    This is a silly price to be abused !!

  15. geomechs geomechs Member

    We had Dodge trucks on our farm. Worked well but definitely not showpieces. I can’t see $30K in any of them but it’s OK to dream. I wish the vendor luck.

  16. Clinton

    Ok and nobody has noticed the sticker in the door that shows “tune up 69k” I am almost positive this odometer has rolled. Seller lucks out because most vin check only goea to 1980. Either the guy ebay seller got it from is a liar or he is trying to pull a fast one.

    • Jason Houston

      Well, here’s a hint: it’s listed on eBay. That should help clear the mystery.

  17. Doug Towsley

    Early-mid 1980s in the Air Force at many stateside Airbases these kinds of trucks were very common to see. US Govt bought a lot of Dodges to keep them afloat. They did okay for what we used them for. Also abused a few 4x4s in the desert while assigned to EOD looking for ordinance. Never got stuck. Trucks like this bring back memories.

  18. DENIS

    Neat old truck…especially being a shortbox. I would like to see the other 2 that are included in this sale price… :-)

  19. Tundra/BMW Guy

    Anybody notice the holes in both rear 1/4’s behind the wheels?? D/S one looks like it has some type of corrosion around it? Anybody know what those are for or were they put in the vehicle by one of the owners?
    I love these things based upon their reputation for indestructability. With some of the responses, my respect might be a bit questionable. I always thought that you could pull a house with them and climb a tree with them.
    As for the price, he he he he he he he he, tears rolling out I am laughing so hard…….

    • JW

      Well Tundra/BMW Guy my father in law had a 79 Power Wagon he bought new to plow his driveway and use for work, he gave it to me and my wife when we bought a farmette with a half mile drive in 1990. It was a rusted POS then but we plowed our drive for 10 years with it and sold it as scrap without the plow when we sold the farmette in 2000. The rear springs were coming up through the bed but it still plowed snow and had a heck of a heater.

  20. Jim Ward

    Father in law bought 78 new with 400 auto 4×4 got 5mpg. He only drove 1 1/2 mile to work. Went like a tank had plow since new now my boy has it still drive daily and plows snow. He only live 1/4 mile from work still gets 5 mpg.

  21. JW

    I emailed seller a question asking what those small holes in the bed sides were for. He responded that when the truck was ordered new the owner had it professionally under coated and those were plugged holes used for under coating the inside channels of the bed as were the ones shown in the door jambs.

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