While not the worlds
first production convertible truck (Ford offered a factory built
roadster with a truck bed from 1925 through 1934). In 1989 Dodge
would add this twist to its popular mid-size pickup by offering the
Dakota Sport Convertible. These cool pickups were built at
Chrysler's Dodge City truck complex in Warren, Michigan. They were
then shipped to the American Sunroof Co. (ASC) a few miles away. ASC
removed the roofs and added the necessary components to turn the
Dakota into a convertible. Once completed the Dakota Sport
convertible featured a manual vinyl top that could be folded back
and covered with a boot, or completely removed.
1989 Dodge Dakota
The Dakota Sport
convertibles were offered as either as 4x2s or 4x4s with
shift-on-the-fly and a base price of $14,425. 1989 trucks came
equipped with a 125-hp, fuel-injected V-6 engine mated with a
five-speed manual or optional three-speed automatic transmission. Standard equipment included an
integral padded sport roll bar, 15-inch cast-aluminum wheels,
tachometer, AM/FM stereo cassette radio, deluxe wipers, power
steering, power windows, and door locks, dual remote outside
mirrors and fog lights.
Exterior paint choices were red, black or white. The the grill,
bumpers, headlight bezels, wheel lip moldings, door and tailgate
handles were painted in black. On the
outside the Dakota convertible included an acrylic ram's head hood medallion plus added
tape graphics on the body sides and tailgate. Dodge sold 2,842
Dakota Sport convertible trucks in 1989.
1990 Dodge Dakota
The Dakota Sport convertible
was also offered for 1990 powered by the 3.9-liter V-6, it was also joined by a second
model, the Dakota SE convertible truck. The SE came powered by
a standard 2.5-liter engine that offered a smooth-shifting, five-speed manual
overdrive transmission. 1990 models were offered in Colorado Red,
Bright White, Daytona Blue or black. Dodge sold 909
Dakota convertible trucks in 1990.
1991 Dodge Dakota
Some claim that ASC
built eight 1991 Dakota Sport Convertibles to complete its contract
with Dodge. If true, these may be the rarest Dodge Dakota's ever
built. With under 3800 examples of this cool convertible truck
built, they are sure to become collectible in the future.
Dakota 4WD Sport
ragtop: Wheelbase: 112 inches, Length: 185.9 inches, Engine:3.9
liter, 125 h.p., V-6. Transmission: 5-speed manual; 4-speed
automatic optional, Fuel economy: 15/19 m.p.g. manual; 15/20 m.p.g.