"The serious tooling money was limited to grille, good, badging, and some powertrain to body brackets." I'm guessing that "good" should be "hood".
"I remember it mostly as a trip to Abilene" -- Texas or Kansas? Does Mopar have facilities in either city, or was this just to meet somewhere else?
At the time, the Ramcharger was still being built, though after its production ended in 1993, nothing replaced it until the Durango some 5 years later. The ZD would have filled that niche, even though it was essentially the same as the ZJ.