Home » You Can Buy A Weird SUV Based On The Legendary Second-Generation Dodge Ram, But There’s A Catch

You Can Buy A Weird SUV Based On The Legendary Second-Generation Dodge Ram, But There’s A Catch

Ramcharger Mexico Ts1
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If you input the correct search terms into Facebook Marketplace right now, you’ll find some forbidden fruit that somehow made it to Colorado. Your eyes don’t deceive you! Yes, that really is a second-generation Dodge Ram wearing the body of an SUV. You’re looking at the Mexico market-only third-generation Dodge Ramcharger that we never got on this side of the border. The seller even wants just $10,000 for the SUV, which isn’t bad for an import you won’t see often. However, before you rush to the bank you should know that this SUV might have a skeleton in its closet.

This weird SUV comes to us from the private Facebook group Overlanding for the Poors. It’s caused a lot of confusion, but I can explain what is most likely going on here. As of writing, I know of four of these SUVs for sale here in the United States. They aren’t that rare. However, you might want to think twice before exchanging your hard-earned money for one.

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Vidframe Min Bottom

It’s a shame, too, because there’s a lot to love here.

A Dodge Ram For People Who Don’t Need A Bed

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Dodge Ramcharger For Sale

The second-generation Dodge Ram is a legendary truck. It’s one of those pickups that arguably changed the future. The second-generation Ram was a leap forward in design. A pickup was no longer just a work tool, but an aspirational vehicle that made your inner child feel like you were driving a big rig.

My retrospective explains how Dodge did it:

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In 1986, Chrysler’s Advanced Package Studio produced the first design study for the then-upcoming truck. It was dubbed the Louisville Slugger and while the truck was plenty utilitarian, it looked like a minivan with its roof chopped off. The truck was perfectly inoffensive, like the kind of cars a video game developer makes to avoid licensing issues. Unfortunately, bland looks weren’t the Louiville Slugger’s only problem. It had a spacious cab and large box, but the engine bay was too small to fit the Cummins or the planned V10 engine. That was a non-starter and the design study was dropped in 1987.

Later that year, design transferred to the AMC/Jeep design studio, and that crew produced a new truck, nicknamed Phoenix, but that one reportedly looked a bit like a clone of the Ford F-150. Oops. In 1989, executive Bob Lutz and executive Francois Castaing decided to can the Phoenix as well. Instead of sending the truck’s designers back to the drawing board, Lutz ordered the development to be restarted from the beginning with six months to come up with something new. In addition to starting from scratch, the designers would work from start to finish in Computer Aided Three-Dimensional Interactive Application.

When it came to the design, the mission was to be original and go bold. The truck’s designers went flipping through the pages of Dodge’s past at its Power Wagon trucks from World War II. Along the way, they found American big rigs, and that sparked an idea. Chrysler former vice president of design Tom Gale noted to Ars Technica in 2021 that the second-generation Ram had retro style. But, instead of borrowing from Chrysler’s past, designers copied the looks of Kenworth and Peterbilt semis.

Dodge

The second-generation Ram was a runaway success. It launched in 1994 with sales jumping a huge 143 percent. Buyers got Ram fever and in 1995, sales continued with a 77 percent spike. The second-gen Ram won Motor Trend‘s Truck of the Year award in 1994 and Dodge’s truck market share lept from around 6 percent into the 20s.

Engine choices were far and wide, too, from the baby 3.9-liter Magnum V6 to a burly 8.0-liter Magnum V10 and the iconic Cummins 5.9 turbodiesel. Sadly, despite how much the Ram rocks, we never got it in any other flavor than pickup truck. That’s where Mexico comes in later.

From 1974 to 1993, Dodge sold a shortened version of the Dodge D series and later Dodge Ram truck, but with a rear seat and a roof cap over where the bed would be. This SUV was built as Chrysler’s answer to the Chevrolet K5 Blazer and the Ford Bronco.

Dodgetruckin Img027
Dodge

The Ramcharger was never really a hot seller. As Motor Trend notes, Chrysler’s entry into the two-door SUV market was more than a decade late, and launched right on time for high fuel prices and emissions equipment to do their damage. Still, as Motor Trend notes, Dodge and Plymouth managed to move at least 13,000 Ramchargers and Trail Dusters for the first six years of production.

The Ramcharger was granted a second generation in 1981 and sales did improve, but it wouldn’t last. As Allpar notes, Americans had an insatiable lust for Dakotas, Rams, and B-series vans, but they didn’t really care much about the poor Ramcharger. In 1987, Dodge moved 22,828 units. In 1988, the year the Ramcharger got throttle body fuel injection, sales dipped to 19,955 units. That year, 88,666 Ram pickups were sold, and remember that the Ramcharger was based on the Ram! Dodge also sold 91,850 Dakotas and 83,279 B-series vans that year.

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Dodge

Sales fell into a freefall and by 1993, just 3,687 Ramchargers went to new homes. As DrivingLine writes, the Ramcharger likely became a victim of changing American tastes. Two-door SUVs lost their swagger in the marketplace and instead, buyers were gravitating toward other vehicles, be it minivans or four-door SUVs. As noted earlier, Dodge was already hard at work making the Ram into a baby big rig, and ultimately decided not to continue Ramcharger sales in the United States. Mexican buyers got to enjoy the third-generation Ramcharger for a little longer until 1996.

Mexico’s Ram Charger

Dodge Ramcharger 1999 Photos 1
DaimlerChrysler De Mexico

As Curbside Classic notes, demand for a two-door SUV remained in Mexico. In response, Dodge decided to cobble together a new Ramcharger in two years on a budget of just $3 million. To facilitate this, Dodge took the body of a Ram and modified it from the B-pillar back.

The Mexican market Ramcharger, which was marketed as the “Ram Charger” in two words, featured quarter windows from the Ram Quad Cab, a tailgate from a Chrysler minivan, and a frame borrowed from the half-ton Ram modified to a 113.7-inch wheelbase.

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Mecum Auctions
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Dodge Ramcharger For Sale

The resulting 198-inch SUV was larger than the 193.3-inch Dodge Durango, but sported two doors instead of four. Weirdly, the neo-Ram Charger did have three rows of seats, but the third row was a sideways folding unit. Also a bit odd was running gear. Buyers had access to either a 5.2-liter or 5.9-liter Magnum V8, but only rear-wheel-drive. Likewise, your transmission choices were either a four-speed manual or a four-speed automatic.

Still, I bet the Mexican market Ram Charger was a fun SUV. That 5.2-liter Magnum V8 put out 230 HP and 295 lb-ft of torque while the 5.9-liter Magnum V8 spit 245 HP and 335 lb-ft of torque.

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Reportedly, the Mexican auto press responded well to the Ram Charger, but sales weren’t strong. These SUVs were built and sold in Mexico starting in 1998 for the model years 1999 to 2001. Over that time, just 30,000 units were sold before even Mexican car buyers got too bored of two-door SUVs. It’s not known exactly why the Ram Charger never made it across the Mexican border. Some point to safety, and it’s true that base Ram Chargers didn’t even have airbags.

Npaz F8dd93cb0dfb4c2eb10d705cc1a
DaimlerChrysler De Mexico

However, as Curbside Classic notes, one of the SUV’s designers once said that the Ram Charger was built to U.S. safety standards. So, Chrysler must not have seen the point, given how poorly previous Ramchargers sold and the success of the four-door Durango. Two-door SUVs just weren’t that hot anymore.

Either way, the Mexican market Ram Charger has been a forbidden fruit for about 25 years. You can now legally buy any Ram Charger built in 1998 and any Ram Charger built before today’s date in 1999.

