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2WD Creamsicle: 1978 Dodge Ramcharger

Special editions can often times be a let-down, comprised of nothing more than a few special badges and different wheels. This 1978 Dodge Ramcharger is such a vehicle, and it’s not even a 4WD variant. However, its unusual color combination of Sunrise Orange and white over a bule interior truly sets it apart, making it “special” regardless of what the badges say. Find it here on eBay with a $10,000 Buy-It-Now and the option to submit a best offer. 

This Ramcharger is located in Vancouver, Washington, although it would look far more at home in Southern California with those bright colors. Given the choice between the roof being on or off, we’d choose the off position, even though cowl shake is likely significant. The Lil’ Red Express wheels look fine here, but fitting some more aggressive tires and a very mild lift would do this Ramcharger some good in the eyeball appeal department.

A blue interior isn’t what you’d expect – a white interior, or perhaps even black. Options like these always make you wonder what the original owner was going for when he filled in the options sheet with the selling dealer. If the paint is original, its holding up incredibly well, along with the interior. Mileage is modest at 136,351, and the condition becomes even more impressive considering this isn’t a sub-50K mile example.

Not much information exists on the interwebs about what constitutes a “Special Edition” Ramcharger. Is it the colors? The wheels? Some combination of both? Regardless, this Ramcharger may not have the four-wheel drive grunt needed to tackle dirt roads and rock-strewn trails, but it will look plenty good parked at the beach with a couple of surfboards sticking out the back, and we’re just fine with that execution. Big question: is it worth $10K?

Comments

  1. geomechs geomechs Member

    Not very often you see a 2WD Ramcharger or a Blazer. I don’t think 2WD was even available in a Bronco. Sure is different. Looks good although I sure couldn’t justify the price.

    I like the orange color. For a time the trucks on our farming operation were orange: Burnt Orange for the Dodges and Parrot Orange for the Fords. We had a ’61 GMC 3-ton that was originally red/orange but faded quite well to the Dodge color. The ’58 Binder was dark green The orange vehicles kind of clashed with the green and yellow tractors and farm equipment but that was OK.

    • Howard A Member

      Hi geomechs, I read, Ford never made a full size 2 wheel drive Bronco. They did however, make a 2 wheel drive Bronco ll after 1986.

      • Jerry II

        I have a 2wd Ramcharger SE. Its an 1984. It’s also the rwo tone paint scheme.’ Grey & silver.’ Actually the 2wd model does well in the michigan winters. Moves through the snow very good due to the short wheel base. I’m the original owner.

  2. KevinW

    The carpet don’t match the drapes! I like the blue interior, and I like the creamsicle exterior, but not in one package. I used to have an ’85, bronze and tan paint. I think SE might be interior upgrades, but not completely sure about that. This is a good looking truck, but the price seems a little high.

  3. Windy Lawyer George

    I agree with the other comments, but it’s twice the price considering the mileage. Were it a 4wheel drive- it would be gone @ or around that piece. Top off–definitely.

  4. Joe Haska

    Lived in Mazatlan Mexico for 8 years and for some reason there are allot of Ram Chargers there, never knew why. Most of them were two wheel drives got me thinking, I would like to have one, but never found one worth buying. This one looks nice, but price does seem high, I had a two wheel drive 2-door Tahoe with a Whipple, black, leather, lowered, and I absolutely loved it! That was in 2007 and I paid $11,500, so this seems high to me, sill with similar mods, it would be way cool, and different.

    • boxdin

      Ramchargers were made in mexico.

  5. Fred

    In other Dodges, SE is a trim level with geared toward comfort options and an upscale look.

  6. jw454

    I like the slant 6 drive train and the two wheel drive. I know it’s original but, I’d have to consider changing the outside to something like the B5 blue from the earlier seventies.

  7. Madmatt

    The “SE” emblems look like the type
    of aftermarket ones sold by PepBoys,or Grand Auto,
    or any one of a million places,to me,I could be wrong tho!
    Ive also in 50 yrs, never seen a blue interior,with that outside
    color combo,doesnt seem right,or somethings wrong!
    Cool vehicle,but priced a bit high?they are getting hard to find in any kind of decent shape tho!I have been addicted to Barn finds.com for several years and it is almost a daily ritual in our accessories shop,for me to eat lunch at the computer,just so I can dream a little dream!

    • John H

      I was working for a Dodge dealer in the mid-1970s, and that SE emblem looks correct. Of course, 40+ years can do strange and not so good things to the memory, but that looks like the badges I remember from the time period.

