Live Auctions

1989 Dodge Power Ram W350 With 171 Genuine Miles!

By 1989, Dodge’s D/W truck range was showing its age. After all, it could trace its roots back to the 1970s. A boost was needed, so the decision was made to add a diesel engine to the range. This required some significant re-engineering and upgrading of the existing platform, but the result was a vehicle capable of towing some extraordinary loads. This Power Ram was purchased new in 1989 and was then placed in long-term dry storage. It has only recently emerged from hiding, and the decades of inactivity mean that it currently has a genuine 171 miles showing on its odometer. It will need a thorough mechanical check before returning to the road, but this is as close as you can come to finding a brand new 31-year-old truck. Now that it is out of hibernation, the owner has chosen to list it for sale here on Bring A Trailer. The W350 is located in Warsaw, Indiana, and bidding has reached $16,000 in a No Reserve auction. A big thank you has to go out to Barn Finder Mitchell G for spotting this fantastic vehicle for us.

It’s always hard to know where to start with a vehicle like this. I’m impressed with the owner’s candid attitude because he does admit that not all of the paint on this W350 is original. As you will see if you check out the walk-around video that I have included at the bottom of this article, a few minor paint imperfections have been addressed since the Dodge came out of storage. The panels are as straight as an arrow, and there is no evidence of any rust issues in the body or the frame. Being a cab chassis will allow the buyer the freedom to configure the truck to their liking, which offers a world of possibilities. The exterior trim and chrome is all present and in good condition, while I can’t spot any issues with the tinted glass.

The truck’s interior presents as well as you might expect for a vehicle with 171 miles on its odometer. All of the protective plastic covers have been removed, but everything remains as spotlessly clean as it would have been the day that the vehicle was delivered back in 1989. The seat is upholstered in a combination of red cloth and vinyl and appears to be free from any marks or faults. The dash and door trims are perfect, and there is no wear on the rubber floor mat. The Dodge isn’t loaded with luxury features, but it does come equipped with an AM/FM stereo radio with an integrated clock, along with a hand throttle control.

Lifting the hood is where the big news is with this truck. The 1989 model year saw Dodge introduce a new engine to its D/W range, and it was quite an engine. What occupies the engine bay is a Cummins 5.9-liter straight-six turbo diesel. This pumps out a respectable 160hp, but it was the 400 ft/lbs of torque that got people talking in 1989. That figure made the W350 an excellent tow vehicle and the fact that this one is also equipped with a 5-speed manual transmission and dual-range 4-wheel-drive means that it should be capable of going just about anywhere with ease. The buyer will have some work to do before the W350 could be considered roadworthy. One rear shock has been replaced, but a thorough inspection is going to be on the cards. The tires are quite cracked and dry, so there is a possibility that other rubber components might have the same sorts of issues.

If you are looking for a low-mileage tow vehicle, then this 1989 Dodge Power Ram W350 has got to be worth serious consideration. Its 4WD capabilities and the enormous amount of torque should see it capable of towing just about everything up to the size and weight of a small moon. Getting it back to a roadworthy state should not be a significant undertaking, and the fact that it is a cab chassis means that its next owner can configure it to their own needs. Bidding has been quite spirited up to his point, and I can’t help but think that there might still be more to go before the auction ends on this one. However, if I’m wrong on that point, there is a chance that someone might be about to score themselves an amazing truck at a bargain-basement price. That’s something that’s worth thinking about.


  1. Turbo


    Like 10
    • William

      Big farmers did this all the time when there were more tax loopholes. Better to buy something you don’t need then pay tax, at least that is what they thought. In the same vein, this is why many of them drive top end pick ups with leather seats, because they are a tax write off. Never going to haul manure in those babies, I say not. That is also how the UTV market got going. Something nifty and fun the implement dealer could sell you and you wouldn’t have to pay for it .I got a relative that is retired, just rents out his 400 acres, yet every several years he somehow gets away with a new UTV that he hunts with. He laughs how he is able to debreciate it and pay almost nothing.

      Like 8
  2. Steve

    Woulda made someone a damn good brush fire truck. I wonder if that has anything to do with the story.

  3. Howard A Member

    Yeah, nice try. Again, underside kills it everytime. Granted, it has low mileage, but not that low. That speedo cable came off so easy. Someone went nuts with black spray, and the front springs are sacked out. I think it could have been a low mileage fire truck, but I don’t see an auto parts outfit using an AWD truck like this, unless they planned on delivery to the North Pole.

    Like 10
    • Gus Fring

      Whatever, dude…they had more rust than that on them sitting on the dealer’s lot! You, obviously, don’t have a clue of what you are talking about. Guys like you kill me, lol.

      Like 13
      • geomechs geomechs Member

        Hey let’s not get into a whizzing contest, OK? I’ve seen my share of rattle-can jockeys in my day and some of them are good at making the old look new again, even to make 200,171 miles look like 171. Myself, I reserve judgement of a vehicle until I’ve had a chance to be up close and personal with it. I’ll leave it at the claimed mileage/condition until I find out otherwise…

    • John F Remillard

      I agree 100%

  4. Kenneth Carney

    Sorry folks. I’d go old school with this
    truck. Get it roadworthy, teach Sis how
    to drive a 5-speed, put a stake bed on it
    and call it done. Yeah, I’d do my best to
    preserve it but it needs to be driven responsibly and enjoyed for what it is: a
    rare old truck that will cause a stir wherever it goes.

    Like 3
    • Mike Brown

      I’d either put a gooseneck/5th wheel bed on it or, source a wrecker bed with a wheel lift. I could use it either way.

      Hell, 60″ cab to axle is standard for an 8′ pickup bed. Maybe I’d just source an old Dodge dually bed from the Southwest. I’d paint it to match then take it to the local big box home center on Saturday to terrorize the new $60k wanna be trucks with their 5 1/2′ beds…oh wait, I already do that with my 78 GMC dually lol!

  5. geomechs geomechs Member

    We had a ‘73 W300 on the ranch. It was one tough truck to say the least. I used to go out and feed cattle with it before heading to work each day during the winter. With the 4.88 gears you could put it in low range and granny gear, let it idle itself across the field and just jump in the back and throw bales off. With a diesel it would be a lot easier.

    This diesel is a good engine but I wouldn’t drive it anywhere until I addressed an issue with the fuel injection pump. There are two heavy springs that keep the cam plate against the rollers that are subject to breakage and when they do they can clean house with the internals. It isn’t that the springs CAN break it’s that they DO. I had a customer who cheaped out and bought a “NEW” pump off E-Bay for considerably less than I quoted him to do the updates. I think he got 3K miles out of it before the springs had young ones. Then he had the gall to come to us for warranty because it was a new pump and we were a Bosch franchise. It almost gave me pleasure to tell him that it was a service component and was subject to 90 days from ORIGINAL date of purchase. I told him to go back to where he got it…

  6. Ben Ochs

    Did this truck sell? If not where is the bid price?

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