I want a 1989 - 1991 Dodge Dakota Sport Convertible. Now I know you are thinking the age old non-collector guy question, "Why do you want one of these stupid things?"
Ever since I discovered its existence many years ago I thought it looked kind of cool. Since I own a practical car that gets decent gas mileage and only cost me $800,000 in maintenance every 3 years because whatever breaks is freaking expensive (slight exaggeration). That allows me to invest a small sum of money into something fun, impractical, and stupid.
Now there are many many vehicles that can fill this roll including a 911, Prowler, BRZ, etc.; however, I am poor and probably won't be able to afford one of those until Just for Men becomes a major part of my budget. But, I have found a car that can be fun and stupid, but is also a bit practical (and no, it is not a XJ220 Transit van), and I can attain it in a reasonable time frame. The Dodge Dakota Convertible...
Back when the original insane designers were at Dodge (there decedents are now at SRT), many silly ideas were thought of. Such examples as the Shelby Dakota and the Chrysler Laser came from this group. The Dodge Dakota Convertible is no different. Much like its Shelby counterpart the Dakota Convertible was commissioned through a partnership between Chrysler and some company that I can't remember and am too lazy to look up. Basically, Dodge built the Dakotas and the other company converted them (ha!) to convertibles. They then rolled out to the dealer lots. The model ran for 3 years (1989-1991) selling 2482, ~1600, and 6 each respective year. Are they the rarest cars known to man - no, but they are probably more comfortable and practical than the Chevrolet SSR.
So why do I want one of these fine pieces of motoring? Again, it is fun,
impractical, and stupid. You can have all of the fun of driving a stick shift convertible on winding 2 lane roads in the middle of nowhere during the summer, put in in 4 wheel drive to get out of a ditch in the winter (sure it may be a little drafty and cold - wear a damn coat), tow a decent sized trailer when you move across the state, and haul home that new washing machine because the old one thought your floors were dirty and replaced them with water. It is a true all seasons vehicle.
These trucks came with options to please anyone: manual or automatic, 2WD or 4WD, or any combination thereof. It is the Mazda Miata of convertible trucks (not like there is really anything else). Best yet, they are relatively inexpensive, usually around $3k to $7k depending on miles. Some are listed for over $12k but these people seem to think that because it is restored and a "future classic" it is worth loads of money (not quite yet). You aren't going to find one mint, or under 100k miles for a decent price, but isn't that the "fun" part of a project car. Speaking of which, parts for this truck are plentiful, any part suited for a 1980's to the mid 1990's models should be able to fit somewhere on this truck. So if you want a convertible for the summer, yet you need a machine to claw through the snow in the winter, maybe a Dodge Dakota Convertible is right for you.