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Red and Ready: 1985 Dodge Ram 150

I recall a time (that doesn’t seem long ago) when classic trucks were an afterthought in the collector car world. Times have changed as popularity has grown with prices following suit, especially for clean, original examples. This 1985 Dodge D150 here on eBay in Houston TX is clean and mostly original with a buy-it-now price to match. If you’re eager to buy, it can be yours for $34,500, or if you’re like me and prefer to see what the market bears, you can be the first to bid at $5,000.

This 1985 example is not only from the long-lived third-generation Dodge D-series pickup that ran from 1972-1993 but is also considered a first-generation Ram pickup as Dodge adopted the Ram name for the 1981 model year. The tin-grille vintage (1972-1979) of these trucks seems to be more popular among collectors but I think the spirit of the entire run of D-series trucks was well described in the 1985 Ram brochure: “Good looking, hard-wearing trucks that aren’t afraid to mix it up.” The owner of this one abided with the addition of that Twilighter shell.

Subtlety is not this truck’s strong suit. The professionally polished and ceramic-coated red paint helps it stand out in a crowd and the camper shell is impossible to miss. I could see that pappy cap being a turn-off for many but that’s primarily what draws me to this truck. The lowered look will presumably detract further from the buyer pool, but it’s well executed here and, according to the seller, it sounds like a pretty complete job with “all brand new suspension parts front & rear, new shocks, rear helper air bags” and the “full front end rebuilt during suspension upgrades.” The full wheel covers, whitewall tires, matching bug deflector, towing mirrors, and optional rear step bumper keep perfectly with the theme.

In complete contrast with the exterior, the interior’s subtlety is on-point. The optional red cloth-and-vinyl bench seat is in excellent condition and coordinates well with the recently redone interior of the shell. Overall the interior looks very clean.

The seller hasn’t shared any photos under the hood and only tells us it’s a V8. There were two V8 options for the D150 in 1985 – a 5.2L 2-bbl (318) or a 5.9L 4-bbl (360). This one is equipped with an optional column-shifted 3-speed automatic transmission that sends power to the rear wheels. The seller touts recent work, including “new front and rear brakes including all bearings” and a “full mechanical tune up.” It “drives amazingly well and is very smooth with no rattles.”

This is my kind of truck, but this is way over my budget for something I’m not driving daily that also can’t fit my whole family. Comps are few and far between so I’m curious to see where bids wind up, assuming the buy-it-now isn’t used before the auction ends. I can’t disagree with the seller when they say, this “truck will certainly bring a lot of enjoyment to its new owner and will make some forever memories.”


  1. Avatar photo Big_Fun Member

    She’s a 318 cid. Have the breadbox Dodge pickups finally arrived as a prime collector truck? Unless it has a Cummins Diesel, or is a Power Wagon, and for that matter, a Lil’ Red Express (maybe add the Warlock), I don’t think their time has arrived…
    Nice truck for the dedicated MoPoR fan, but that crowd is pretty savvy on what to pay.

    Like 5
  2. Avatar photo eric22t

    2 more years and you get tbi and an overdrive automatic. the cap is cool but to me the lowering is not. nice clean example tho. someone will scoff it up for sure

    Like 1
  3. Avatar photo Richard

    Nice looking truck that appears to be in really nice condition. Definitely a nice cruiser for soneone looking for this kind of equipped truck.
    I don’t believe the Buy It Now price is realistic though. Very optimistic for what the truck is.

    Like 4
  4. Avatar photo Joe Haska

    I like this truck if the camper was gone and it was a short box, I would have to have it!

    Like 1
  5. Avatar photo Dave Painter

    Gulf Coast Dodge, get your new D150 for just $99 a month, or $4995 cash.
    Come on down and see what Dodge can do for you.
    Incessant ad in the Houston market back when.

    Like 2
  6. Avatar photo Troy

    Not every vehicle looks good lowered this one included otherwise nice truck

    Like 8
  7. Avatar photo Rw

    To bad somebody messed up suspension.

    Like 8
  8. Avatar photo Danny

    I bought a brand new leftover 1985 D150 in Feb. 1986 for 9 grand. This ain’t no $34000 truck . I had the 318 motor and the carburetor was very temperamental. In winter I had to jam my snowbrush on the accelerator and let it warm up or it would stall out

    Like 3
    • Avatar photo Seth

      Agreed, don’t know what they smoke on Texas

      Like 2
    • Avatar photo William

      The reason normal stuff sells like that is because people out there with more money than brains and common sense or pay that for something like that

      Like 1
  9. Avatar photo Lothar... of the Hill People

    Like previously stated by others, the lowering thing is definitely not for me but some like it for whatever reason. I caught my Pontiac Vibe front spoiler on a parking curb stop once and it pulled the spoiler half way off when I backed up. There was a metal spike, meant to hold the curb in place, sticking up a little too far. I assume this truck might have the same problem in that situation.

    When I see this truck, I think of vehicles I’ve seen in border towns.

    I assume the buy-it-now price is a I-don’t-care price from the seller but it never hurts to try, right?

    The truck looks like it is in great shape… its so clean.

    Like 3
    • Avatar photo Seth

      Was told to sell it.listed with a price so jt would sell

      Like 0
  10. Avatar photo JustPassinThru

    Singularly unloved when new. Dodge wasn’t able to crack the blossoming 1980s truck market, for whatever reason. The Club Cab option was an innovation Ford copied and Chevrolet ignored for 15 years; and that should have put them in the lead. It did not.

    It may have been, first, rust problems that were horrific on the first generation (1972-79) and never totally dealt with. Five year old Dodge trucks, typically business-owned, with their beds falling apart, rusty sheets flapping in the wind, were common. Then, in five years, the genuine fear that Chrysler would disappear, probably put a cramp on business sales, as well as private-owners.

    Ford had a new truck by 1981; and the GM Squarebodies were well-liked, and had been updated. At that point, Dodge was selling about as well as Jeep. No real reason for it, except perhaps advertising and sales momentum.

    Like 0
  11. Avatar photo Carbob Member

    I’m not a fan of this truck being lowered. And the cap would have to go. BIN price is way too much IMHO. These are nice trucks however. Back when these were five years old used vehicles; I had a similar truck as a work vehicle. One of my friends had one as his daily and another had his set up for both daily and work. We all liked them.

    Like 2
  12. Avatar photo Iowa Farmer

    Try finding an older 2 wheel drive pickup around here in farm country. Nothing but 4x4s here. Luxurious late models are a bad joke. The box height is too high, and the interiors are ugh, fit for a queen. 4 door cabs cut box length down to useless. Whatever happened to usable 8′ box work trucks? I love this Dodge without the cap, but the price is more than $20,000 too high.

    Like 3
  13. Avatar photo Jack R.

    These trucks always look nicer when lowered just a bit, nice touch to the stance. And easy to reverse back for the purists if desired.

    Like 3
  14. Avatar photo CJM

    Sharp truck. I’m ok with the lowering and the whitewalls look great but the cap has got to go!

    Like 2
    • Avatar photo seth

      agreed on cap. they were state of the art 40 years ago.
      used to curse when packages slid to front of bed

      Like 0

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