Be Careful

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Facebook Seller

All of the four Ram Chargers I’ve found for sale in the United States right now are model-year 2000 SUVs. Unfortunately, this can mean there’s a catch to buying one of these. A 2000 Ram Charger could have been built sometime in 1999 or 2000. When it comes to the infamous “25 year rule,” the federal government cares about the vehicle’s actual build date, not its model year. So, if this 2000 Ram Charger found at Overlanding for the Poors was built less than 25 years ago, it would be illegal in the eyes of the federal government.

Sadly, commenters in the Facebook group say they’ve seen this exact SUV for sale for over a year. That would likely mean the SUV was not imported legally. But, how does that happen? How does an under-25-year-old vehicle get through the border to end up in Colorado? A hint can be found on both ends. That’s not a license plate for a U.S. state.

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Facebook Seller

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration as well as U.S. Customs And Border Protection, you can temporarily import a vehicle to travel the country, participate in races, for engineering purposes, for research, and so on. These vehicles do not need to meet Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards, but they are expected to return to their home countries. For a car imported by a non-resident, the feds expect the car to go back home after a year.

This is why you can find all sorts of non-compliant vehicles driving around America on plates from other countries. As you can guess, you’re not supposed to sell your non-compliant car. You also don’t want your vehicle to overstay its welcome. But some people do that, anyway, and it’s how you’ll see Volkswagen Amaroks driving around Chicago or a Smart Forfour in Texas.

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Facebook Seller

Officially, these cars are illegal on the federal level, but that may not stop a state from issuing a title. Some states will register just about anything with a good VIN and proof of ownership. Well, so long as that anything isn’t a Kei truck, anyway. And even if you do manage to get license plates, the feds can still find out and either demand that you send your import back where it came from at your cost, or have it crushed.

Another way to get a non-compliant vehicle into the United States would be if it has the proper EPA and NHTSA decals. Unfortunately, I’ve combed through old listings for these SUVs and have not found the necessary stickers.

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So, that’s the risk in buying that 2000 Ram Charger in Colorado. You want to ask for some sort of proof of its importation status because if it was just driven across the border and never returned, someday you might find your $10,000 investment at the business end of a crusher.

Still, if you can find one of these for sale and can prove that it was imported properly, you’ll be getting an SUV that Dodge apparently deemed not worthy of U.S. buyers. I’d also love to see one of these with a 4×4 conversion and a 5.9-liter Cummins. Otherwise, it may not have four-wheel drive, but just look at the kooky thing!

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Always broke
Always broke
1 month ago

I think that back seat is from a YJ Wrangler?

Bob
Bob
1 month ago

As a convertible-driving Euro-snob, it’s my 1985 Chevy S-10 Blazer two-door SUV that I find myself idly searching for across the internet every once in a while. So once again I am out of step with the great majority of motoring Americans.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kv-zyJZCrgM

I drive a boring SUV
I drive a boring SUV
1 month ago

The wobbly roofline, the windows that don’t line with each other, the Chrysler Voyager tailgate and lights… It looks like something someone with a sawzall and a welder might throw together in their back yard. That alone is a good reason not to buy one, regardless of its import status.

Shooting Brake
Shooting Brake
1 month ago

Or a reason too buy it! If you’re a little wobbly yourself, haha!!!

Hugh Crawford
Hugh Crawford
1 month ago

What’s to keep you from buying one of these, taking a trip to Tijuana, or Toronto bringing it back ( perhaps with some paper shuffling while there) and importing it?

It seem the obvious thing to do but you never hear about it as an option, so is there a reason it won’t work?

Mike Harrell
Mike Harrell
1 month ago
Reply to  Hugh Crawford

I gave a longer answer to Mercedes on this point, below, but the short version is that trying to “import” it after its VIN is already registered as “here” is probably more likely to draw unwanted attention than just leaving things alone would be.

Slow Joe Crow
Slow Joe Crow
1 month ago

It’s cool but I’d rather have a Ford B100, the Mexican blue Oval Suburban.

Bizness Comma Nunya
Bizness Comma Nunya
1 month ago

I want to love these, but they just don’t look right. The proportions are too weird, and the lack of 4wd… naah.

Old Ramchargers though… those are cool.

Col Lingus
Col Lingus
1 month ago

“needs proper EPA and NHTSA decals.”

“we don’t need no stinkin’ stickers.”

these do look weird and sort of bloated in the two door body.

Last edited 1 month ago by Col Lingus
Boulevard_Yachtsman
Boulevard_Yachtsman
1 month ago

Thanks for pointing this out! I grew up in a mostly-Mopar family and the pride of the fleet was a 1983 Ramcharger, custom ordered with 4wd, a 4-on-the-floor, no AC, no carpet, and a 318. It was a cool ride until the rust finally ate its frame.

This will be a fun bit of trivia at the next family get-together. Maybe I can get the Old-Man to finance a Mexican vehicle-hunting trip.

Diana Slyter
Diana Slyter
1 month ago

For a marginally interesting SUV like this, not worth the bother. On the other hand, there’s some heavy haul truckers lusting after V8 Scania’s which have never been sold in the USA. In Canada a bunch have slipped in as they have a 15 year exception vs. our 25, there’s a bunch of new ones operating off road, and a fleet of new ones running on natural gas so they’re probably emissions exempt. If I were a trucker that needed over 20% more power than US market trucks can provide and full cab air suspension I’d be seriously looking at the fine print in NAFTA and finding a state that will take my thousands of registration dollars and give me plates and/or IFTA registration.

Kyree
Kyree
1 month ago
Reply to  Diana Slyter

That’s just it, though. Truckers rely on a pretty extensive network of dealerships and service stations that can work on their tractors. If you buy a Scania or some other foreign-market vehicle that bears no mechanical resemblance to anything sold stateside, you run the risk of not being able to have it serviced in an emergency. And that can cost you real money, especially if you’re in the middle of a load.

Diana Slyter
Diana Slyter
1 month ago
Reply to  Kyree

The Scania 13 liter six is just being rolled out in International trucks, so it’s got it’s citizenship and can stay here forever. The V8 is sold and supported here as an industrial engine, and Oshkosh is putting them in their airport snow control trucks. I’ve heard there was some interest in offering the Scania V8 in International trucks, but the legacy International frame is too narrow for it to fit. But the International cab is two decades old now and the SAE standard frame is even older, so no doubt we’ll see a Scania cab and frame on International trucks in the next few years and Scania’s excellent V8 will hopefully be along for the ride!

Kyree
Kyree
1 month ago
Reply to  Diana Slyter

Ah, okay. I was trying to look up information on it and couldn’t really find anything.

Diana Slyter
Diana Slyter
1 month ago
Reply to  Kyree

scania.com

CTSVmkeLS6
CTSVmkeLS6
1 month ago

It’s so bizarre looking with the chiseled front end, the bubbly large rear-side window (what vehicle is that even from and if a unique piece, why not make it match the club-cab window edge a bit?) and the curvy egg minivan door that is too skinny for the body. And that ‘widened’ caravan-ish lights are out of wack too.
For me, tough to look at. Like Merc said, a 4×4 conversion would be cool.

Robert Cassingham
Robert Cassingham
1 month ago

Yeah, no. That generation of Ram’s appearance isn’t truly based on Peterbilts or Kenworths. Look at that fender line and hood lines. That is a close rip-off of 1960-1968 International pickup trucks and Travelalls. Also, there is a very slight rear fender bulge above the rear wheels, which is also aped (though not so obviously) from these Cornbinders.

I have owned several of these old Internationals. One day I was sitting at a traffic light, looked over my hood and fender at the Dodge next to me, and it was obvious. Go find a photo of an old Travelall or truck. You’ll see.

