After extensive customer research chief designer Philip E Payne took a gamble and went with the big rig look for the second generation (BR) Dodge Rams launched in 1994. He knew that by pandering to the majority of his clients he might loose a few of those who preferred softer styling.
The Big Rig look gave the new range of Dodge Ram’s instant recognition that was quite distinctive form the main rivals built by General Motors and Ford, and the look is even more distinctive on this ’95 1500 extended cab with the bug deflectors and sun shield, the only thing missing are the christmas tree lights usually found on big rigs.
The second generation Dodge Rams were powered by the same motors as the first series this one, seen at last year’s Avenue Drivers Club meeting in June, is powered by a top of the 1500 range 230 hp 5.9 litre / 360 cui Magnum V8.
Second Generation Rams were available in 1500 half ton, 2500 3/4 ton and 3500 dually one ton forms. The 2500 3/4 ton and 3500 one ton was available with a 8 litre / 488 cui V10 that was used as the basis for the Dodge Viper sports cars.
Ram body options included 2 door, 2 door extended cab and from 1998 Quad Cab 4 door extended cab with front opening “suicide’ doors. Special attention was given to the storage area’s inside the cab with a large glovebox, central armrest storage and further storage space behind the seats.
1500 Rams could be ordered with either 6′ or 8′ beds. THis truck will have been fitted with an A518 four speed automatic transmission a descendant of the TorqueFlight 3 speed automatic transmission first seen in 1956.
The 1996 film Twister featured a similar 3/4 ton Ram 2500 with club cab on the back to the one seen here, sadly it was destroyed near the end of the story nearly bringing some pick up truck fans to tears.
Philip E Payne’s gamble with the big rig look paid off handsomely as Dodge went from it’s traditional third spot in truck sales behind Ford and General Motors to first in three years and stayed at the top from 1996 to 1999 by which time both Ford and GM had caught up with the big rig look.
Thanks for joining me on this “Big Rig Look” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !