Only 26K Miles: 1980 Plymouth Trail Duster

The Dodge Ramcharger needs little in the way of an introduction around these parts, as Mopar’s challenger to the throne the Chevrolet K5 Blazer sat upon was a formidable opponent. But like all things related to siblings, the second one to come along gets far less fanfare, as is the case of the Plymouth Trail Duster. The short-lived Ramcharger redux isn’t often seen today, especially in the form of this example that’s the top-of-the-line four wheel drive model with the full convertible top. It looks like a beauty, and while the seller has listed it with a lofty suggested opening bid, you should still check it out here on eBay where the auction wraps up Saturday afternoon.

That being said, there’s no reserve on this listing, so perhaps you can snag it for the opening number of $12,990 if no one else raises a paddle. The seller has listed it with a Buy-It-Now of $16,990, which isn’t out of line for a clean Ramcharger, but I’ve found auctions often lack much sizzle when the seller’s set an opening number this high. Regardless, I can understand the motivation as the Trail Duster looks quite clean riding on new white steel wheels and upgraded tires. The full length convertible top is also a recent replacement part, as the seller notes it is a “Soft Topper” complete with new frame. Finally, the previous owner also had the truck resprayed; no word on if it’s the original color.

Now, the Trail Duster does look clean enough to be a true low mileage example, but the odometer reading can’t be verified at the moment. This is due to the usual DMV discrepancies that can arise on older vehicles, and the listing claims that the 26,912 miles is genuine based on feedback from the previous owner. However, he claimed that the DMV entered the info wrong, so the 48,556 on the truck’s paperwork is, at the very least, suspect. But as many of us know too well, this feedback from previous owners doesn’t do you much good from a value standpoint, as low mileage claims really do necessitate a paper trail in addition to the vehicle’s condition to back it up. Fortunately, the interior looks as good as the outside.

The eight cylinder engine isn’t described in any meaningful capacity in the listing, either from a running condition standpoint or whether any recent maintenance has been performed. The listing again refers to feedback from the previous owner, who claims the Trail Duster had been parked as a plow vehicle but apparently wasn’t used very much, which is when he snagged the truck from the Virginia property it was parked on. Now, plow vehicles are usually pretty rotten underneath because they’re ridden hard and put away wet, but the seller doesn’t allude to any rust issues underneath, which do generally seem unlikely give the clean condition up top. The Trail Duster is a rare one, especially in clean condition like this – but is it enough to justify the opening bid amount?

Fast Finds


  1. FordGuy1972 FordGuy1972 Member

    This Plymouth looks like it’s in very good condition but there are a lot of questions that need answers. The ad states it has a current inspection so it must be roadworthy but engine details would be nice to know and some comments on how it runs and drives. The dealer selling this Plymouth 4X4 doesn’t really give you a lot of details, they could have at least provided pictures of the trim tag and why not provide the VIN? I’d be wary of this one and would definitely personally inspect it. Who knows what kid of work was needed before it was repainted? Rust repair? Crash damage? Is there a lot of putty under that nice paint job? Don’t get me wrong, I like it but I’d be a little wary of this one.

    Like 3
    • CJinSD

      VINs didn’t take the current format until the 1981 model year, IIRC. The VIN presented for this truck is AA0AEAC101178

      The price isn’t out of line for what this looks to be, but the listing doesn’t do a very good job of reassuring me about what might just be a patched up rusty snow plow. Virginia uses salt like the highway department is run by the salt vendor. Some years Virginia gets more salt than snow.

      Like 8
      • Steve R

        Anyone considering purchasing this vehicle would be wise to read and factor in the sellers feedback.

        Steve R

        Like 2
      • BOP_GUY Member

        Good call! If you go to the dealers website, they admit it actually IS a former Virginia Dept of Roads plow vehicle. “Just sat” they say. And the miles on the clock don’t match the miles on the paperwork, with more on the clock.

        Like 3
  2. 74 RRunner

    Super rare, think I’ve only seen one at a show a while back.

  3. Seth KARPEN

    The odometer did not go past 100k, if just started over.
    Hard to tell real mileage. I suspect at least 126k

    Like 2
  4. local_sheriff

    As I own a K5 it’s interesting to note that while GM’s argument for introducing the half cab from the ’76 model year Mopar carried on with their full convertible versions. So much for the roll over protection argument that killed off the full ‘vert K5! Personally I think it had more to do with an attempt to make the K5’s interior less noisy or prone to leaks.

    Anyone know of someone making/selling a similar external mount spare wheel bracket for 1st gen K5?

    Like 1
  5. BOP_GUY Member

    Somebody snatched it up in the last seconds for $12,990! In all fairness, a great deal. If it still had its metal top, I probably would’ve joined in too. But as a base model with no ac, none of the exterior potmetal/chrome trim, and the base 318 two barrel engine, and no metal top, I’ll keep looking.

  6. t-bone BOB

    Apr 17, 2021
    Winning bid:
    US $12,990.00
    [ 1 bid ]

    Item location:
    Crozier, Virginia

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