Fordlover1983
Fordlover1983
1 month ago

Did we get ANY version of these in the USA? I swear I saw one at a Dodge Dealer in the mid 90’s. I think it was branded as a “Trailcharger”? (mash-up of Dodge Ramcharger and Plymouth Trailduster) I would assume it was built by a coachbuilder like Centurion (like the 90’s 4-door Bronco).

LTDScott
LTDScott
1 month ago
Reply to  Fordlover1983

Nope, but I have seen one or two custom built 4-door Ram “Suburbans” from this era.

LTDScott
LTDScott
1 month ago

I’ve been fascinated with these for years, and living in San Diego I’ve seen more than a few on the road which have come up from Mexico.

Whenever one of these gets posted in an automotive group I’m part of, inevitably two points come up:

  1. People incorrectly claim that the tail lights on these are from a Caravan. They’re not, as the shape of the Ram Charger rear quarter panel is distinctive.
  2. Why didn’t Dodge sell them in America, at which time I point out that both Ford and Chevy had already abandoned the 2-door full size SUV market due to lack of demand. This is around the time when SUVs went from mostly utilitarian to suburban luxo accessories.
Jatkat
Jatkat
1 month ago
Reply to  LTDScott

People probably get the Durango taillights mixed up with these, as the 1st gen Durango totally has caravan taillights.

LTDScott
LTDScott
1 month ago
Reply to  Jatkat

Yep!

Kyree
Kyree
1 month ago
Reply to  LTDScott

On #2, you answered your own question. GM and Ford abandoned the 2-door full-sizs SUV markets for a reason. It is unlikely that Chrysler would have done especially well. The Durango made a much better vehicle for the US and Canadian markets, as did the Grand Cherokee if you didn’t need three rows.

But even if there *was* a market for these, with a $3MM budget to do the entire Ramcharger conversion, it’s possible—likely, even—that Chrysler opted for cheaper tooling on the body stampings and such, which would have had a shorter shelf life. It’s possible they chose to focus on the market where it had the most chance.

Baja_Engineer
Baja_Engineer
1 month ago
Reply to  LTDScott

Correct. I also recall GM was testing a 2dr GMT800 Tahoe back in the late 90s but ended up scrapping the idea altogether.

Mrbrown89
Mrbrown89
1 month ago

My old landlord in Mexico has one just sitting outside, I don’t know the specific model year but I will contact him soon if he is interested on selling.

https://maps.app.goo.gl/28HrHP2B6SzaRjx18

Dogisbadob
Dogisbadob
1 month ago

If it meets US safety standards, it’s probably legal to import even if under 25 years old. The CSC article even mentions the name of the designer who says it meets US standards. They probably did think about selling it here.

EPA doesn’t matter because the emissions exemption is only 21 years, and anyway, they’re engines that were used in US-market trucks.

Vetatur Fumare
Vetatur Fumare
1 month ago
Reply to  Dogisbadob

You would still have to document that it meets the US standards. Mercedes’ quoting a designer prolly won’t satisfy the Feds, and Chrysler has zero interest in issuing an affidavit or whatever.

Kyree
Kyree
1 month ago
Reply to  Vetatur Fumare

Exactly. Even with models that clearly meet US standards, no automaker wants the liability of issuing documentation stating such.

You’d have to go through the expense of proving it yourself, or of bringing the cars into compliance with modifications.

Mrbrown89
Mrbrown89
1 month ago

I found pretty interesting that the same cars sold in Mexico and sold in the US, sometimes they don’t come with the FMVSS labels. My uncle just moved to Canada (similar rules to the US) from Mexico, he has a 2014 Mazda CX-5 that he is trying to import but because of the labels missing, he is having issues. Mazda provided them a letter but didn’t state the emission part as compliance, they are still waiting a resolution from the Canadian authorities.

RKranc
RKranc
1 month ago
Reply to  Mrbrown89

I seem to recall reading that even though two vehicles are the same year and model, sometimes the Mexican market versions are pretty different under the skin due to much lower safety and emissions standards. That could also contribute to the lack of FMVSS labels.

Kyree
Kyree
1 month ago
Reply to  Mrbrown89

That’s probably done on purpose, to prevent American dealers from having to compete with Canadian ones. After all, protecting US-market dealerships and sales networks was the reason the stupid 25-year rule was conceived.

LTDScott
LTDScott
1 month ago

At which point you’d need a letter from the manufacturer proving this, and good luck with that.

IRegertNothing, Esq.
IRegertNothing, Esq.
1 month ago

It sounds like Dodge made this version of the Ram Charger as cheaply as they could, so I can see it conforming to US standards by virtue of it being a US truck with a cap but without bothering to get it certified. The budget didn’t include making it compliant for a market they never intended to sell it in.

Ranwhenparked
Ranwhenparked
1 month ago
Reply to  Dogisbadob

It was designed to be able to meet US standards, in the event DaimlerChrysler decided to sell it here, but that doesn’t mean that it met US standards as built for sale on the Mexican domestic market. For instance, front air bags were an extra cost option, so a Mexican-market Ram Charger wouldn’t necessarily have them, but they were mandatory in the US.

You would have to get a letter from Stellantis attesting that the vehicle meets all applicable federal safety standards in effect on the date of manufacture, regardless of the lack of a label on the vehicle stating that. Which, good luck.

They likely designed it to be able to pass crash tests and meet all FMVSS standards with some tweaks to the standard equipment list, but never bothered to actually get it US-certified or go through with those modifications

Totally not a robot
Totally not a robot
1 month ago

So this thing is illegal because “safety,” but if I were to buy a US-market Ram, Caravan, and Durango, and mash the bodies and chassis together in my garage, it would be 100% ok to drive on public roads.

Ranwhenparked
Ranwhenparked
1 month ago

That is correct, yes. Similar to how I can’t buy a 1978 model British car that can pass a curb idle emissions test, because it lacks a catalytic converter, and I’m not permitted to retrofit a compatible one because it wasnt factory equipment, but I can buy a 1967 or older anything that can’t and won’t pass any emissions standards whatsoever

Urban Runabout
Urban Runabout
1 month ago

Ford and GM have been doing odd Truck-SUV mashups south of the border for decades

Look up the Ford B100 and B250

And the Chevy C10 Pickup from the 60’s

Baja_Engineer
Baja_Engineer
1 month ago
Reply to  Urban Runabout

Many of these mashups were the consequence of the Mexican government passing laws to push local vehicle production, while limiting most imports.
From 1962 to 1989 the vast majority of new cars sold in Mexico were produced there, but it also meant not every car or truck greenlighted for Mexican production would necessarily be a carbon copy from what it was made in Michigan, Japan nor Canada due to cost constrains.

That’s why Mexico got the B100 and B250 instead of the Bronco, watered down versions of the Chevy square bodies without big blocks nor 4×4 and generic flat taillights instead of the wrap arounds, a Dodge Super Bee based on the Valiant (1st gen) and Aspen (2nd gen), and all the AMC vehicles rebadged as VAM with different body parts and powertrains, as well as extending the lifecycles of many products including the Beetle (which would outlive this period), the Datsun/Nissan 720 pickups (sold through 93), the Chevy square body pickups (that wouldn’t be replaced by the GMT-400s until 92), and so on.

Initially it was a bright idea because the market boomed and the government even made a push for exports, but it ultimately back fired as the vehicles choices would be extremely limited and some automakers would end up leaving like VAM and Renault. When these laws were superseded by a free market only 5 brands were producing and selling in Mexico: GM, Ford, Chrysler, Nissan and VW.

Last edited 1 month ago by Baja_Engineer
Shop-Teacher
Shop-Teacher
1 month ago

I’d love to own one of these someday. Legally, of course. And I’m perfectly happy leaving it 2wd.

