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!