By Patrick Rall
The first generation Dodge Dakota came with a couple different V8 engines that helped make them a blast to drive but compared to the modern Hemi V8 – the 5.2L and 5.9L engines offered in the early Dakota pale in comparison. With that in mind, taking the compact form of the 1st gen Dakota and packing the mighty Hemi V8 under the hood would make one nasty street truck and that is exactly what DF member 69rrbruce did with his regular cab short bed 98 Dakota.
While installing the 5.7L Hemi with around 350 stock horsepower would make a 1998 Dakota one quick little truck, 69rrbruce went a step further and added the camshaft from the 6.1L Hemi, a painted LX intake manifold and a dual exhaust system to get even more power from this hefty Hemi. The scary part about this project truck is that with the hood down, this Dakota doesn’t look all that different from your run of the mill 1st gen Dakota so there is a good chance that 69rrbruce has caught more than a few unsuspecting muscle car owners off guard at a stop light.