Dakota Forumz banner

1 - 8 of 8 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
14 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hello,
Way back in 2001 I bought a new Dodge Ram Off Road pick up with a plow. I chose this truck because at the time I ownd a foreign car repair shop and needed a plow truck. One time while I was waiting at the dealership for something to be serviced on the Ram I visited the show room and sat in a new Dakota. I remember thinking if I were buying a truck just for myself this would be it! I loved the smaller size, and I'd argue with anyone that the 98 to 04 Dakota was one of the best looking pickup trucks of all time! At least the best looking of that era. But alas I had bought the Ram. It was an Off Road model 360 with Burgandy over silver two tone paint. I love it.
And it turned out to be a great truck. But changes in my life led to my trading it in on a MINI Cooper S of all things!
I needed the good gas milage so the Ram had to go.
After a few years passed and I missed being a truck owner, I found an 01 Dakota Sport CC 3.9 automatic for a decent price.
It was on a dealers online website under the wholesale section. I didnt do a carfax on it or anything, but I could see it had led a rough life. However it did have a new Intense Blue paint job and was reasonably straight and seemd to run ok. It also came with a ton of electrical problems, but I was blind to any of its issues. I had finally found my Dakota. That was 2011.
Today after steadily tinkering and fixing and updating it is finally getting there. The short list of improvements is: Fix all electrical problems, add cruse control. add power windows, change complete interior and dash, installed a 3/5 drop with DJM arms and rt springs up front and DJM rear hangers etc; all new poly bushings, a dark blue fiberglass tonneau cover, new heater core, and a whole lot more but I'mgetting writer's cramp!
Future plans are RT 17 inch wheels with new rubber, fix some rust spots, do some more mods to the 3.9 etc. maybe upgrade the sway bars and Qa1 shocks. It really a labor of love at this point.
So as it goes I'm no spring chicken, and I know and have done a thing or two in my life. Im hoping to meet a bunch of like minded Dakota owners and will impart what wisdom I can along the way. BTW I'm located in MA if there's anyone in the Northeast. Hope I havent bored you to tears, but I guess that's enough of an introduction for now.

Dynamo
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
94 Posts
Hey there you are, I didn't realize you were new here as I am as well. My 5500 sq ft shop is for classic Mini Cooper restoration. For 17 years I drove a Classic 1360cc MK3 Cooper S and used the wife's Explorer to pick up projects. A close friend bought a 03 Dakota to start a lawn cutting business with his son who had complete his college work and is an accountant. The kid had and still has no desire to cut grass in 95 degree summer heat. The friend lives on the outside of a four lane divided highway curve which is about 4 to 5 feet higher than his yard, yes its banked. Twice the truck was involved in accidents setting in his yard. Both times insurance replaced the broken glass where cars flew off the curve landing it the wet and soft dirt sending mud flying into the Dakota. I fully understand your labor of love. I also agree GEN 2 are a classic beauty, somebody just got it right. I'm deep into the repair and replace thing with ours. Turning 71 I share mine with my turning 21 son. Lets be honest I can't afford to pay $45,000 to $65,000 for a new truck. With my personal talent and a whole lot less money we are getting everything done and driving every day. Steve
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Hey Steve,
Well we seem to have a lot in common beside the Dakotas. First I just turned 65. I too ran my own garage for years. (@4500 sq ft specializing in foreign cars) I am also a big fan of the original Mini, although the closest I ever got to owning one was a '60 Bugeye Sprite. That car feature a '73 1275 from a Midget, to which I gave the full David Vizzard treatment, by the book of course.
Currently I have an R53 which has been modified so much I've run out of things to do to it. What's next?
Well this is why I'm now turning my attention to the 3.9. That, and because no one else has paid it much attention.
So I guess we'll be on this journey together.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
94 Posts
Oh boy a small world, I also had a Bug eye as a kid followed by side curtain square body Sprite. My first car was a 1930 A Model Ford I still have it. I have known David for years. My how to modify your mini is signed and stored in a gallon zip lock bag it's kind of loose leaf. Of course I have all three A series books. David has driven one of my race cars and mailed me pre published manuscripts to proof over the years. We have rallyed, eaten and gone for ice cream together. As a team owner and driver I have won two Jefferson 500s lapping the field at Summit Point both years in a classic mini vintage racing. I restored the Team Spreen 1970 SCCA national champion Cooper S. As builder and track support that one won the Gold Cup at VIR. We flew Nick Swift over to drive it. My vintage customers have either aged out or run out of money. With a classic mini power unit that will win at $28,000 and above thins the field. Steve
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Wow. Talk about provenance! I figured being a Mini guy you'd have heard ofthe book, not personally know the writer!
I'll bet you have some great stories to tell.
My involvement with cars has lead me to meet people like Donald Healey before he passed, and Alois Ruf, among many other rich and famous. Personally after the Bugeye I got into 911s and went the German route automotive wise.. But that stemed from my love of air cooled cars. My first car was a 66 Corvair and second a Corsa Turbo! What a car.! Wish I still had that one Then I had a couple of different 911s.. It was all great fun, but nowdays firmly part ofthe past. As I grew older I seem to have gotten less social due to a lack of time to devote, and my realizing I'd never have the kind of money it took to be in that game.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
94 Posts
Gee it just gets better, some time along the way I bought the wife a 911. She felt the need to race anyone from a Toyota P/U to a Corvette she was beside at a stop light. Once her license was in trouble we stored it in the detached garage of one of our rentals. Great renters never ask for or needed anything and paid on time in cash at my front door for years. They never mentioned the tree limb that went though the roof of garage and 911 during Isabelle. In spite of having insurance seems contents of detached garage are not covered. Do you know any 911 body shops? Steve
Shoot me a text 757-eight eight 0 92 eight 3
 
1 - 8 of 8 Posts
Top