Do you remember the Dodge Dakota convertible? If you do, you might be wondering how you could possibly get your hands on one, especially considering the fact that they haven't been made in decades. If you've never seen one, you don't know quite what you're missing. On the other hand, if you have, you'll probably never forget what the little Dodge Dakota pickup looked like, much less the convertible version. One thing is certain, if you have ever laid your eyes on one of these unique examples of automotive art, you're not likely to forget about it anytime in the near future. You might be very interested in finding out how you can get one for yourself. It won't be easy, but it might well be worth it.
Remembering the Dodge Dakota Convertible
The thing that you have to remember about the Dodge Dakota convertible is that there weren't that many of them made to begin with. In fact, there are comparatively few of these vehicles on the road, even during their heyday. Considering the fact that they were made during the late 1980s to early 1990s, there are even fewer of them on the road today. The only way that you're likely to find one is to go on a website that specializes in collectible vehicles. Even then, you may not have any look. Truth be told, they're not that easy to find, sort of like looking for a needle in a haystack. If you're lucky, you will eventually find one but if the seller knows what they actually have on their hands, you might also have to fork over a significant amount of cash in order to get your hands on it. That is especially true if you're dealing with one of the more rare combinations, such as the venerable four- cylinder engine version that was married to a 5-speed manual transmission. As it turns out, this is one of the most rare combinations that you're ever likely to run across, regardless of the vehicle in question. The fact that it is a convertible and a compact pickup only serves to make it that much more unique. It also means that other automotive collectors are clamoring to get their hands on a decent example as well.
Issues With the Design
Designing a convertible pickup truck is not exactly the easiest thing in the world to do. This was proven when Dodge experienced sales that were nothing like they had hoped they would be. Even they eventually conceded that there were certain issues innate with the design that caused problems with sales, not the least of which involved a rather flimsy convertible top complete with a plastic rear window that left you boiling on hot days and shivering during the winter. In addition, that flimsy convertible top didn't have a tendency to weather the elements very well. As such, owners would often find that they had to replace the top after only a couple of years. This was especially true for those individuals who parked their vehicles outside. Truth be told, a good gust of wind or a decent thunderstorm could wreak havoc on the entire section, thereby allowing rainwater and virtually everything else to reach the interior with ease. Last but not least, most drivers were less than impressed with the way that the soft-top looked when the convertible was in the down position. It had a tendency to bunch up at the bottom, becoming rather unsightly, at least according to most owners. However, there was a bigger problem that needed to be addressed as well. All of that material that was bunched up blocked a significant amount of space, making it difficult and even dangerous for drivers to back out of parking spaces. They simply couldn't see whether or not someone else was coming into their direction of travel.
Designed for a Purpose
Obviously, this is not the truck designed to be like everything else on the road. Instead, it's more about giving owners an option to do something more fun. That's what it was always about, even when the very first convertible pickup rolled off the assembly line. At the end of the day, it was far more likely that you would see one of these vehicles on the beach or doing some type of off-roading activity, although it wasn't exactly built for serious rock climbing or anything of that nature. Nevertheless, it was relatively rare that you would see one simply being used as a daily driver. These days, it's even more rare to see one outside of a very specific setting. In fact, you're a lot more likely to see one at an automobile show or a parade than anywhere else after all of these years.
There is no doubt about it that the Dodge Dakota convertible was originally meant to be an economical design. At the time, one could be picked up for less than just about anything else available on the road. Unfortunately, less than 4,000 of these vehicles were ever produced. In today's world, you might pay two or even three times the original selling price of a vehicle in order to get one that isn't truly pristine condition. On the other side of the spectrum, you might be able to spend just a few thousand dollars and get one that needs to have quite a bit of work done on it. At the end of the day, it all comes down to your skill level with regard to restoring these types of automobiles and how badly you want to own one. Only then can you decide if the asking price is worth it when you finally do find one available for sale.
One thing is certain, the Dodge Dakota convertible always had a look all its own. There was no mistaking this particular vehicle for anything else on the road. That holds true, even today. If you're looking for a piece of nostalgia and you want something that is genuinely unique, this may be the vehicle that you've been searching for all along.
Written by Benjamin Smith
Read more posts by Benjamin Smith