While the 2021 Ram 1500 TRX is the ultimate performance truck from the factory at the moment, two decades ago, that title was taken by the Dodge Dakota 5.9 R/T. The midsized “muscle truck” from Dodge, brought in the 2000s as the budget-friendly rear-wheel-drive (RWD) performance offering from the brand. The Dakota 5.9 R/T filled in the gap that the Dodge brand left vacant compared to Chevrolet, Pontiac, and Ford with their muscle car offerings.
Powered by a high-output 5.9-liter MAGNUM V8 making a modest 250 horsepower and a stump-pulling 350 ft.-lb. of torque and mated to a heavy-duty 46RE 4-speed automatic transmission, the Dakota 5.9 R/T was offered in both Regular Cab and Club Cab (extended cab) configurations. The Dakota 5.9 R/T package also featured a tighter suspension which included a 9mm bigger rear stabilizer bar and was lowered by 19mm, performance exhaust, a 3.92 ratio limited-slip rear differential axle, and 17-inch x 9-inch aluminum wheels wrapped in 255/55/17 Goodyear Eagle RSA tires.
Twenty years later, it is getting harder and harder to find a good rust-free example that still retains its stock form. However, tomorrow, one such example is going across the auction block at the Barrett-Jackson Las Vegas event.
With only 8,321 miles on the odometer (while the title reads mileage exempt), this Dakota 5.9 R/T Regular Cab still retains its original Black Clearcoat paint and silver R/T graphics. The truck is in exceptional condition with no scratches in the bed and underneath it looks just as good as it did in 2000.
The truck features a few Mopar Performance accessories like an intake and performance Engine Control Unit (ECU), the stock ECU is included in the sale of the truck. The truck also comes with the original dealer brochure and window sticker as well.
While people continue to hope that Ram will bring back the Dakota, this Dakota is a prime example of just how good the midsized truck once was and how beautiful of a street machine it could be.
For those who are interested in the truck, it is currently LOT #340.1 and can be seen and bid on the Barrett-Jackson website.
2000 Dodge Dakota 5.9 R/T Regular Cab Image Gallery: