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Truck Thursday: 1980 Plymouth Arrow Sport

Here it is folks.  The holy grail of the D50/Mighty Max/Arrow family.  This isn’t some customized fixed up truck, it is all original.  The spoked wheels, the f*&#ing awesome decal package, the push bar, and the sunroof are all factory options.  This particular truck has less than 60,000 miles and is nearly perfectly preserved. 

Good news!  It is for sale!

As I sit at my computer, writing this entry, it is Sunday.  I am fully confident that I will not have brought this truck to your attention too late by delaying the posting time by 5 days.  Why?  It is currently priced at $17,888.00.  Is this truck worth that price?  Perhaps in 20 more years if it still looks this good…ah, who am I kidding?

Now just because the price is just north of beer-at-a-rock-concert insane doesn’t mean we can’t appreciate this truck for its charms.  Let’s start by learning more about the first generation Mitsu-chrysler trucks in general.

The Plymouth Arrow, Dodge D-50, and later, the Mitsubishi Mighty Max were all the same truck.  They were built by Mitsubishi and imported by Dodge and Plymouth to compete in the burgeoning small truck market.  Ford had been selling the Mazda-built Courier since 1971 and Chevrolet introduced the Isuzu-based LUV (Light Utility Vehicle) in 1972.  Both Ford and Chevrolet were responding the the unforeseen popularity of the Datsun and Toyota pickups of the ‘60s.  Dodge, as was the case throughout the ‘70s, was years late to the party.  But when they joined in, it was with style.

The year was 1979 when Dodge introduced the D50 (later the Ram 50, which I suppose sounded tougher) and Plymouth introduced the Arrow.  Those of you who love late ’70s Plymouths may remember that Plymouth also had a car called the Arrow.  The two Arrows were related in that they were both re-branded Mitsubishi products with rear wheel drive, but the reason to name both the car and the subsequent truck the same is unknown.  The two even shared the exact same fender badges.  I digress…

The Arrow (and D50) was somewhat innovative in that it was offered with many options, allowing buyers to purchase a truck that was much closer to a car-like vehicle than most others had been.  Today’s truck market demonstrates that there is certainly a demand for car-like trucks.  Buyers just had to check the “Sport” option box on the invoice to get the most desirable options.  The buyer of this example did just that.

The differences between the regular Arrow and the Arrow Sport were significant.  The standard version had a 2.0l engine and a 4 speed, the Sport a 2.6l and a 5 speed.  The Sport had a tachometer, a floor console with gauges instead of dash-mounted idiot lights, an upgraded steering wheel, nifty two-tone bucket seats, door-mounted speakers, carpet, and some of the greatest striping options ever to have existed.  Also, the spoked, striping-colored wheels shown here came with the Sport option.  Another rare option was the sporty, molded plastic door mirrors. 

Look at those Zebra striped seats!

This particular example also boasts the factory original push bumper (nice for protecting the paper-thin front valance), full body decals, and sunroof. 

Today, the first generation D50/Arrow/Mighty Max has a fierce following of about 25 people.  They are a dedicated lot, but not, in my opinion, dedicated to the point of shelling out 18 grand for even the nicest of Arrows.  In case I am wrong and you want to buy it (or just see more great photos of it), click here for the ad on CatsExotics.com

[Note: Technically, this example is not the “Holy Grail” of first-gen Arrows as I mentioned before (that was for literary effect).  The actual holder of that title is the very rare two-tone 1979 first year edition.  A handful of Arrows were sold in this Arrow-shaped paint pattern – yellow if Plymouth, red if Dodge – and matte black.  They were only available for one year because of the added expense in production.] 

These days, it is hard to even find a photo of one. 

 

Scott Ith is an Associate Editor with Hooniverse.com, but he also contributes to his own site NeedThatCar.com.  Head over there for more hooniganism.

Currently there are "27 comments" on this Article:

  1. Number_Six says:

    I'd seriously pay something mental like $12,000USD for this, I dig it that much. But $17,888? No.

    *edit – That's the best pickup interior I've ever seen.

  2. Hatchtopia says:

    It is truly magnificent. And totally worth the price.

    At $4k.

    Sorry.

    I do love that interior though. I will revise my statement from, "more cars should have red interiors," to read, "more cars should have red or striped interiors."

  3. tonyola says:

    It's way too much money, but these Dodge/Mitsubishi trucks were really tidy looking for 1979 and the 2.6 had some torque behind it. Notice the complete set of gauges on the dash. I'm not sure that these stood up as well as period Toyotas and Datsuns, though.

  4. dukeisduke says:

    Seeing all those dash vents, I thought it might have air conditioning. But, nope. I'd say it's worth closer to $10,000. I don't think it would appraise for close to $17,888, plus, I'd be afraid to drive it, because if someone ran into it, there's no way I'd get $17,888 from the insurance company.

  5. OA5599 says:

    Not surprising to have low miles on a Mitsu 2.6. The original owner probably stopped driving it when the head cracked.

    • Number_Six says:

      Nothing a RENESIS implant can't cure.

    • needthatcar says:

      HAHA! I have two cracked 2.6 heads in my garage right now. Much of the problem was in the carbureted/catalytic converter combo. Once the cat plugged up because carburetors aren't efficient, the back pressure would cause extreme heat and pressure in the combustion chamber…viola, cracked head.

  6. Maxichamp says:

    It's incredible how a few individuals are keeping unloved cars in pristine condition. It's like this Impulse/Piazza I found on Youtube last night. This was my first car.[youtube CgC9ZFmwEUc http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CgC9ZFmwEUc youtube]

  7. mdharrell says:

    Plymouth? Check.
    Unusual survivor from the early '80s? Check.
    About ten miles from my house? Check.

    Price? …Price? Really? Are you sure?

    I guess I'm not in their target market after all.

  8. Van_Sarockin says:

    I suppose this truck will never do any real work, so their fragility isn't much of an issue. Me, I'd go with a Mazda PU over this. Still, it's a wonderfully preserved example of some over the top style.

  9. Feds_II says:

    I just spent the last 2 weeks cutting apart a 4×4 mighty max… Guess I should have thrown some paint on it and put it on ebay…

  10. Alff says:

    Jaw droppingly cool.

  11. Mr. Smee says:

    Right now the Hipster D-bag Conclave is voting to decide if these will replace the "fixie."

  12. C³-Cool Cadillac Cat says:

    Quite neat, but lemme tell ya, as the prior owner of an '86.5 Nissan 720 regular cab pickup, they are a bit tight-fitting, inside.

    Still, very cool one still exists in this condition. Overpriced by at least $5K, however.

  13. JohnnyShake says:

    I picked up an all original 79 arrow truck sport on CL for $550 last week. they are out there.

  14. ownonemyself says:

    bought one for hauling trash last month hahaha piece of junk never worth more than1000 of course i paid 200 but put an additional 450 into it

  15. ownonemyself says:

    found a sport model on cl 650 i could buy it and try to sell for 15k lol that wouldnt happen i'm just not that lucky

    • d-50 sport the best says:

      i have a 1980 D-50 Sport with 117,000 miles on it. has never been restored and in excellent shape and run good,put a weber carb on it to boast hp and fuel mileage avg 31mpg now. if i would sell it, the price would be 7500 to 10000 dollars, you just don't find these trucks in great shape

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