Walking though a not-quite-as-local-as-my-favorite junkyard on Friday I came across this pickup that looked instantly familiar. I wouldn’t normally stop for a Dodge pickup of this generation as they really are a dime a dozen around here but this one I’d seen before and even shared it here. Yes, this is the pickup that decided to go for a swim in the river last summer.
Here it is doing its best Michael Phelps impression. Well, maybe not, since it apparently needed help to get out of the water again and wasn’t moving very fast beyond whatever the current was doing to it. Still, we now get a chance to admire it after it has toweled off.
That incident was last June, according to the sticker on the window the insurance claim was filed a few days after the soaking, and it appears that the wheels of the salvage auction industry move slowly as this just arrived at this yard within the last couple of weeks, some nine months later.
As established, it’s a 1999 model so about halfway through the first generation of the Dodge mini-semi-truck look era. The bright blue color was pretty popular in the day, but then again so was the green of the tailgate that this one sports with the all-too-accurate “Off-Road” package labeling. The rear axle was indeed torn askew off its mountings as we saw in the river pictures last year.
That’s either the 5.2 or the 5.9 Magnum V8 engine (no HEMI versions back then), I didn’t look at the VIN to see if the eighth character is a Z that would denote the 5.9 and can’t tell them apart myself by just looking at them. Someone went to some trouble to remove it from the truck only to then decide they didn’t want it. Maybe they figured out it had been underwater or something.
Besides a layer of silt on the floor and a general layer of dirt, there wasn’t much to make it obvious it had amphibious ambitions. Trucks get picked over pretty quickly at this yard south of Denver, some 90 miles from the river that ran through it. I’m actually surprised the seats are still here, these looked pretty good compared to the average 21-year-old candidates.
Jason Shafer has repeatedly voiced the opinion that there seem to be an inordinate amount of even older Dodge pickups out there and I’ve been noting that as well. He was speaking of the style prior to this one and that holds true out in these parts too. I think it may be that the buyers were likely to more conservative and possibly older, thus more inclined to look for value and then take care of their truck over the years, rather than chasing whatever the fanciest thing at the time was and just trading it in. So, those Dodges might have tended to be more appreciated and cared for, and perhaps not worked quite as hard as the Chevys and Fords of the day.
In any case, this is likely the last any of us will see of this particular truck. It’s not often that a car sees a return visit to the pages of CC, and that counts double for the recycling candidates.
On the way home the CC effect hit hard and while stopped in traffic on the freeway onramp this presented itself. Two newer RAMs and then another Dodge Ram like the floater, although it was a 2500 (3/4 ton)with the Cummins Turbo Diesel. The white more recent crew cab long bed one in the left foreground was also a 2500 with a Cummins, but the black one just in front is a more recent 1500 (half-ton) in Big Horn trim with most likely the 5.7 HEMI V8, with the body style still sold today as the RAM 1500 Classic series.
Moving up a bit here’s a slightly closer look at the older one. A very typical sight around here from before the time that the true crew cab style became the dominant configuration.
Surprisingly, I was able to creep past those trucks but then the next time I came to a stop a few hundred feet later there was yet another Dodge Ram 2500 with a Cummins engine in the lane next to mine. This is a different truck, these do seem to be long-lasting trucks with all of them likely at least two decades old now. I can’t tell the exact year to year differences but in general pickups see quite high mileages per annum here, especially the diesels. All of these seem like working machines, none have non-factory wheels or seem customized beyond a rack and perhaps a replacement bumper on the one earlier.
After driving a bit and then exiting the freeway, on the surface street I found myself behind yet another white Dodge Ram 4×4 of that same generation, this one a 1500 though. He made the turn before I could get my hands on the camera while stopped.
But at the next light found myself to the left of it, a good old regular cab 4×4 with one of the V8 engine options. There were even more different sightings later on but never when stopped, so no good picture opportunities of those.
But if you’ve made it all the way through this post and aren’t really interested in pickups, then perhaps you’ll be heartened by this 60-day temporary license plate that I came across on a neighborhood walk a few hours ago. It seems that someone around here has a acquired a 1974 Jensen convertible, likely a Jensen-Healey. We’ve featured a few of them over the years, usually in junker or close to it condition, but there somehow seem to be a remarkable number of them still around and it seems that one may be lurking around one of these corners, although it looks like bits are already falling off of it… Maybe this is the one that David Saunders found some years back. So I’ll keep my eyes peeled. The plate says it’s white though, so it has something in common with most of the above pickups!
Looks like what you’d find up here too. Any number of trucks, CUV’s, SUV’s, and very little in the way of cars. You can have your choice of any colour too, so long as it is Black, White, Gray, with the odd dark Red or Blue.
Always nice to see a rare second chance CC post – Looks like it will be the last chance for this one.
I too wonder where this truck was sitting for the past 9 months. It doesn’t make sense to pay money to store something that could otherwise be making money. Can someone with salvage industry experience enlighten us?
I believe steel prices are up as are prices for other recyclables. One of the yards I go to up in Wyoming when I’m in the area is literally overwhelmed with cars currently, they’ve taken to just filling up their former aisles and stacking them door to door, which makes for a terrible experience when walking through as it’s just jam packed (and boring as its mostly just very humdrum practical 15 year old iron with little of interest to us here). I asked the operator and he said that since prices are up everyone is unloading stuff they’ve been holding on to for the last year or more and they can’t keep up with the influx. I believe when an accident-involved vehicle is towed to a storage yard the insurance company is charged money to store it and there’s a rush for the adjuster to get out there and look t it and hopefully make a quick decision and/or send it to the owner’s body shop of choice asap (this was the case when our Subaru got wrecked and towed a few years back). In the case of lower value vehicles it seems that they are sometimes offered or released to the storage company for disposal rather than going through the same auction process that higher value (i.e. more likely to get back on the road) vehicles are as there are more costs involved to the insurance company. Some of those storage yards have been waiting for the prices to go up before taking them to the recyclers and U-Pull-Its (or other auctions) to cash in, the same goes for abandoned cars and tow-aways.
There may have been some litigation going on – vehicles are usually saved in those situations as evidence, at least until everyones’ experts have had a chance to comb over them for whatever they hope to find.
The subtle differences in second generation Dodge ram trucks is with the mirrors (metal on early second gens or old school 3 bar west coast style mirrors) to plastic mirrors seen on all the above trucks. Another subtle difference is the rub strips on the side of the bed that follow down the lower character line of the body. None of these trucks have the full length straps that is characterized by early run second gens. Finally there is the tailgate plastic trim piece. I’m not sure when this went away bit it’s not on all late second gen tailgates.
On the HD rigs. the 98.5 and later trucks will have the 24 Valve Cummins turbo diesel engine call out on the doors. As noted most of these trucks will have aftermarket wheels at this point in their lives but if OE wheels are present they are easily identified as well. Also around 98-99 the sport appearance package debuted with a plastic body colored bumper with relocated fog lamps.
Whoever gets parts from that blue Dodge shouldn’t have to worry about much debris in crevices, especially underneath. That was a thorough undercarriage wash.
It’s good to know I’m not alone in the wilderness in having noticed the number of old Dodge pickups still running around. The big difference with the ’94 to ’02(?) generation you pictured versus what can be found here is none of what you showed us are crispy in any obvious location. In fact they are rusting worse than the ’93 and earlier but your comment about older buyers makes a lot of sense.
These have gotten plenty rusty in my area, but are still around in dwindling numbers. Unlike Mr. Shafer, I don’t see the older ones around much.
The Cummins powered Dodges are kept in service longer because their resale value is higher. They cost more to start with, and there’s always a healthy demand for the older ones. And they seem to last pretty well.
If something breaks on an older car/or truck, the economics of fixing it are most of all based on its value.
I had the same or similar seat fabric in my 2002 Dodge Durango. Here it is in 2018 (after a thorough cleaning). Countless trips to the lake as my tow vehicle and three teens used it as their main mode to motivate during high school. That fabric wore like iron, none of the newer stuff in my fleet is wearing anywhere near as well.
The second photo reminds me of the line in the movie Risky Business where the service manager comes out and asks “OK, who’s the U-boat commander?”
Great unexpected find!
I knew it was unlikely but I was kind of rooting for this truck getting fixed up last year. Looks worse for wear than it was in the river, the body and possibly frame look bent. Axle clearly remains sheared off in the same position it was too. These are still good looking trucks, especially in that blue that I remember being used on Viper GTS coupes of the era. I still see tons of them around here as well, body rust or no.
“it appears that the wheels of the salvage auction industry move slowly as this just arrived at this yard within the last couple of weeks, some nine months later.”
Yep. The 2003 DOHC 4.6 I retrofitted into my 94 Cougar I found at Victory Auto Wreckers outside Chicago in a 1996 Lincoln Mark VIII it was previously retrofitted into. I took a bunch of pics of that car since it had a bunch of other “in the know” modifications, and with the help of some forum members(including the one who helped install it in that car) tracked down the previous owner who was still active on a Lincoln board. Turned out he junked it a full year earlier… in Michigan!
Did it get hit? If not, do you know why he scrapped it?
He had trouble getting it running right with the factory computer and it just kind of languished as a project car. He had a pretty new Mercedes in his profile description so I presume he just wanted it gone at some point, I didn’t prod too much so much as to inquire about the engine’s history.
Nice to see these not all rusted.
Whoa, there was still a blue interior available on the post-facelift Rams? It must not have been very popular–that was about the time colored interiors disappeared in pickups.
I think it was actually gray, my camera skews a little blue depending on the lighting conditions…
Interesting about the truck, but WOW — finding a random clue to a nearby Jensen? What on earth are the chances???
Hopefully you’ll be able to track it down eventually, but I wouldn’t be terribly surprised if it turned out to be a Jensen Healey rather than an Interceptor, but just abbreviated to JENS in DMV-speak. Either way, it’s somewhat remarkable to find this.
Oddly, last year I saw a Jensen Healey being transported on a car carrier that drove past my house. I had mentioned it in a CC comment, and someone else dredged up a then-recent for-sale ad for an identical-looking car. Jensen coincidences do happen around here…
It almost has to be a J-H as there were only around 450 or so Interceptor convertibles built but I’ll be looking for it, that’s for sure!
There are still plenty of ’94-2001 Rams around the Toledo/Detroit area. They range from near basket cases, a blue one similar to the one that took a swim, and has the rocker panels dancing away whenever it moves, due to the rust that will soon take it to the boneyard, to a red Sport that looks damn close to brand new. Not a spec of rust on it anywhere, and it looks great inside too.
I came close to buying a 2000 Ram 1500, but the beyond tired 5.9L engine’s lack of guts kept me away, and sent me to the GMC dealer for a Sierra 1500. The 5.3 made the 5.9 in the Ram look very bad.
where is this junkyard located? I really need to get some parts for my 1998 Dodge ram pickup.