- Written by webmin
Image courtesy oldcarbrochures.com
Part of the fun of our Class of 1986 series has been identifying the new-for-1986 vehicles now considered classics, based on the rolling 25-year guideline – or, alternately, the vehicles with production runs ending that year. Doing so pulls into perfect clarity just how a quarter-century can distort our sense of time, making it seem both distant and recent, depending on your point of view. Of course, not every vehicle began or ended its production run in 1986, as we see from this week’s pick, the 1986 Dodge Ram trucks and Dodge Ramcharger.
In fact, taking a fairly loose view of things, the 1986 Dodge Ram and Ramcharger actually date back to 1972 and 1974, respectively, with only gradual improvements made over those 14 years, including a restyle in 1981. (And, in fact, the same basic truck platform would continue to underpin the Ram through 1993.) As in 1972, the 225-cu.in. slant-six served as the base engine in the pickups, with a 318 and 360 available as options; Ramcharger buyers started with the 318 and could move up to the 360. Power levels, of course, differed over the years: From 110 to 95 in the slant six, from 150 to 135 in the 318, and from 180 to 185 in the 360. While Chrysler made much ado about a facelift for the 1986 Ram and Ramcharger, the new grille, headlamps and turn signals amounted to just minor tweaking. This year, however, would see the last of the D100, a light-duty version of the D150 (1,000-pounds lighter payload) that was introduced to compete against the Ford Ranger and Chevrolet S-10. While Ramcharger and full-size pickup sales dropped from 1985 to 1986 (from 37,055 to 20,815 and from 167,325 to 119,581, respectively), that drop was caused by the temporary shutdown of a Dodge truck production facility for changeover to accommodate the upcoming Dakota pickup.
Sure, these trucks aren’t particularly rare or exotic, but we’ve seen time and again in this hobby how some of the most common vehicles on the road in one generation can become the next generation’s collectibles. That said, would you add a 1986 Dodge Ram or Ramcharger to your garage dedicated to 1986 vehicles? Or do you see nothing special in these trucks?