From extension platform to world domination.
Rise and fall of the wagon
Re-Release of the Dakota to the Ram lineup.
It's hard to believe that it has been 7 years since we had a Dakota among us, but it has. Sure the last generation is something that we would love to forget, but the life of the Dakota was a long one that did keep us going for a good time.
The Dakota started life back in 1986 as a step up from the Mitsubishi sourced Ram 50. Sure mini-trucks were all the rage after the gas crisis, but it was now the late 80's and those times were over with and Dodge needed to step up its game. With the likes of the S-10, Ranger and King Cab it seemed that Dodge was missing out on a good thing and finally pulled the gun on the mid-size truck market. With little to no success with the Ram 50 and a depressing attempt at the CUT market with the Rampage, it seemed that Dodge needed to step up its game when it came to the mid-size market. But with Ford, GM, Toyota and Nissan out front, it seemed like it was going to be hard battle. But like Dodge always does, it decided to give it it's all and go for broke with a new name and truck. As the Dakota was released for model year 87 it seemed like it may become the dud of the market, as its looks appealed to more of the grandfather in all of us. But that could have been its saving grace on its next chapter.
With the likes of Carroll Shelby and Lee Iacocca behind the helm it just seemed inevitable that Dodge would really take the market by the horns and it did. It did this with the release of the Dodge Dakota Sport Convertible and Shelby Dakota in 89. Sure the original truck wasn't the best looking thing around, but it did help launch the Dakota in stardom. But this was only the start of something good as the Dakota soon became the truck to beat in the marketplace. Over the next decade Dodge made a few changes to the Dakota which really helped make the little truck a star. Sure nothing was as great as the original Shelby model, but the Dakota was the sport truck to beat by the end of the century with the V8 R/T version beating anything in sight. And with Toyota and Nissan losing ground in the mid-size market thanks to the potent V8 the Dakota was sure to be the one truck to stop.
Looking to see where Everett J. came from or how he knows so much about the industry he loves. Then check out his page: