1992 Dodge Dakota, 2.5 liter 4 cyl. 5 speed manual trans, electric blue with a grey interior.
Back in the late ’90s I really needed a decent daily driver, preferably something that got better MPGs than The Nuclear Pumpkin was getting. A friend of mine, Richard, was trying to sell his Dakota pickup and was having no luck in finding a buyer. Since I was already working on his ’70 Challenger convertible (complete restoration), we struck a deal for $2,000 cash in his pocket plus about $2,000 credit towards his repair bill.
The funny thing is, years before, when my (now ex-)wife started wrecking our 1992 Plymouth Sundance (which was also electric blue in color), I had bought a quart of paint that I ended up not using on the Sundance. I had given the paint to Richard for this truck and when I bought it, he gave that quart of paint back to me. What comes around, goes around, right?
So the Dakota served very well over the years, with me putting an additional 120K miles on it (and a half-dozen head gaskets). But after a trip to Montana with my son and my dog (a basset hound), I vowed to never own another regular cab truck.
More time, more dings, and more peeling paint; and the truck is looking pretty tattered. Out came the sand paper and off went the paint. It was an easy, stock paint job with only minor repairs (zero rust).
I drove it for a couple more years, all the time wondering if the original engine was ever going to give up completely. I started to build a 2.5 Turbo engine for it, but that idea had 2 major snags – (1) having the FWD crankshaft drilled to accept a RWD pilot bushing, and (2) having the intake modified to put the throttle body on the opposite end.
I ended up selling the rebuilt turbo engine to my friend Brian, then I sold the truck on Craigslist for $1900.