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At $5,000, Could This 1998 Dodge Dakota Club Cab 5.2 Be Your Mid-Sized Magnum?

Illustration for article titled At $5,000, Could This 1998 Dodge Dakota Club Cab 5.2 Be Your Mid-Sized Magnum?
Photo: Craigslist
Nice Price Or No DiceIs this used car a good deal? You decide!

Despite the Dakotas being so vast that they demanded to be split into two states, today’s Nice Price or Crack Pipe Dakota namesake pickup is only a mid-sized. We’ll have to decide if its price means its seller is in a huge state of denial.

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It’s a fairly common understanding that the smallest dogs are oftentimes the most twitchy and aggressive. This inverse dichotomy means the little guys frequently fall out of favor with their owners who grow weary of such behavior. It’s a sad fact, and animal shelters are rife with Chihuahuas and other toy breeds.

It could be argued that yesterday’s 2013 Fiat 500 Abarth Cabrio is the automotive equivalent to a Chihuahua dog. The aggressive exhaust note that emanates from the car’s MultiAir four stands in stark contrast to the overall size and its purpose as an entry-level ride. Much like small dogs, there was some initial enthusiasm for the car, but that flagged once we got to the $9,900 price. That was deemed too high by most, ending up in a 58 percent Crack Pipe loss. Oh well, remember to spay and neuter your cars… er, pets.

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Speaking of pets, have you ever had the urge to adopt a baby giraffe? I know it’s crazy, but boy would having one of those long-necked bad boys make the neighbors jealous.

The big question—I mean, aside from who’s going to clean up all that marbley giraffe poop—is how would you get this foundling home, or even to its required veterinary appointments. Of course, the perfect car for that is a pickup truck, the open bed of which affords unlimited headroom for all your tall transportation needs.

Illustration for article titled At $5,000, Could This 1998 Dodge Dakota Club Cab 5.2 Be Your Mid-Sized Magnum?
Photo: Craigslist

This 1998 Dodge Dakota Club Cab offers a compelling argument for owning a pickup even if your baby giraffe transportation needs are presently hypothetical rather than actual. The attraction here lies under the hood where resides a 5.2 Magnum V8.

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Illustration for article titled At $5,000, Could This 1998 Dodge Dakota Club Cab 5.2 Be Your Mid-Sized Magnum?
Photo: Craigslist

That was the second-largest mill Dodge offered in this model of Dakota and was good for 230 horsepower and, more importantly, 300 lb-ft of twist. That’s mated to an MV3500 five-speed manual which feeds a “Sure-Grip” limited-slip diff in back. Those are some choice specs.

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Illustration for article titled At $5,000, Could This 1998 Dodge Dakota Club Cab 5.2 Be Your Mid-Sized Magnum?
Photo: Craigslist

Everything outside of those driveline elements seems to have been replaced on the truck too. There are new front suspension pieces, shock absorbers, a complete braking system, steering rack… well, you name it. Apparently the biggest job was the replacement of the HVAC with the seller touting: “(yes, the entire dash assembly was removed, all the way to the firewall!)” This all happened with under 153,000 miles on the clock.

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While the truck may be sound mechanically, it’s aesthetics leave a little bit to be desired. The Flame Red paint is chipped in places and is losing its clear coat on all the horizontal surfaces. There’s also the issue with that right-front corner where there’s a good bit of paint missing entirely from the bumper cap, and what appears to be a new headlamp above a noticeable dent.

Illustration for article titled At $5,000, Could This 1998 Dodge Dakota Club Cab 5.2 Be Your Mid-Sized Magnum?
Photo: Craigslist
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Other than those issues, the truck seems solid and without major road rot above or below deck.

The interior is in decent shape save for the carpet. That’s seen one too many chemical spills in the back and is stained and bleached as a result. This is a Club Cab so you get a small bench and some storage behind the front buckets.

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Illustration for article titled At $5,000, Could This 1998 Dodge Dakota Club Cab 5.2 Be Your Mid-Sized Magnum?
Photo: Craigslist

Those buckets look to be pretty comfy for their age, but having once owned a Dodge Neon I can attest that such looks can be deceiving. Power windows, cruise, and that aforementioned A/C bring a little touch of luxury to the party and all seem to be working as they should.

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The bed—you know, the reason you’re buying a truck for your planned giraffe-rich lifestyle—has a full liner and that appears unbroken and without issue. Sadly, the cab’s rear glass doesn’t do anything fun or usfull other than let you see through it.

Illustration for article titled At $5,000, Could This 1998 Dodge Dakota Club Cab 5.2 Be Your Mid-Sized Magnum?
Photo: Craigslist
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The truck comes with a clear title and was obtained by its current seller from the estate of the original owner. The price tag reads $5,000 and it’s now incumbent upon you to decide whether or not it is worth that much as it stands.

What do you think, is this 5.2-powered Dakota worth that $5,000 asking? Or, is that just too much for so mid-sized a truck?

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You decide!

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Atlanta, GA Craigslist, or go here if the ad disappears.

H/T to Larry F. for the hookup!

Help me out with NPOCP. Hit me up at rob@jalopnik.com and send me a fixed-price tip. Remember to include your Kinja handle. MAILTO:rob@jalopnik.com

Rob Emslie is a contributing writer for Jalopnik. He has too many cars, and not enough time to work on them all.

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DISCUSSION

ptgreenphone
ptgreenphone

For a weekend hauler I would go for it. The V8 is not much better than the V6, except for bragging.

A running V8 pickup with a manual for 5k, I think people are getting back into the I want the Supercar, full option load, brand new, brown, manual for only $2000 mode.

Used cars cost money. It is hard to find much worth having for 5k, you should expect some issues. We are at a point where non-op wrecks are going for that much.