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Autotrader Find: 1982 Dodge Rampage with 38,000 Miles


Today’s Autotrader find is a rare 1982 Dodge Rampage.  To understand the Rampage, we must step back and look at Chrysler’s L platform.  Developed as a response to the 1970s oil crisis, the front-wheel drive L platform underpinned a number of Dodge and Plymouth vehicles from the late 1970s into the late 1980s.  The L platform was very similar in size, shape, and execution to the Volkswagen Golf/Rabbit; with some L-body vehicles even using a Volkswagen-sourced engine and transmission.  The main vehicles to ride on Chrysler’s L platform were the Dodge Omni and its Plymouth counterpart, the Horizon; which were five-door hatchbacks built from 1978 all the way through 1990.  The Omni and Horizon also spawned two-door fastback variants dubbed the Omni 024 and Horizon TC3; akin to the Volkswagen Scirocco.  These were built from just 1979 through 1982, and were replaced by a reincarnated Dodge Charger and Plymouth Turismo for 1987. The Charger and Turismo would be sold through 1987.  That brings us to the rarest vehicles offered on the L platform; the Dodge Rampage and its Plymouth counterpart, the Scamp.  The Rampage was offered for just three model years – 1982 through 1984 – while the Scamp was sold for just 1983.  This was a common theme with the L platform – sales of the Plymouth-badged TC3, Turismo, and Scamp were less than half that of their Dodge-badged counterparts.

As the Omni and Horizon were to the Volkswagen Golf/Rabbit, and as the fastback L platform vehicles were to the Scirocco, the Rampage and Scamp pickups were to the Volkswagen Rabbit Pickup.  Other competitors included the Chevrolet El Camino and Subaru BRAT.  Under the hood of the Dodge Rampage and Plymouth Scamp was a basic 2.2-liter inline four-cylinder making 96 horsepower.  A four-speed manual was standard for 1982, but was replaced by a five-speed for 1983. A three-speed auto was also available.  Despite riding on a car platform, the Rampage had a payload capacity of 1,145lb, making it a true ‘half-ton’ truck.

Altogether, significantly more Rampages were sold than Scamps; from 1982 through 1984, over 37,000 Rampages were sold. By comparison, just over 3,500 Scamps were sold in the vehicle’s lone year of production.  This particular Dodge Rampage hails from the vehicle’s first model year.  It’s white with a red interior, and perhaps most noteworthy, it comes with just 38,610 miles on the odometer.  If you’re interested, it’s located at a dealership in Springfield, MO.  Find a Dodge Rampage for sale

Chris O'Neill
Chris O'Neill
Chris O'Neill is an author specializing in competitive analysis, consumer recommendations, and adventure-driven enthusiast content. A lifelong car enthusiast, he worked in the auto industry for a bit, helping Germans design cars for Americans, and now lives in Salt Lake City, Utah. He runs an Instagram account, @MountainWestCarSpotter, which in his own words is "actually pretty good", and has a... Read More about Chris O'Neill

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  1. i had an 1983 scamp and it wasn’t worth bothering with as front wheel drive handles like a sack of doorknobs and engine wasn’t reliable and I’m a freakin was an baby el camino lookalike and when we bought it i figured it’d be a nice collector car one day but then again i didn’t realize the poor quality construction wouldn’t last long enough to become anything but a 2021 toyota. do it again?no!

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