  8. Howard A Member

    Well, it sure is an odd color combo, it doesn’t look like the outside color was changed. Believe it or not, these were somewhat popular in non-winter states. For people who wanted a bigger vehicle, but not a pickup and not some mombo 4×4. They were actually nice trucks. I can’t help but think, there was more than one person who bought one thinking it was 4 wheel drive. Hey, don’t laugh, I knew someone once that bought a postal Jeep, because they always wanted a 4×4 Jeep. I said, “um, did you actually look to see if it was 4 wheel drive”? You can imagine their shock when there was no front drive axle. They thought all Jeeps were 4 wheel drive. :0

  9. 86 Vette Convertible

    I can speak to Dodge 4×4 pickups. Having had a 76 PowerWagon be thankful it’s a 4×2. Dodge had major issues with product quality in those days and it showed in their products. Bought new (before there was a lemon law) it spent more than 1/2 of the first year in the shop. First 9 payments that came due, it was in the shop. It also got 10 mpg – didn’t matter if it was city or highway, it was 10 mpg.
    Swore I’d never have another Dodge 4×4 and I haven’t.

    • RS

      My 1979 Trail Duster didn’t have mechanical issues but as received (new) it idled like crap. I popped the limiter screws off the carb, took the belt off the air pump, and put plugs in the ends of the air injection pipes where they hooked to the exhaust manifolds. After that it idled SO much better. My experience with MPG was like yours, about 10mpg average. At a stead 55mph it might touch 15 at moments. (I had installed one of those CompuCruise units in it so I could see my mpg.) Still I miss the truck, traded it in 2 years old in excellent shape, wish I’d kept it.

  10. Sam

    SE might stand for “Sisified Edition”. I don’t think Walker Texas Ranger would drive this.

    It does bring back high school memories of a neighbor friend who had a Blazer with the removable roof….it was a b@%!h to remove and reattach.

  11. Chebby

    Love the outside and the wheels. The engine and interior, no. I have those colors on a Mexican hammock and they look great together, but here, not so much. Slant sixes from the smog years are underpowered and thirsty.

  12. Rustytech Member

    I’ve had 4 Dodge 4×4’s 1979, 1986, 1999, and 2006. None got good gas mileage, but all went anywhere I wanted to go and I never had any major problems with any of them. This is a nice looking SUV, strange color combo, and overpriced though.

  13. Greg Member

    My father had a 78 Plymouth Trailduster Sport while I was in high school. It was two-tone gold and white, with a tan interior. Sport meant bucket seats with a huge center console that could double for a cooler full of beers! It had the 440 and was four wheel drive with a/c and 8 track, if I remember correctly. The top came off every Spring until rain came, usually in October. I LOVED that truck!
    As for this one, I don’t think it’s a Sport edition. I would raise it, change the interior to tan or white bucket seats and console, and add a v8. Hmm, easier to find one already done. And I agree, the price is high for what you’re getting.

  14. Dutch 1960

    There are the chrome trim strips missing, right where the orange meets the white just below the belt line. Looks like it is missing all the way around. I don’t know if they are easy to find, or cheap to buy.

    I’m sure some colleges use an orange, blue, and white color scheme. The old San Diego Gulls hockey team had them in the late 1960’s.

  15. Oil Slick

    Something tells me that interior is from a doner truck. Quite ugly but the outside is nice.

  16. Don H

    Would look better lowered a little I think ,it’s not a 4×4 ,

  17. Mike

    A SUPER NICE 4WD 1975 Plymouth Trail Duster (Plymouth’s versus of the Ramcharger) factory #’s Match 440, steering, brakes and A/C bid to $26,400 last month at the Greensboro Classic Car Auction and was a NO SALE!

    At that same auction a 2500 mile Full Size 1991 4WD Blazer SOLD for over $40,000 with juice to Rick Hendrick’s buyer and a 4000 mile 1989 Bronco sold for $32,00 plus juice at the same sale

    I know this truck is not one of those or in that category of condition HOWEVER this type of truck is one the way UP in value and desirability!

  18. Joe

    Obviously a NY Mets fan-atic.

  19. Jubjub

    Neat rig. Really needs that upper bright trim found and installed. I like the stance of these as a 2WD and the color scheme is really cool, even if it isn’t original. Seems like most Dodge SEs had some kind of plaid fabric in these years.

  20. boxdin

    Love my 2wd Ramcharger 92 model first year w port injection.

  21. RS

    Two wheel drive? No way, no way. And it makes me sick to see this.
    In 1979 I bought a new Plymouth TrailDuster (same vehicle) with heavy duty everything, AC, 360, privacy glass, top of the line interior, 4 way 2 tone paint, all the gauges, and with a discount I paid less than $10K including tax. I got bored and traded it for a Dodge Mirada – biggest mistake I EVER made. The truck was nice (though not very quick, and bad gas mpg) but the Mirada was a steaming pile of JUNK, bumper to bumper. I bought my truck in the same color combo as the one I saw in the brochure, I liked it so much.

    • Greg Member

      Mine was a 78, but just like yours, only with a 440. Needed to pull our boat or travel trailer. MPG sucked, but I didn’t buy it for good mileage. Trailduster Sport with all the heavy duty equipment. Never had any problems, and wish we never sold it! Looked exactly like this:

      • RS

        Looks like you got one just like in the brochure also? The biggest engine they offered in ’79 when I ordered mine was the 360, I’m almost positive, because if they’d offered a 440 I would have gotten it. I sure did like mine, had the buckets and the console with the styrofoam ice chest also. Mine was a close ratio 4 speed.

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