HomePick of the DayPick of the Day: 1996 Dodge Dakota with low miles, performance upgrades

Pick of the Day: 1996 Dodge Dakota with low miles, performance upgrades

The one-owner pickup is powered by a modified Magnum V8


The Pick of the Day is a low-mileage, performance-upgraded 1996 Dodge Dakota Club Cab two-wheel-drive pickup listed for sale on ClassicCars.com by a private seller in Apex, North Carolina.

“I’m the original owner,” the seller states in the listing.  “Ordered in September ’95, delivered in October.” 

In the subsequent 26 years the seller has owned the pickup, it has clocked just 65,500 miles, according to the ad.  Unlike most Dodge Dakotas, this one wasn’t put to work as a construction hauler or a utility truck.  Instead, it was treated as a collector vehicle — preserved, customized, and lightly driven. 


A fresh blue metallic paint job was applied in 2002 and the gray cloth interior remains original, in nice condition.

If it weren’t for the Hurst shift lever visible on the interior photos, this Dakota might look like an all-original, unmodified example.  But the uniqueness of this Dodge pickup lies beneath its hood, where the 318cid Magnum V8 has received a long list of go-fast goodies including a Mopar M1 intake, Mopar pushrods, Bosch injectors, Crane rockers, and overdrive pulleys. 

There’s also been some “show” added along with that “go,” including a tonneau cover, a bed liner, a Lund hood shield and tinted windows.


“This truck is like new,” the listing concludes.  “I would set this vehicle up against anything sitting on a showroom floor.  Everything works.  All switches, dials, gauges, latches, bulbs, everything.  This truck is ready to show.  It has the trophies to prove it.” 

Included with the sale are a window sticker, a Dodge sales brochure, and all removed original parts besides the cam and exhaust.

The Dodge Dakota pickup evolved through three generations, initially engineered to target similar models in the light-duty segment such as the Ford Ranger and the Chevrolet S-10, though its dimensions were slightly larger than those competitors. 

dodge, Pick of the Day: 1996 Dodge Dakota with low miles, performance upgrades, ClassicCars.com Journal

The first-generation Dodge Dakota launched for the 1987 model year on the N-body platform, sharing many components with existing Chrysler products.  A mid-cycle refresh was applied in 1991 including a few trim, safety and powertrain updates, and the body style was phased out after 1996. 

The seller states that a 2010 appraisal valued the Dodge at $16,500, and its well-preserved condition makes it arguably even more rare now, a decade later.  The asking price is $15,000.

To view this listing on ClassicCars.com, see Pick of the Day.

Tyson Hugie
Tyson Hugie
Tyson Hugie grew up in a family of gearheads and enjoys anything to do with automotive and motorsports. He is a contributing editor to Redline Reviews, a YouTube channel with coverage from major auto shows. He also writes for Arizona Driver Magazine and holds leadership positions with a number of car clubs. Tyson has lived in Arizona for 10 years and his current obsession is Japanese cars from the early 1990s which, though hard to believe, are now becoming classics. Tyson can usually be found exploring offbeat and obscure road trip destinations on his blog "Drive to Five," which started as a way to share travel stories and experiences with his now-550,000-mile Acura.


  1. Back when they were new I worked with a fellow that broke his n half at abut 18000 mi. Not particular friend just a co worker that asked me t weld it back together for him before his grand ma found out. I said sure if you got the money honey I’ve got the time. We never did come to a price negotiation and there sat a new truck in two peace’s.


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