Is This 1988 Dodge Ram Surveillance Van For $19,995 A Good Deal?

Nice price or no dice 1988 Dodge D250 Ram Van

The whole idea of ​​a radio surveillance vehicle is that it should be unobtrusive, which is the way it is today Nice price or no dice Dodge isn’t. Let’s see if we can solve the case of this eccentric Ram bus and its selling price.

Mercedes-Benz recently announced that it plans to switch its cars and consumer trucks to electric power by the end of the decade in certain markets. That edict was tempered a bit more recently when a rep revealed that the company has no plans to retire its V8s this decade, and if there is demand, AMG will continue to build them even beyond 2030.

That’s a breath of fresh air for us petrolheads, but when cars are like those of yesterday Mercedes E55 AMG from 2006 are still around and in nice shape, will it really matter? Our Benz was presented as like new, although it had far from like new mileage. That, and an asking price of $26,000, didn’t sit well with many of you, resulting in a No Dice loss of 61 percent.

In yesterday’s vote, the results looked like a toss-up. Of course, if the ability to tap your phone lines or intercept your Internet feed had been available, we might have been able to determine well in advance what the ultimate outcome would be. If only there was something like an ex-FBI surveillance van around to assist in such hypothetical efforts.

Image for article titled For $19,995, Is This 1988 Dodge Ram Surveillance Van a Mysteriously Good Deal?

This one 1988 Dodge Ram B250 is advertised as an ex-FBI surveillance van.

For whatever reason, it’s also dressed up to resemble the Mystery Machine from the beloved Saturday morning cartoon show, Scooby Doo, where are you! That show was a formative icon for many a tween male, as debates raged in lunch fields and high school gym classes over whether Velma or Daphne was the more attractive tone. For example, I was always in Team Velma. Tween girls didn’t need to have such debates because there’s really no question about whether Fred or Shaggy is the better boyfriend material. I think Fred’s ascot says it all.

Image for article titled For $19,995, Is This 1988 Dodge Ram Surveillance Van a Mysteriously Good Deal?

Sorry, I digress. The real question is why this Dodge van exists in its current form at all? If it really was an FBI surveillance van, as claimed by the seller and evidenced by the many listening devices and recorders in the back, shouldn’t it be much more inconspicuous? Or, at least disguised as something passersby wouldn’t want to take a selfie with while “doing it for the Gram?”

Image for article titled For $19,995, Is This 1988 Dodge Ram Surveillance Van a Mysteriously Good Deal?

The weird mix of TV show tropes is really mind boggling and the seller is of no help in explaining as they only provide a single description sentence in the ad:

1988 Dodge Ram Van w 8k mi. FBI Surveillance Mystery Machine.

It’s sold by what appears to be a small dealer and the ad at least gives us the mileage – 8K – and the fact that it comes with a clean title. Exactly why, however, remains unanswered. There is also no explanation as to why there are a few BMW basket weaves in the back of the van.

Image for article titled For $19,995, Is This 1988 Dodge Ram Surveillance Van a Mysteriously Good Deal?

We can glean some useful information from the photos. Inside is a photocopy of an older title showing that the owner at the time was the Hudson, Massachusetts Police Department. We also get to see the van from all angles and those photos show it’s in pretty nice condition with decent chrome and trim, and a pretty close look at the whole Mystery Machine aesthetic.

The cabin looks just as decent with reasonable vinyl covering under the Scooby Doo seat covers and rubber carpeting in the front. The rear is completely enclosed and carpeted. A director’s chair faces a console with lots of electronics, and there’s an extra bench above the right wheel well and – god damn it – a port-a-potty tucked behind the left one.

Image for article titled For $19,995, Is This 1988 Dodge Ram Surveillance Van a Mysteriously Good Deal?

Power comes from a 5.2 liter V8 with 170 horsepower and 260 lb-ft of torque. The main engine access is located under the dog house in the cabin. A three-speed automatic transmission accompanies the engine and drives the rear wheels. No word is given on the condition of the mechanics, but come on, they’ve only done 8,000 miles.

So this van is a bit of a mystery, wrapped in a question and painted to look like the Mystery Machine. What should that be worth? The dealer seems to think it’s worth $19,995 and now it’s up to you to solve the mystery of whether or not that’s a correct shot.

Image for article titled For $19,995, Is This 1988 Dodge Ram Surveillance Van a Mysteriously Good Deal?

What do you think, could this security van be worth that $19,995? Or do you just not see, hear or intercept that through a tapped telephone line?

You decide!

New London, Connecticut, Craig’s Listor go here when the ad disappears.

H/T to Maximusorama for the connection!

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