The History of The Ram Truck

The all famous 2020 Ram 1500 truck was once a Dodge Ram D150. Yes, Dodge and Ram used to be one company, which explains any Ram truck before 2009 has the Dodge and Ram logos slapped on their bodies. Since 2009, Ram has become its own brand and is now considered one of today’s best selling trucks. Let’s take a look at the history of the Ram truck:

The Start of It All

Between 1981-1993, the first-ever generation of Dodge Ram pickup trucks was made. Although Dodge had been producing vehicles since 1917, their 1981 pickups were the first ones to sport the Ram name. So Dodge decided to design their vehicles with a ram’s head hood ornament on the trucks after Lee Iacocca, