Much has been said about Chrysler’s abundant use of the K-Car platform throughout the 80’s and well into the 90’s. Yet the K-Car wasn’t the only multi-use platform Chrysler had in the 1980’s. This Rampage, either a 1982 or 1983 model, is based off the L-body Dodge Omni/Plymouth Horizon twins.
I spotted it in a hotel parking lot. Given its age and rarity the Rampage drew a remarkable amount of attention from those attending functions at the facility. Chrysler built these from 1982 to 1984; there was a Plymouth version, called the Scamp, in 1983 only.
This little Rampage was within 20 miles of the dealer location found on the tailgate.
The interior was in decent shape and it possesses the optional automatic hooked to the standard 2.2 liter four-banger. Four- and five-speed manuals were also available. The odometer said 29,700 although I suspect it had read that a time or two before.
With the historic plates, one can hope it has found a good home.
Well at least it would have better traction than an Elcamino in the snow…
Until you put a load in the back!
My uncle had one of these and he lives in northern Maine. He traded it in for an early Ford Bronco II Eddie Bauer.
Very reminiscent of the Subaru
+1 I see the resemblance to the BRAT.
Wow, Jack…didn’t realize a CC contributor lived close to me.
Always wondered why – given the utilitarian nature of these – the Omni 024 coupe’s front end was used, versus the plainer four-door Omni’s. For some reason, I always thought the boxier front end treatment would’ve looked better.
I didn’t realize it either. SpringVegas here. We should have a GTG! Have you guys been to Spencer, MO?
What county is Spencer in? I’m currently in Cole County.
Lawrence county. For me, it’s the coolest thing I’ve ever found on Route 66. It is TINY, but authentic. Google it.
Edit: I just remembered after glancing at it, but my little profile picture here was taken in Beautiful Downtown Spencer, Missouri.
Been to Lawrence County several times, although I’ve not been to Spencer. My goal is to get to Macdonald County so I can say I’ve been to every county in the state; Lawrence County wouldn’t be out of the way depending upon my route.
Maybe using the coupe nose on the Rampage was an effort to more fully utilize the tooling for the 024’s front clip, since the five-door sold significantly better than the coupe.
My guess would be that ChryCo was going more for fun than utility. Just like the El Camino was more about style than utility, this little unit was in the same spirit. Also, maybe the fact that VW did the Rabbit pickup pushed Chrysler to go sportier so as not to do a direct competitor in a very small market. But these are just guesses.
I like more with the Omni 024’s front end personally. Speaking of the Omni 024, did Shelby ever make an Omni 024 GLH-Turbo?
Yeah. Later with the Charger named version of the 024. I seem to remember a version done to this little pickup too. I worked for Chrysler at a joint called NuCar Prep that took care of all the cars, import and domestic before they shipped to the dealers. Shelby had a shop on that lot that did fun things. Cobras and wierd versions of these and Ks (!). I took an Omni GLHS down the 1/8 mi straight. Revved up, popped the clutch, and promptly crapped my pants!!! Talk about torque steer!!! Would love one today! Electric Blue, please. Rude, crude, fun.
a mini-camino. insane!
Lido missed the boat that day he left the shack…
About 2 years ago, I spotted a red one with a white canopy parked at a business and it looked to be in very nice shape and remembering then that I’d not seen one of these in years.
These were always interesting to me.
Just last week I saw a NICE one on the List of Craigs in central MI for sale, looked really nice too! I knew I should have bookmarked that link!!!
the thing i love about american cars is the company had the guts to make cars that look so out there.this car wronge wronge wronge on so many levels ..yet it has so much charizma that it is as cool as fuck..
When I was shopping for a house, one of the prospective properties had a showroom-mint Plymouth Scamp in the garage. It was red with black stripes down the side and chrome bars along the edge of the bed.
I should have offered to buy the house if they added the car to the deal.
My father (the John Deere tractor salesman) knew a guy who kept a Scamp he had rebuilt several times. The gentleman was looking for max fuel economy while running his lawn and garden business. The guy only did “in town” lots so all he needed was room for a pushmower and a can of gas.
I may lose my L body Geek license for saying this, I never liked these. They were neat but the look just dosent gel right. They look a lot better when retrofitted with the later Charger style nose.
Like a poster up above, I think it would have looked perfect with Omni’s nose. The problem with that is Chrysler would have had to engineer a hybrid of the 2 and 4 door L cars to do that.
So that’s where Ford got the idea for the EXP from. Or was it the other way around?
The Dodge Omni 024/Plymouth Horizon TC3 beat the EXP by a few years. Not sure what years exactly, but I know they were already around in the late 70s and the EXP was an 80s baby.
The Omni 024 and Horizon TC3 came out in 1979, one year after the Omni and Horizon hatchback sedans.
Does anybody else think that we need a modern day Rampage/Scamp (mini-ElCamino)? Because there’s not that many of these around, and most all of them need a bit of work based on their age. Not to mention that Ford quit building the Ranger last year. And, the Dakota, which started out at a right size, grew larger over the years and was also recently discontinued. Though there’s rumours of a possible, smaller, Fiat-based replacement.
Oh, and since I failed to comment on it, I prefer the Rampage with the 024 front end better than with the Charger nose.
The closest thing in recent memory was the Subaru Baja, and that couldn’t even crack 10k units a year. These sold terribly when they were new, and their (much better) competition – the Volkswagen Rabbit Pickup and Subaru BRAT – didn’t fare much better.
I think there’s probably still a market for S-10/Ranger-sized trucks… but this size? Probably not anymore, if there was ever anything more than a very specific niche anyway. I remember when the Skoda Felicia Fun was still in production, lots of people (people on the internet, anyway) were clamoring to get it badge engineered into an updated VW Caddy… but I don’t think that little Skoda itself even sold all that well in it’s home territory of Eastern Europe, where I’d assume things like this have a much broader appeal. Discontinued after one generation.
IMO the FWD-based trucklet is a failed experiment. The El Camino/Ranchero worked because they could actually be used to tow/haul heavy loads – plus they had infinite redneck appeal (these don’t), but even those have had their day in the sun (except for weirdo Australian utes…). The miniature Datsun/Toyota trucks from the 60s-70s worked because they were indestructible, cute and came at the right place/right time. Realistically, there’s very little a Dodge Rampage can do that virtually any CUV can’t do. Tall furniture, that’s about it… rent a U-Haul and don’t give up the extra row or two of seating the other 99% of your life.
BTW, I had no idea the Dodge Dakota was still in production until recently, thanks for bringing that to my attention! Before consulting Wikipedia I was under the impression they had stopped building them well over 5 years ago…
L body coupes had so many different names through the years.*
Dodge Omni O24, O24, Charger…
Plymouth Horizon TC3, TC3 Turismo, Turismo Duster…
*[List not 100%]