First-generation Dakota Runs Mid-12s: Track Time Tuesday

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Modified Mopar pickup reminds us why we all fell in love with Dodge’s mid-sized truck.

This week’s Track Time Tuesday comes to us from the 1320 Races YouTube channel and it features a first generation Dodge Dakota making a run down the quarter mile of New England Dragway. If you removed the “drag pack” wheels and tires along with all of the decals, you might mistake it for an average mid-sized truck, but as the video below shows, this Dakota is anything but average.

The Machine

Unfortunately, there are no details included with the video, but a few aspects of this truck are obvious from the footage. We can see that this Dakota has fat tires out back wrapped in either drag radials or slicks along with skinny wheels and tires up front. It also appears that this truck has some sort of upgraded suspension, allowing it to make better use of the big power and sticky grip.

First Gen Dodge Dakota Burnout Box

As for the engine, we do not know what it under the hood, but it is definitely some variety of big V8. This Dakota could have come from the factory with a 5.2-liter V8 and that mill could be built to offer the power exercised, but it is just as likely that this Dodge pickup is fitted with some other late-model V8. There are plenty of big-power options with the 5.9-liter Magnum with stroker kits and forced induction, but that is all speculation.

What we don’t need to speculate about is the fact that this old mid-sized truck gets down the track in a hurry.

First Gen Dodge Dakota Mid Track

Big RPM Launch

The video begins with the first generation Dodge Dakota cleaning off the tires and inching up to the starting line. As the truck stages, we can hear the engine RPM roar and when the green light drops, the mid-sized pickup rips away from the starting line. With the roar of the healthy V8, the caged pickup pulls hard through the top end, stopping the timers with a 12.423 at 105.09 miles per hour.

Dodge Dakota Runs 12.42

Trucks like this early Dakota led the way for the boom in sport trucks that continued with the second generation Dodge mid-sized pickups, so crank up your speakers and enjoy.

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Longtime auto journalist Patrick Rall contributes to Ford Truck Enthusiasts, Rennlist, Club Lexus, F-150 Online, and YotaTech.

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