Rare Dodge Dakota ragtop at auction

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Mini pickup trucks were the rage during the 1970s, 1980s and into the early 1990s. But as sport utility vehicles became increasingly popular, interest in popular mini-trucks from Chevrolet, Datsun, Ford, Mazda and Toyota waned.

To be different, Chrysler introduced the Dodge Dakota Convertible pickup truck in 1989. It featured a fixed roll bar and a simple manual top. About 2,500 units of the odd trucks sold in the debut year, only 909 were made in 1990 and eight in 1991.

A 1990 Dodge Dakota convertible pickup. Fewer than 3,500 were made from 1989 to 1991.
A 1990 Dodge Dakota convertible pickup. Fewer than 3,500 were made from 1989 to 1991.

Dodge Dakota convertible at Mecum

With all options available included, the Dodge Dakota convertible in 1990 costs about $18,000 new. The current equivalent is about $35,625.

Only a few of the convertibles remain in good shape. One example will be available at auction June 23-28 at the Indianapolis stop of the annual series of Mecum Auctions across the country.

The fluid status of the coronavirus may further alter the auction (it’s already been postponed one month). But the Dakota Convertible is attracting its share of pre-auction attention.

Chrysler made the truck and then shipped them to the American Sunroof Corporation for the convertible conversion. Specialists fitted a padded roll bar behind the seats, added the vinyl roof and soft-molded boot for storage. The truck was offered with two-wheel and four-wheel drive.

The Dakota up for auction features a 3.9-liter Magnum V6 engine with 125 horsepower. It has a four-speed automatic transmission with overdrive. The original convertible top has been replaced. The odometer reads about 60,000 miles. Mecum estimates the truck will sell for about $15,000.

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