The Dodge Ram made its debut on American soil in 1981. The Ram name supposedly came from a hood ornament that was utilized on Chrysler vehicles in the earlier part of the twentieth century. From the beginning, the Dodge Ram has been marketed as a tough truck that can beat the competition in design and power. Motor Trend magazine has agreed with Dodge for two of its model years by voting it Truck of the Year in 1994 and 2003.
It was not until 1994 that the Ram 3500 got its current name. From 1981-1993 the one-ton Ram was referred to as the Ram 350. Owing to its excellent design, not a lot has been altered in the Ram 3500. Initially, three cab sizes were available: standard, club, and crew. Buyers had their choice of two different bed lengths as well. The Ram took the place of the D-Series truck in Dodge's lineup. The newest addition had more defined lines, a boxier build, and squared headlights. Since the earliest days, the Ram has undergone quite a physical transformation. The second generation of the Ram 3500 had rounded edges, wraparound headlights, and a massive front grille. The third generation saw minor style changes, while the newest fourth generation is a complete overhaul of the design. The 3500 is more streamlined and the front end gives the impression of an open mouth. Also, the latest 2009 Ram 3500 will be outfitted with an additional 35 horsepower.
The HEMI engine made its debut under Ram hoods in 2001. Dodge recognized that a powerful engine was needed to make the truck truly Ram tough. Not only that, Dodge is one of the few makers that have released a significant number of special edition trucks. The SRT-10, considered the fastest truck in the world, was first issued in 2004. A sports edition called the Rumble Bee was released in 2005. Also, Dodge created a Ram Indy Pace Truck that was available in the mid-nineties.
The newest Ram 3500 is available with a Cummins Turbo Diesel engine that reaches up to a whopping 350 horsepower. The Ram 3500 has always been on the affordable end for heavy-duty trucks, and currently asking a base MSRP of $29,755 for a one-ton pickup keeps it in a reasonable price point. Unfortunately, being that the 3500 is a diesel truck, estimated miles per gallon is not available for this model.
Once buyers became aware that Dodge was doing something different, they responded with higher sales. From its birth, the Ram 3500 has been something of an icon, a truck that both looks good and runs well. With the latest generation revamp, Dodge will surely see a perk in sales once again. If there is something that time will tell, it is that when Dodge implements innovative design changes in the Ram, buyers take notice.