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Turbo Diesel 5-Speed: 1992 Dodge Ram W250 Club Cab

In the world of vintage pickup trucks, a sure-fire way to make your money back after using a rig for a few years is to buy one equipped with the Cummins turbodiesel under the hood. The lineup of 1980s and early 1990s Dodge products equipped with the highly durable 12V Cummins engine hold their value incredibly well thanks to the longevity of the drivetrain. The seller of this truck is asking all the money for a rig with some cosmetic needs, but then again, this particular 1992 Dodge Ram W250 Club Cab listed here on craigslist stands out for having relatively low mileage and the rare 5-speed manual gearbox. It’s listed for $25,000 and located in Las Vegas.

The listing is quite verbose, providing a detailed account of how this Dodge escaped the traditional perils of being a workhorse for a farmer or contractor and was instead used more as a recreational vehicle for the longtime original owner. Purchased new in California, it has spent its life out west and the clean undersides confirm the previous owner avoided driving it in any conditions involving road salt. Of course, the real treat here is the combination of the Cummins with a 5-speed manual, which is a combo you rarely see. The interior is immaculate, and more than makes up for some of the faded paint and dings we see on the exterior.

The Cummins made a very respectable 400 lb-ft of torque, and even if that number and the 160 horsepower rating isn’t particularly impressive by today’s standards, it was a game-changer in 1992. I don’t have a ton of recollection about diesel engines at the time, but I do recall there being a general acceptance that a diesel-powered truck was going to be exceedingly lethargic and slow to get up to highway speeds. I like to think that between Mercedes-Benz churning out diesel sedans and Dodge sticking a Cummins turbodiesel under the hood of its top-tier trucks, sentiment began to change with this era.

These days, your average gasoline-powered luxury SUV makes that kind of torque and way more horsepower, but that same rig is also incredibly fragile. The Dodge shown here is an anvil, a brick outhouse on wheels. The seller notes that the original tailgate was recently put back on the truck as the previous owner towed a small 5th wheel trailer and had a dedicated gate for that purpose; the “LE” trim is missing but otherwise you can certainly tell that the tailgate was removed when the truck was still fairly new. As I said, I feel this is a top-tier price for a truck like this, but very few of these come up for sale anymore, especially with under 150,000 miles and a 5-speed stick. Thanks to Barn Finds reader T.J. for the find.

Comments

  1. Avatar photo Nelson C

    I’m still fond of these old brutes. Rode like a 20- year old truck when new because it was a 20 year old truck. Old farmers would come in the dealer on a sub zero morning just to see if it would start up cold. Brand X owners would say they were tired of being passed by them going up hill. The Dodge-Cummins relationship changed the truck landscape forever.

    Like 17
    • Avatar photo Big C

      Yep. Put Dodge firmly in third place in the truck wars. Out of three makes.

      Like 1
      • Avatar photo Nelson C

        You sound like the Chevy engineer who predicted Dodge truck would be out of business by 1995. Of course today they work to keep from slipping into 3rd place themselves.

        Like 7
  2. Avatar photo Big Bear 🇺🇸

    Wow a great truck to own. But the price is a wee bit high. $19,500.00 is better because if I brought this … It would go right into the body shop to repainted it. Of course the original colors. I noticed the cover on the dash pad. I wonder if it’s cracked or just protecting it. That motor will go on forever as long you take care of it. The stick does help it move a little quicker off the line. If that truck was closer to me I would take a look at it. And worry later where to park it! 😂 Good luck to the next owner. 🐻🇺🇸

    Like 7
  3. Avatar photo Mike F.

    It’ll go for what he’s asking or close. Here in the mountain west these in good shape, like this one, are like gold. A rancher or livestock hauler could buy this and use it hard for 10 years, not having to pay 65 grand or more for a new powerstroke or duramax. It’d do as well as they would. We see lots of these still being used regularly here in rural Colorado.

    Like 10
  4. Avatar photo Rw

    Trailer

    Like 0
  5. Avatar photo Harry

    Verbose indeed. It’s definitely good to share as much information as one can but that was an exhaustive read.

    Great truck. It’ll bring 25k easy.

    Like 4
    • Avatar photo James

      Yep. At that mileage, being a 5 speed AND 4WD. As long as it’s rust free, it could probably bring more. Well, a few years ago it could have.

      Like 1
  6. Avatar photo Carbob Member

    Here in mid Atlantic coastal area, this truck would have no problem finding a buyer that will pay or at least come close to the seller’s asking price. I love these but truthfully it is way more truck than I need at this point in my life. I don’t have a big boat to tow anymore. My 1999 Dodge Ram 1500 with the 318 V8 is plenty for me now and still gets the job done. GLWTS.

    Like 4
  7. Avatar photo Gary Raymond Member

    My old fishin buddy bought one of these new…diesel/5 speed. I remember the first time driving it, he said “start out in 2nd, 1st is a stump puller”. He was right! Great truck.

    Like 4
    • Avatar photo Jim

      1st would drive the truck straight up a brick wall!

      Like 2
  8. Avatar photo ron wroblewsky

    i think most were a 5spd

    Like 2
  9. Avatar photo Roger

    after all that, the tailgate trim is missing. What a drag.

    Like 0
  10. Avatar photo Gus

    Still prefer a Ford

    “drop the mic”

    Like 0

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