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Big Fan – Small Truck: 1987 Dodge Ram 50

This captive-import is a 1987 Dodge Ram 50 pickup and it looks like a good little work truck, if a person doesn’t need a huge, beefy truck, that is. It’s listed on eBay with an unmet opening bid of $750. It’s located in Centerville, Utah, just north of Salt Lake City.

This is a one-owner truck and it has a few dings and some surface rust, but it looks like a solid little thing. It would be perfect for someone who just needs a light-duty truck and doesn’t want to worry about scratching it. The bed has seen its share of use over the last 30 years but has a lot of life left in it.

The seller says that it has no real rust at all and it sure looks solid. I can’t tell if some of it has been repainted or not, parts of it look like almost like new whereas other parts show their age. This was the seller’s father-in-law’s truck and is a second-generation Dodge Ram 50, made by Mitsubishi. 1987 was when Dodge debuted its new mid-sized Dakota but the Ram 50 continued to be offered by Dodge until 1994.  The Mitsubishi Mighty Max was also sold in the US at the time and it soldiered on until 1996.

The interior looks good, maybe other than the blue seat covers. After more than 242,000 miles there will be some work to do here if the next owner wanted to clean things up a bit. Not having any dash cracks or really too many glaring problems at all inside really make this an appealing truck to me. It’s about as cheap as anything that you’ll find, and the 5-speed makes for 75 mph cruising, according to the seller who drove it from Boise, Idaho to Salt Lake City with no problems what so ever.

This may be the best part of this truck, a fully-rebuilt engine about 11,000 miles ago. This is Mitsubishi’s 2.0L inline-four with around 92 hp. The seller’s father-in-law spent $3,400+ on this rebuild and it runs and drives great. This would be more than enough truck for my needs, does anyone else like these small pickups or do you need a full-sized truck?


  1. Howard A Member

    Not a big call for these, and it’s a shame, they were such good trucks. I’m sure the mileage is scaring people away, that’s a lot of times back and forth to SLC. Still, pretty obvious, it took it well. 5 speed, huge plus, and probably why it went over 200g’s in the 1st place. Keeping in mind, while the motor is fit, the rest of the truck still has a 1/4 mil on it, so there will be issues. Being as simple as this truck is, and solid ( they never looked like this by me) should be no problem to fix as you go, because it will probably go another 1/4 mil. Great find.

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  2. Pete Member

    Love them… Mad a big mistake when I traded in one in 2015.
    Eventually I would like to find one locally.

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  3. Don

    This little winner should not be allowed to have the ram badge on it ,had one mine was junk 😣

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  4. terry

    Had a Ram50 4×4 with a 2.5, if memory serves. Towed a 46 Ford 4 door sedan on a homemade single axle trailer with no brakes from Bemidji MN to Rhinelander WI. Scariest part was the hill going down into Duluth. I look back and thank God for watching over me that day.
    That was a darn good truck.

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  5. Leon

    RF wheel is not correct for truck. My 90 mighty max reached 200K in 04. Traded it when the Ac quit 5spd cable clutch never changed. Truck looked like it was 2yrs old. I miss it.

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  6. Dan

    I had one of these. Was a decent capable little truck that I loved driving. Unfortunitly the engines in these trucks were junk and prone to cracked blocks. The chasis was strong because it is boxed but that also caused a lot of hidden rust that becomes fatal.

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    • Mike Collins

      Bought one brand new in 1987 and the timing belt broke at 36,000. Then at 87,000 it became an oil burner even though I was religious about oil changes every 3000 miles. And then the rust started in which is typical for Dodge vehicles exposed to road salt in the Midwest. I was not happy with the purchase in the long run.

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  7. Scotty Staff

    Ouch, this truck sold for a mere $750; a heck of a bargain.

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  8. Austin S.

    I have a first gen mighty max with 208,xxx on it now and it just goes and goes.

    The sirus series engines mitsu made from like 78 till the EVO-9 went out of production. The 2.0 g63 in mine has the same rotating assembly as the early 90’s eclipse tsi and gallant vr4 cars. Swap the heads out, add the turbo, mod an intake to feed from the front and wire an ecu. Instant 220hp sleeper truck.

    Love these things, mines hauled 2000lbs of scrap metal on a 2000lb home-made trailer with 1000 more lbs in the bed back in high school. No problems. Survived getting clobbered at an intersection by a res light runner as well.

    They stop great, they turn good because their low and light, and they haul good.

    Love these things 10/10 want another one

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  9. thomas schweikert

    rather have an s10 had a tbi 350 in mine drag raced it for years till some dirt bag stole it out of my back yard

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  10. Richard Martin Member

    I had a 1987 like this in black. Loved it for the size and gas mileage. It got about 23 M.P.G. on the freeway, with a load in the back, and pulling a trailer loaded with antiques.

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