Barn Buggy: 1988 Dodge Raider

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It’s not surprising to me that we’re beginning to see vehicles made in the last 40 years start emerging as barn finds. This 1988 Dodge Raider here on eBay has just been freed from long-term storage, and in the time that it’s been sidelined, the Raider and its Mitsubishi twin the Montero have essentially gone extinct. Because of its prowess off-road, it’s tough to find these trucks in good shape, much less one that remains nearly stock like this example. 

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We featured a 1984 Maserati Biturbo from this same eBay seller in the past, who seems to have developed a knack for finding these early-stage classics in rough but stock condition. The Raider is offered with no reserve, and that seems to be sitting well with bidders based on the activity so far. Powered by a 3.0L six cylinder, the Raider runs and drives but likely needs some basic maintenance and upkeep to ensure it doesn’t leave you stranded on the trail.

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The Raider and Montero off-roaders were effectively re-badged Mitsubishi Pajeros, which to this day have a tremendous reputation for being able to keep going when the going turns ugly. Sadly, they weren’t sold for very long in the U.S. (in short wheelbase form), only lasting from 1987-1989. Some of my favorite standard features found on this Raider include the headlight washers (need to brush the mud off) and the dash-mounted inclinometer, probably one of the coolest gauges ever mounted in a production vehicle.

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This is actually a pretty desirable model, outfitted with the V6 and a manual transmission. Whether you use it as intended or simply as an in-town commuter that can make it to work in any weather condition, the Raider is a cheap alternative to pricier Land Cruisers and Wranglers of the same era. Plus, their rarity makes it more likely you won’t see your twin parked nearby, whether at the trail head or the grocery store. What do you think this emerging classic will sell for?

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  1. HoA Howard AMember

    Sure looks clean for a quarter million miles. Clearly, very few of those miles were off road. That view of the engine compartment sends me screaming into the night. There’s a reason for the “inclinometer”. These, by nature, were very tippy, and that gauge told you the point of no return was near. While a cool find, limited appeal, especially with that kind of miles.

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  2. Alec

    I sold my Dad’s ’87 Raider with 50,250K original miles on it in Sept. for $4500. His friend gave it to him as he was going into a nursing home. My dad drove it for 2 years, but got rid of it because parts don’t exist.

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  3. Graham Line

    Haven’t had trouble finding parts for my ’93 Montero, which has the same basic running gear as this one. I did have to buy a rebuilt alternator, but all it really needs is maintenance by the book.

    Best feature on my ’87 Raider was the air-cushioned driver’s seat. Could never understand why my passengers complained about a bouncy ride.

    These are very well-built and will do high mileages — unlike a friend’s Bronco II, a year newer, that had rusted out and disassembled itself within 100K miles.

    $4500 was a good deal for the guy above who sold his dad’s.

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  4. Mike Donahue

    I had a 1982 Montero with the v6, they called it the Urban Guerilla. It was awesome on trails and hills.

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  5. Chuck Foster Chuck F 55chevy

    I saw a 1987 Raider recently on CList for $1700, I was wondering if it was a deal since a buddy gave $4500 for a similar Suzuki Samurai

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  6. PaulG

    Montero’s are classified in 4 generations, the 84-90 are Gen I, the 91-97 are Gen 2, the 98-2000 are Gen 2.5, and the 2001-2006 are Gen 3. I’ve owned at least 4 Gen 1’s, 1 Gen 2, 2 Gen 2.5’s and a Gen 3. These are well built vehicles, and I currently have a 98 with 134K miles that I use for off-roading, and other duties.
    Parts are available for all these trucks, and like most vehicles, the earlier ones are the easiest to work on…

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  7. Aaron

    My dad had one when I was a kid. With a 2″ lift, aftermarket torsion bars, and off-road tires, that thing could climb anything. He definitely got use out of the inclinometer.

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