By Patrick Rall
While the Dodge Rampage is a far cry from the Ram pickups that we usually talk about on Truckin Fast Wednedays, this K-car based compact has a bed so it is technically a truck. And with a quarter mile time in the low 13s it is definitely truckin’ fast. Also, the basic rarity of the Rampage – especially those that will comfortably outrun many modern muscle cars – makes this tiny pickup a fitting feature vehicle.
If you are not familiar with the Dodge Rampage, it was a compact “coupe utility” vehicle built by Chrysler for the 1982-1984 model years. Built on the L-platform, the Rampage was closely related to the fabled K car and it packed a drivetrain based on the K car’s. This meant that it was powered by a 2.2L carbureted 4-cylinder engine making just 96 horsepower, anything but fast. Luckily, with similarities between the Rampage and the high performance turbo Dodge models like the Shadow and Daytona, the Rampage is ripe for an engine swap.
Nothing is known about the Dodge Rampage in the video below but we can guess that its engine’s been swapped to one of the powerful turbocharged engines that would have been featured in the Shelby Dodge products. Those turbocharged engines made the likes of the Shelby Daytona or the Shelby Omni among the quickest American cars of that era so when transplanted into the lightweight Rampage pickup, it makes for one quick little truck. Realistically, with a quarter mile time of 13.15 @ 104 miles per hour, the Rampage in the video below is even fast by our modern standards. This compact Rampage pickup might not haul as much cargo as the 2013 Ram but it most certainly hauls just as much ass – and more.
Note: The video doesn’t offer a very good look at the Rampage so I dug up the image above from Wikipedia. The Rampage shown above is not the Rampage in the video shown here.