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My new car: A very rare 1983 Plymouth Scamp

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posted on Feb, 19 2019 @ 09:46 PM
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Hey everybody!

So my wife and I have been down to a single car for about a year now, and with our work schedule/locations it has been a supreme pain in my ass. Very recently we finally got our heads up above the waters of debt and were able to buy ourselves a second vehicle. My wife was scouring the vestiges of a site called Offerup.com, and came across a quirky little anomaly the likes of which I had never seen/heard of in my 32 years on this plane of existence.


Enter the Plymouth Scamp. I looked at the pictures and was initially only minorly intrigued. I thought to myself, "Old car, must have old and decrepit engine with hundreds of thousands of miles on it, probably countless problems." However, I was pleasantly surprised to find out that the original engine had 50,000 miles on it, and that nearly the entire engine had been rebuilt and had less than 5,000 miles on it!


Now, having picqued my interest in earnest, I decided to find out about the history of this half car/half truck. It turns out, the Dodge Rampage was a vehicle with a three-year production span, of which approximately 30,000 were sold. In 1983, Plymouth decided to release a near identical twin version called the Plymouth Scamp. At this point the trucklet market was dying out as many people were looking for heavy-duty full sized trucks. So the versatile Scamp only had a one year run and sold barely 3,000 units, GT model included.


Once we looked at this beauty in person, saw how well cared for it was, how it had only two previous owners, that kept it in a garage, and was able to avoid the rust monster that had doomed so many of them, the $1,500 asking price was too good to pass up. Oh, and 30 mph on the highway?! I'll take it!













So, is anyone here familiar with these vehicles? I'd love to hear stories or get advice on taking care of it.




posted on Feb, 19 2019 @ 09:54 PM
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It looks like an MR-2 and an El Camino had an illegitimate love child.

It is kinda cool, in a "Wayne's World" sort of way...

Naiven R. Johnson would look quite fly, behind the wheel of that beauty.

Jokes aside, very cool find... I'd drive it.



posted on Feb, 19 2019 @ 09:56 PM
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I had an '82 Dodge Rampage back in the early nineties, it got a lot of looks.

Never saw a Scamp that I can recall but I do remember reading about them. I always liked the old (what I call)'alt-brand' vehicles from back in the day. Still have my old Mercury Merkur----another odd vehicle that never really found its following, but was awesome lol

I have owned maybe 75 cars in my time, and love finds like you found. Grats and enjoy.



posted on Feb, 19 2019 @ 10:06 PM
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originally posted by: madmac5150
It looks like an MR-2 and an El Camino had an illegitimate love child.

It is kinda cool, in a "Wayne's World" sort of way...

Naiven R. Johnson would look quite fly, behind the wheel of that beauty.

Jokes aside, very cool find... I'd drive it.




I can definitely see the MR-2/El Camino love child aspect!



posted on Feb, 19 2019 @ 10:11 PM
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originally posted by: Maverick1
I had an '82 Dodge Rampage back in the early nineties, it got a lot of looks.

Never saw a Scamp that I can recall but I do remember reading about them. I always liked the old (what I call)'alt-brand' vehicles from back in the day. Still have my old Mercury Merkur----another odd vehicle that never really found its following, but was awesome lol

I have owned maybe 75 cars in my time, and love finds like you found. Grats and enjoy.



That's cool to hear that you had a Rampage! How would you rate it overall as a vehicle?


This is the first carbureted engine that I have ever owned, I am looking forward to learning all about it and how to drive and maintain it effectively.





posted on Feb, 19 2019 @ 10:15 PM
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That sounds like a decent price. Parts should be reasonably priced, but some body parts may be hard to find. I don't know about suspension parts, I am guessing that they will all still be available, back then a lot of parts were interchangeable for different models.

It looks like it is in decent shape, and at that price it is also an everyday driver till it wears out.



posted on Feb, 19 2019 @ 10:15 PM
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a reply to: ZombieZygote

That is so cool! I got an 83 Dodge 400 convertible a few years back. I think you'll find the 2.2 engine fairly easy to work on if you're comfortable with carburetors and have a good diagram of the vacuum lines. You will want the factory service manual because I find most modern repair shops don't want to bother with them. Like you said, good gas mileage, but you can measure the 0-60 with a calendar.

Good find and happy motoring!



posted on Feb, 19 2019 @ 10:22 PM
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originally posted by: rickymouse
That sounds like a decent price. Parts should be reasonably priced, but some body parts may be hard to find. I don't know about suspension parts, I am guessing that they will all still be available, back then a lot of parts were interchangeable for different models.

It looks like it is in decent shape, and at that price it is also an everyday driver till it wears out.


I believe that it has MacPherson Strut Suspension, so should be easy enough to fix. Yeah, at that price and with a fresh engine, I wouldn't even be torn up if it craps out in two years.



posted on Feb, 19 2019 @ 10:27 PM
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originally posted by: VictorVonDoom
a reply to: ZombieZygote

That is so cool! I got an 83 Dodge 400 convertible a few years back. I think you'll find the 2.2 engine fairly easy to work on if you're comfortable with carburetors and have a good diagram of the vacuum lines. You will want the factory service manual because I find most modern repair shops don't want to bother with them. Like you said, good gas mileage, but you can measure the 0-60 with a calendar.

Good find and happy motoring!


I have heard many good things about the reliability and ease of maintenance of the 2.2 engine. I am not at all a mechanic, but I hope to learn about this engine as I go along. I appreciate your advice about the manual!

Oh, and you are correct about the laughable 0-60! Luckily, I buy cars that are economical, not pullover-able.



posted on Feb, 19 2019 @ 10:28 PM
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edit on 19-2-2019 by ZombieZygote because: Everything the T.V. tells you is a lie



posted on Feb, 20 2019 @ 12:47 AM
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originally posted by: ZombieZygote

originally posted by: Maverick1
I had an '82 Dodge Rampage back in the early nineties, it got a lot of looks.

Never saw a Scamp that I can recall but I do remember reading about them. I always liked the old (what I call)'alt-brand' vehicles from back in the day. Still have my old Mercury Merkur----another odd vehicle that never really found its following, but was awesome lol

I have owned maybe 75 cars in my time, and love finds like you found. Grats and enjoy.



That's cool to hear that you had a Rampage! How would you rate it overall as a vehicle?


This is the first carbureted engine that I have ever owned, I am looking forward to learning all about it and how to drive and maintain it effectively.





Well, mine had the 2.2 /four speed combo and was actually pretty damned reliable.

Performance was nothing special, though, but that was pretty common back in that era.

The Chyrsler products were sort of trying to make a comeback of sorts back then and the reliability was where most of the focus went. The interior held together pretty well, though. And surprisingly, the exterior paint never did that 80's era clear-coat flaking thing that was awful back then. Nothing plush, but it didn't fall apart like a lot of the early 80's cars did, lol.

And actually, I even used mine more as an actual truck( I liked it better than an el camino I had), so that was a plus for me.

Overall, I would rate mine as about a 6.5/10, maybe a 7 due to the versatility . Better than some of the domestic stuff back then,but still real indicative of that era.



posted on Feb, 20 2019 @ 02:57 AM
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I wonder how difficult it would be, to drop in a Plymouth Slant/6 225.

You could drive that thing to Saturn, and back, on one oil change... with synthetic oil...
edit on 20-2-2019 by madmac5150 because: Accuracy



posted on Feb, 20 2019 @ 03:13 AM
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Never seen one of those before....that pretty cool. You can guarantee their is a forum for it somewhere.....either facebook or the webs.



posted on Feb, 20 2019 @ 03:14 AM
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a reply to: Maverick1

I had a mekur once....crazy good car and the 2.3 turbo is one badass motor.



posted on Feb, 20 2019 @ 05:06 AM
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I don't recall seeing those before ZombieZygote! Maybe they were around these parts. If so I never payed them any mind.
If you don't have garbage pickup some kind of truck is nice to have.
I wonder how far back parts houses carry parts?



posted on Feb, 20 2019 @ 05:17 AM
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Sweet looking ride! Around that time k cars were popular to built by the same manufacturer. I can tell you with those as long as you maintain the engine proper it will last you a long time. We got 328786 miles of ours that sold it someone else and got a truck for heavy duty towing. Also since you love the gas mileage of 30mph which is sweet! Get a k& N air filter I got 18% increase in my gas mileage. a reply to: ZombieZygote



posted on Feb, 20 2019 @ 08:17 AM
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a reply to: ZombieZygote

If I'm not mistaken it's got the iron 2.2L motor in it? Basically it's an K car with a car/truck body. It's certainly unusual and looks like it would be a fun grocery getter.



posted on Feb, 20 2019 @ 12:21 PM
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That's great! I haven't seen a Scamp in ages. Saw a Rampage this last summer at a car show. It was quite the attraction.

Good find!



posted on May, 8 2019 @ 09:11 PM
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Cool ride, indeed! It is like a half car, half truck. I remember my buddy had a Scamp turbo swap project that didn't push through. He ended up parting it out including the original 2.2/A465 trans, wiring harness, etc. I bought the rotiform wheels that came with it. They are sitting in my garage right now. My plan is to refinish them and put on my car.



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