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BangShift Question Of The Day: How Would You Finish Off This Jeep-Framed Dodge Rampage?

BangShift Question Of The Day: How Would You Finish Off This Jeep-Framed Dodge Rampage?

When it comes to domestically sourced coupe utilities, it’s a case of two successful attempts and one very questionable decision. The Ford Ranchero was established and stuck around, based on various Ford models, through 1979, and even spawned the coach-built Ford Durango in the early 1980s. The Chevrolet El Camino and GMC Sprint/Caballero were the last to exist in the US market and are so popular as a reference point that many Americans will refer to a coupe utility as an “El Camino”, regardless of what it really is. Then there was Chrysler Corporation’s attempt, the L-body based Dodge Rampage and Plymouth Scamp. Built for two years, the Rampage/Scamp wasn’t quite a bad idea. The L-body proved popular with a buying public that was nervous about the cost of fuel and tired of monstrous luxo-boats, a cardinal sin that just about cost Chrysler the business in the first place. A small pickup that was pulling over 20 MPG with a legitimate half-ton payload rating should’ve done well. While we look back on these things today as an almost comical knee-jerk reaction to the events, the only real knock anyone has against the Rampage/Scamp is their front-drive layout.

This 1983 Rampage has been placed on top of a 1986 Jeep CJ7 frame, and except for the teeny-tiny wheelwell openings, looks like a pretty good fit for a custom trar build. There’s no engine or trans installed, which means that it’s open season for a build on the little trucklet. And that’s what today’s Question of the Day is all about: how would you finish this Rampage off? A small-block Chrysler or AMC seems like the natural choice, but maybe you’d try to shove in a late-model 4.0L Jeep six, or if you want to get really funky, a turbocharged Chrysler 2.2 turned north-south hooked up to a five-speed could do the trick. If it’s going to be an aberration to good taste, at least make it entertaining!

Craigslist Link: 1983 Dodge Rampage/1986 Jeep CJ7 hybrid

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9 thoughts on “BangShift Question Of The Day: How Would You Finish Off This Jeep-Framed Dodge Rampage?

  1. TheCapeCodKId

    Being a huge ElCamino fan myself. I never really liked these when they came out but they have grown on me in my older years. Growing up in Massachusetts we created all kinds of 4×4 vehicles during the winters when we were buried in snow & cold. Pintos, Vegas, ElCaminos….Nothing was sacred to us because we were having fun. I have a 4.3 V-6 and a 700R4 that was planned for another project that would make this a lot of fun to just run around in….

  2. BeaverMartin

    I loved my Rampage. It was a great little truck. The only solution for this beast would be a 360 AMC.

  3. KCR

    First a set of after market 4×4 flairs to take care of the wheel openings. 2nd The AMC V-8 has the distributor in the front of the engine .Clearance with the under hood may be an issue. All though I am a fan of any V-8. The 2.2 with a hair dryer sounds cool Light weight ,and those little Neon rockets proved the combo. Or even the 3.9 V-6 ,Its a 318 minus 2 cylinders. And they are a great cheap engines.Use that with the turbo .

  4. jerry z

    That trar beats a stock Rampage any day of the week and twice on Sunday! Put in a 5.7 hemi for good measure.

  5. bob

    Send it to Russia and park it along side the Itza. However, I think Detroit dropped the ball on a small fwd or awd pickup truck. Not everyone wants a 20′ pickup or a SUV to haul their dead opossums to the furrier.

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