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!