10001010
10001010
1 month ago

I’ve seen a Smart Roadster Brabus here in a Houston a few times, with Mexican plates on it.

Logan King
Logan King
1 month ago

I always thought it was weird that Chrysler just didn’t bother competing in this space when it was blowing up in the 90s.

Rust Buckets
Rust Buckets
1 month ago
Reply to  Logan King

They did though. The Durango was Chryslers model in the midsize SUV market which was blowing up in the 90s. The fullsize two door SUV market was not.

DC Nate
DC Nate
1 month ago
Reply to  Rust Buckets

I’m guessing his comment was regarding a competitor to the Tahoe, Suburban and Expedition. Which I’ve always found odd too. And the Wagoneer/Grand Wagoneer that finally came out is an expensive disappointment.

Boxing Pistons
Boxing Pistons
1 month ago

I’d say this was deemed unworthy due to its lack of doors. Chevy sold a full-size 2-door SUV well into the nineties and that didn’t go so well. Maybe Chrysler just had better foresight.. I still want the Chevy btw.

IRegertNothing, Esq.
IRegertNothing, Esq.
1 month ago

This sounds like a lot of potential headaches or money down the drain for a not particularly novel vehicle. Put a bed cap on a US market second gen crew cab Ram, and you basically have this truck without the sideways 3rd row.

Last edited 1 month ago by IRegertNothing, Esq.
IRegertNothing, Esq.
IRegertNothing, Esq.
1 month ago

BTW I just found a new obscure Jeep for David to fall in love with. This listing was under the Ram Charger ad. A military 6×6 Jeep set up as a mobile command and communications post? David would live in it full time if we let him.

https://www.facebook.com/marketplace/item/775802674648719/?ref=product_details&referral_code=marketplace_top_picks&referral_story_type=top_picks

Boxing Pistons
Boxing Pistons
1 month ago

This is the second time that I’ve read how the original Ram (Phoenix) concept from 1986 copied a 1992 Ford F150.. Not sure how that’s possible. Maybe I’m missing something.

Taco Shackleford
Taco Shackleford
1 month ago

It’s really disappointing to learn these have a Caravan tailgate. I had always assumed it would have been the Durango tailgate. The Caravan tailgate just doesn’t blend with the vehicle, and my mind is trying to reconcile the fact that it say Ram Charger where it should say Caravan.

StillNotATony
StillNotATony
1 month ago

If you managed to register it, but the feds didn’t find out until after it was outside the 25 year rule, would/could they still come after you?

OSpazX
OSpazX
1 month ago
Reply to  StillNotATony

Probably depends on your ability to bribe

StillNotATony
StillNotATony
1 month ago

If the feds haven’t noticed yet, I wonder if you could send it back to Mexico, then re-import it once it crosses 25 years? Or is it once tainted, it’s forever tainted?

DadBod
DadBod
1 month ago
Reply to  StillNotATony

taint he he

Bill Garcia
Bill Garcia
1 month ago

That’s where my head went – I’d store close to the border and drive it down the border when it turns 25 and then do the paperwork.

Still sounds like more trouble than this particular specimen would be worth to me though!

Mike Harrell
Mike Harrell
1 month ago

My guess is this would go wrong in one of two ways:

(1) Upon trying to bring it [back] into the country, someone would notice that this VIN is associated with a vehicle already registered in the US. Scrutiny ensues. Bad outcome occurs.

(2) If, to avoid the first outcome, one attempts to “sell” it to someone in Mexico before “buying it back” to import it, there’s now the matter of hoping nobody looks too closely at the export paperwork for this step or ties it together with the import paperwork on the way back. If so, scrutiny ensues…

Dogisbadob
Dogisbadob
1 month ago
Reply to  StillNotATony

There was an article about this on Jalopnik a few years ago regarding a lawyer arguing it was moot once the cars turned 25.

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