Rust Free With Patina: 1983 Dodge B250 Ram Van

I’ve said probably too many times that I’m a sucker for these older Dodge vans, having owned several of them in the 1980s. This 1983 Dodge B250 Ram Van is listed here on eBay with bids of over $2,000 and the reserve isn’t met. There is a buy it now price of $4,450 which will seem like a bargain in a year or two, if not right now. It’s located in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

There’s a lot of patina (i.e., surface rust) on the lid of this box. Is that a clear-coat-and-start-filming-your-tv-reality-show thing, or does this one get fully painted again? Yeah, probably painted, that rust is pretty heavy. But, other than that surface rust it’s “rust free” according to the seller, and they have provided an absolute hoard of good photos showing just that: a rock-solid van. Sweet. What I wouldn’t have done for a used van in this condition back in the ’80s. I have never owned a vehicle with a sliding door other than my ’86 Nissan Stanza wagon which has one on each side. I always had the barn doors on my Dodge vans. I’m a sucker for round headlight vehicles like this van.

The B250 is a 3/4 ton van so it’s more than I personally would ever need, I’m not going to be hauling car batteries around or would ever use a van like this for other than camping or hauling motorcycles around. Too bad that there aren’t any underside and detail photos. Wait, there are quite a few of them! Wow, vehicles here in the upper-Midwest don’t look this clean after a year or two of salty winters, this van is incredible. It has just over 45,000 miles on it and I believe it.

Fancy! My vans were all early-mid-70s Tradesman vans, I didn’t have cup holders on the dog house or a padded dash. Not to mention power steering or brakes. This is a luxury machine compared to the steel dash versions that I had. There is no AC in this van which for the Albuquerque area means that those cool (literally) wing windows will come in handy. Does anyone else miss those little vent windows as much as I do? And this van has nice seats, too. I like this van the more I dig into it. The steering wheel looks a little cracked but other than that the front of this interior looks great to me. The back is a clean slate just waiting for the next owner to customize it or just leave it as is.

Engine photos in a van listing?! Unheard of. Ok, the main one is blurry but there are two close-up photos showing each side and it looks good in there. I even see a new fuel filter. The seller is short on words for this short van, saying that it “runs good” and that’s about it as far as the operating condition of the 318 V8 goes. I really, really like this van, they’re getting hard to find in rust-free condition and other than that surface rust this looks like a fantastic example.


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  1. grant

    “Free rust.” There I fixed it for him…

    • art carlson

      thats not rust free, thats a lot of surface rust?

  2. Vegaman_Dan

    Sorry, but that’s a $500-1000 parts beater in my area. Just no value in them. Sure, you could throw some paint on it and double the value to $1000-2000, but that’s about it. Just no real demand in the Pacific Northwest for a beater van.

    That said, how about a 69 A series Dodge with those big round headlight surrounds? I’d much rather go after a more classic style in the Seattle area:

    At $500 and a slant six, I’d be more interested in that. It needs more work, but it’s also thousands less and has more desirability.

  3. Ken Carney

    Would use this as is for a paper route van. It does have good bones, but I
    think that it’s overpriced for what you get. Wait…what? No A/C? Wouldn’t
    work here in Florida where the temp can reach 115 degrees in July and August. Factor in the humidity, and it feels like the Amazon jungle. Nice van

  4. JimmyJ

    Seller should drop the reserve I’m stunned it bid to 2 grand.
    Just looks like a beat up old plain Jane dodge van.
    Vegaman dan knows what a cool looking dodge van looks like!

  5. Steve R

    Based on the locations of the patina it’s probably been sitting a long time, yet the seller addresses the mechanical condition with a simple “runs good”. That’s fine if you are asking $500, not $4,450.

    Steve R

  6. Steve A.

    Paint, “FREE CANDY”, on the side of it for a good laugh. 😂

    • John T

      FREE BEER would do the trick!

  7. That Guy

    The appeal must be regional, I guess. My ‘81 B350 Maxivan was scruffy but straight and genuinely rust-free, and I couldn’t get $500 for it in 2014. I took the Air Quality Board up on their $1000 offer to scrap it.

    • Steve R

      It’s really only the short 1/2 ton models that are desirable, same with trucks, late-60’s to 90’s standard cab short bed fleet sides is where the money flows.

      The Japanese love this body style Dodge van, if it was priced right and in California it would probably be on the way to the docks right now.

      Steve R

  8. SWells679

    Whoa! My step-dad had one like this (in black) when he was first dating my mom back in ’82-’83. He’d let me drive it on the deserted country roads around our po-dunk S. Texas town. I was 14. That van would haul butt! Literally. He was a Funeral Director and it was one of his “work” vans.

  9. waynard

    That’s not patina. That’s how all of our trucks look here. Won’t appraise out either: $1200-$1400 max.

  10. waynard

    This guys’ got a sense of humor. He’s got a #4+ ’67 Volvo 122 wagon listed for $17,500. I gotta find this guy.

  11. Kev

    Looks like the Possum Van on the TV series The Red Green show here in Canada

    • That Guy

      I love Red Green! His project vehicles were epic!

    • That Guy

      Thanks for that – what a hoot!

      It seems all the vans in the video are later ones, looks like 90’s or so. I wonder if the enthusiasm is that specific, or if earlier ones like this ‘83 are also raced.

      Very fun!

  12. Sam

    That guy from Graveyard Carz needs this, He can get rid of his Little Boys Bowtie Van, and Get A MOPAR (Mostly Old Parts And Rust)

  13. BradL

    I hope the seller’s “runs good” is more honest than his “rust free”. Doubt it.

  14. Jubjub

    The paint on these looked like that after about 4-5 years. Remember wearing the newness off of an ‘89 at my first job…always picking little flakes of paint off of my clothes.

  15. Matt Williams
    • Russ

      Looks to be a way better deal!

  16. Chebby Staff

    It’s neat cause it’s the short body with a V8, but come on it’s a bare bones van. Throw a coat of Earl Sheib silver on it and a set of turbine mags, BAM!

  17. David Ulrey

    The miles are good and it looks straight but $450 ?As someone that has bought and sold many vehicles I would have bought it at 500 – 700 and if I got 1500 out of it I see would have been one happy camper! 2000 ? Take the money and run like a thief in the night!!!!

  18. Mark

    How can these dodge 3/4 ton vans have 5 lugs same as the 100 and 150 series. I thought 3/4 ton and 1 tons have 8 lugs

    • TimmerVT

      I have a ’79 B200 Maxi-van (3/4 ton, loooong wheelbase) and it’s the 5×4.5 bolt pattern. it’s off that i think only the 1-ton (300/350) were 8-lug, but I think only in the latest years.

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