History of the Ram 1500

History of the Ram 1500

Brought to you by Rochester Hills Chrysler Jeep Dodge

In 1914, the Dodge Brothers Motor Vehicle company was born with its first vehicle, a touring car that was an instant success. Three years later, Dodge began building reliable trucks; during World War I, Dodge was called to action and began building ambulances and staff vehicles for the war effort. This vehicle was a panel van with a 35 horsepower engine and with a half-ton capacity. Eventually, Dodge developed the Ram sigil, a respected symbol of strength that became the marker for a vehicle that is strong, swift, and proud!

The Creation of the Dodge Truck

By 1921, Dodge Brothers began selling the Graham Brothers one and a half-ton pickups on Dodge chassis bodies. In 1925, Dodge purchased the Graham Brothers company and began developing its first civilian trucks! Chrysler eventually acquired the Dodge brand in 1928, and by 1932, the Ram was first used as a hood ornament on Dodge vehicles. A year later, Dodge switched to Chrysler engines and modified the trucks for durability. The engine was a six-cylinder, the same flat-head used in Plymouths, and was used through the 1960s.

The Dodge pickup was redesigned entirely in 1939 with streamlined styling. The first Dodge diesel engine was produced, one of the only two American automakers to use diesel before World War II. During World War II, the company started engineering four-wheel-drive military trucks, leading to the first light-duty 4WD pickup in 1946. Between 1942 and 1945, over 255,195 T-model trucks were built by Dodge for the war efforts.

After the war, the Chassis used in military trucks became the basis for the civilian Power Wagon with jobs rated as WC and WD. Dodge's B-trucks were developed after the war and leapfrogged the competition with a superior cab, taller seats, and larger glass areas with better visibility. Rear windows became optional to avoid blind spots, and the engine and wheels were moved. The Front axles were also moved, shifting the payload so the truck could carry more. Cargo boxes were also deepened thanks to the increased capacity.

The Modern Ram Brand

Dodge's pickup truck continued to lead the segment throughout the decades. By 1981, the robust, versatile Ram symbol was transformed into its own model and refused to back down from a hard day's work. The 1981 Ram truck was short and stout with a no-frills cab and a recycled 1930s hood ornament. The Ram truck was redesigned again in 1986 with the addition of the new crosshair grille, a leap forward. By 1991, the Ram truck had yet another redesign to the grille, although the company kept the rectangular headlamps and crossbars. In 1992, Ram upgraded the engine to a 3.9-liter and 5.2-liter while a 5.9-liter engine was introduced in 1993 with new manifolds, a higher compression cylinder, and multi-port fuel injections. In addition, the 1993 engine was named Magnum, and a heavy-duty Torqueflite automatic transmission was available. Tighter turns, longer springs and shocks, and other improvements were also added for better ride quality.

In 1994, the Ram line was redesigned again. In 1986, research and development began on a second-generation, which continued into 1992. The redesign took longer than expected, thanks to Ram's dedication to growth and uniqueness. By 1998, the Quad Cab was introduced with a revised interior, rounded mirrors, a digital odometer, and a chime instead of a buzzer.

Throughout the new Millenium, the Dodge Ram has continued to push exclusive innovations, giving the competition a run for their money. The latest generation was introduced in 2008 with the introduction of the first Dodge Ram 1500 pickup truck! From 2011 and onwards, manual transmissions were available, making it the only pickup truck to have a manual transmission available.

2020 and beyond

Today, the Ram brand continues to offer innovation and class-exclusive features that are unchallenged in the segment. The Ram 1500 provides a high-quality 12-inch touchscreen, a first in any pickup truck, as well as enough storage and capability to blow its rivals out of the water! The 2020 Ram 1500 even offers a brand-new 3.0-liter V6 EcoDiesel engine that is more efficient and powerful with a max tow rating of 12,560 pounds! Comfort and innovation are a clear win for the Ram 1500; from the premium cabin to best-in-class capability, the Ram 1500 continues a long tradition of exclusive ability! Want to learn more about the latest Ram 1500 models? Check out our full inventory and stop on by the dealership today!

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