CC Capsule: 1980 Dodge D-series Adventurer – The Essence of a Truck


I surely write about a lot of trucks here at Curbside Classic. It’s not that I’m particularly partial to them; actually, I’m much more a car guy. But old trucks are relatively plentiful here in Indiana–even in Indianapolis, where I found this one.


Dodge made these trucks for a whopping 21 years, starting in 1972. I’m partial to them because my grandfather drove one, an orange-over-white ’72 like the one in this ad (except that Grandpa’s had “POWER WAGON” badges on the center hood bulge). When I was a boy, Grandpa and Grandma took my brother and me on a vacation in that truck. Although we rode four-abreast in the cab all the way, I don’t remember feeling cramped. But my usual place in that truck was in the bed, where I rode while Grandpa drove the back roads around his rural southwestern Michigan home.


In 1981, these trucks got both a subtle facelift and the “Ram” name. The easiest way to spot the 1972-1980 trucks is by their body side character line that flows around the wheel arches, which is absent on 1981-and-later models.


From what I can gather from a little internet sleuthing, stacked dual rectangular headlights were available only in 1979 and 1980, so I’m semi-arbitrarily dating this one to 1980. And it’s a typical 1980 truck: single cab, boring paint color and ready to work. Usually, that work tears these trucks right up, but this one still looks solid, that peeling plasti-chrome grille notwithstanding.