1989 Dodge Power Ram 50


We featured this 1989 Dodge Power Ram 50 on our Instagram profile last week, but with it's rarity, excellent condition, and unique expression of badge engineering compelled us give is a deeper look.

The Model.

In the 1980s, badge engineering was all the rage. Automotive manufacturers were rapidly expanding into foreign markets through new partnerships, and one way to streamline construction costs and boost street cred was by applying one badge to another product.

Now, this practice was not unique to the 1980s, but it did result in some pretty cool new brand expressions in new markets.

Take, for instance, this 1989 Dodge Power Ram 50. It's a re-branded Mitsubishi Might Max, which was also known as the Mitsubishi Forte in Japan. The connection between Dodge and Mitsubishi came from Chrysler. While the relationship between Chrysler and Dodge is relatively straightforward (Chrysler took ownership of Dodge in 1928), the twisted entanglement between Chrysler and Mitsubishi is a complicated alliance, to say the least.

Nonetheless, Dodge and Mitsubishi shared plenty of rebadged variants over the years: the Mitsubishi Galant was both the Dodge Colt (1971) and Dodge Challenger (1978), the Mitsubishi 3000GT was also badged as the Dodge Stealth, the Mitsubishi Montero was called the Raider by Dodge, and...well, you get the point.

The Dodge Power Ram 50, despite being a compact truck, was its own kind of beast. It was first released in 1979 as the Dodge D-50, and then the Dodge Ram 50 starting for 1981. In 1982, 4-wheel drive was made available, and applicable Ram 50's were known as the "Power Ram" 50 - Dodge-speak for 4-wheel drive.

1987 was the first model year for the 2nd Generation Ram 50, as well as the first model year for other small Dodge truck - the Dakota - which would go on to enjoy a long continuous run ending in 2011. The Ram 50 would cease production in 1994, and it's badge-mate, the Mitsubishi Mighty Max, was taken out of the U.S. market in 1996 without a successor due to slow sales.

The Specs.

While the intricacies of the Power Ram 50's history offers a fascinating view into the inner-workings of Dodge HQ, the truck itself is, of course, one awesome fourbie. It was offered with gas-powered, diesel, and turbo-diesel engine variations and in either 2-wheel drive as the Dodge Ram 50 or 4-wheel drive as the Dodge Power Ram 50.

This particular variation is equipped with a 2.6L 4G54 I4 engine mated to a 5-speed manual transmission and transfer case. It has all the markings of a kick-ass Dodge, with the practicality and quirkiness of an 80s Japanese truck.

And here’s a quick rundown of what this rig comes with:


  • 103,783 miles shown on the odometer (TMU)
  • 2.6L I4 4G54 
  • 5-speed manual transmission and transfer case
  • 4-wheel drive
  • Power steering
  • Power brakes
  • Front suspension: Torsion bar with shocks
  • Rear suspension: Leaf springs with shocks


  • Leer bed-topper
  • Aftermarket AM/FM/CD stereo
  • Chrome bumpers, front and rear
  • Polished wheels
  • Michelin X Radial LT tires

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