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Texas Field Find: 1979 Dodge D-50 Sport

It must be fairly dry in Early, Texas where the seller found this 1979 Dodge D-50 Sport pickup sitting in a field. The seller has this bright and solid project truck posted here on eBay with an unmet opening bid of $2,500 and no reserve after that.

Some of you may remember that I bought a similar truck a couple of years ago, a 1980 Dodge D-50 Sport in orange as seen here on Barn Finds. I just about jumped out of my skin when I saw this yellow one. I would love to have a yellow Plymouth Arrow pickup but another D-50 Sport in a different color would be fun, too. Why I don’t have a clue, it’ll just be something else for my wife to have hauled away during my estate sale. You can see the black body side molding is mostly missing on the driver’s side even though they say that the passenger side seems to have weathered more than the driver’s side from sitting out in a field for about a dozen years.

These trucks were named the Dodge D-50 for 1979 and 1980 after which time they became part of the Dodge Ram family, mainly the Ram 50. These early D-50s were rebadged Mitsubishi Forte pickups and I can attest that they’re great trucks. This one is quite a bit rougher than mine is but hey, it’s a truck, albeit a 1,400-pound-payload truck with a 6.5-foot box, not a monster pickup of 2019. The bed floor shows some heavy surface rust but reportedly there is no rust-through anywhere.

The seats are interesting in these trucks. These could use some new padding and a few repairs but that shouldn’t be a big problem. The regular D-50 trucks had a bench seat and standard 4-speed and the D-50 Sport models were an upgrade with bucket seats, a tach, and a couple of other nice features, including a bigger engine and a 5-speed manual. The big feature or big drawback, depending on how a person looks at it, is that this truck has the optional automatic transmission. I love the standard 5-speed manual in mine. Here’s a pic that I took.. cough.. I mean, that my passenger took, during the three-hour drive home after buying it in April of 2017.

Another nice feature of the Sport version was being equipped with Mitsubishi’s 4G54 2.6L inline-four with 105 hp. My truck has more than enough horsepower for me. 200 hp would be nice but I don’t really need any more than it has now. The non-Sport pickups got the 2.0L with around 92 hp. They have done some maintenance work such as the new radiator that you see and a new alternator, fuel pump, valve seals, and other things. It still doesn’t run perfectly but it’s most likely Mikuni-carburetor-related. They still have the factory air cleaner, by the way. Are there any fans of these small pickups out there?


  1. Nevada1/2rack Nevadahalfrack Member

    This was our family’s 1st small 2wd p/u (blue) which coincided with the gold 4×4 Dodge Raider née Mitsubishi Montero.They were well built and fun to drive for what they were designed/engineered..

    Like 3
  2. karl

    Its a nice looking little truck , but these things disintegrated like all the little import trucks did in New England ; few made it through the mid 80s . Hopefully the buyer lives in a drier climate , this is a real survivor !

    Like 2
  3. Will

    I bought one for 50 bucks a years ago. It was a rust bucket but ran good. Unsafe for the highway, I let the kids use it to play on our property and used it for brush hauling. It taught all 4 of my kids how to drive a stick. My wife had it towed off when I failed to get it unstuck from a muddy spot quick enough to satisfy her. We had a lot of fun for that 50 bucks.

    Like 9
  4. Jon

    My Girlfriend’s Dad had one of these with a camper on it back in ’80. He didn’t like the thought of me taking her out in my noisy hot rod Chevelle so he insisted we take his D50 which was basically a bedroom on wheels. He really didn’t think that one through….

    Like 17
  5. cold340t

    I miss my Lil’ Black 85′ 4x4SPX Mitsu!!! Great truck. Sold it to some pot growers in Santa Cruz. It’s living a mellow life I hope. Great truck!

    Like 5
  6. Kevin

    I had a 79 Arrow version with the 4 speed. Ditched the Mikuni and replaced it with a Weber conversion kit from JC Whitney. It was my daily commuter for quite awhile. A blast to drive! My wife loved it and we usually argued over who was going to drive it to work!

    Like 5
  7. Gary D. Oliver

    I have a 91 Ram 50. The only complaint I have is the rough ride. Has anyone on this site figured out how to make them ride smoother? Living in Oakland County, Michigan might be part of the problem with their horrific roads. Has anyone changed the springs?

    Like 3
    • Nevada1/2rack Nevadahalfrack Member

      Because It’s an honest old-style truck it’ll ride rough even with good shocks all the way around UNLESS you have some weight in the back..

      We used our 2wd to get over the mountain passes in winter with studded snow tires on all 4 rims and a front-end loaders’ worth of snow on the bed; think snow removal at any decent size parking lot and offer the operator a breakfast from a local drive-thru or even just a hot cup of coffee!

      Good choice in small trucks on your part, BTW.

      Had a friend tried Teflon strips between the leaf springs too, but I dunno about that one.

      Like 2
    • GTiDave

      Ha! I see the roads haven’t improved since I left Oakland County. Did you try a few bags of sand in the back? That should calm it down a bit.

      Like 1
  8. Bob C.

    Yes Scotty, I remember you scooped that other truck right up. That was a sweet deal.

    Like 2
  9. That Guy

    Wow, that sure looks good for having sat in a field for a decade. I don’t understand how the interior isn’t completely trashed at the very least.

    Like 1
  10. Loadstar

    As 4 cylinders go the 2.6 is a big disappointment. Big low power and 6 cylinder fuel economy . I’d rather have a webber carburetor on the Mitsubishi 2.0 with headers . The AMC 2.5 was a much much better engine .

    Like 2
  11. Maestro1

    I am a big fan of this truck. I had two and sold one. I still have the other one, a Plymouth Arrow, which celebrates its 39th birthday this year. I’ve had it for thirteen years. They will bury me in it. I’m never selling it. No power equipment, it’s a 4 speed no power steering, the best parts getter
    and run around the territory truck there is, 90hp 2 Liter engine that starts everytime. You can get anywhere in it SLOWLY.

    Best wishes to all Barn Finders.

    Like 7
  12. Eric Murray

    I lived in Portales, NM (30 miles from Texas; 100 miles from Amarillo and Lubbock) for just over a year, up until last October. You’d be amazed how many ‘70s, 80s and 90s mini trucks are in that town. Multiple 70s Datsun pickups, multiple ram 50s, etc.

    Like 3
  13. Gregory Lietz

    I’ve always wanted one of these. One of my bosses here in Michigan had a hot rod shop and he had a D50 for a shop truck. It was fun for what it was. I wanted to drop a small block in it for more fun.

    Like 0
  14. Mike

    My one and only new vehicle purchase was a 1980 dodge D 50. 2.0 4 speed white. I had custom stripes painted on, wheels, bf goodrich tires customized the interior, had it for six years, didnt drive it in new england winters. Always wanted to drop a small block in it. Family came along and away went the truck. I would love to get another one someday and finish what i started!

    Like 0
  15. Daniel Fowler

    I had an identical one to the one pictured….except mine was the 5 speed manual, I drove it in high school….wound up wrecking it..

    Like 0

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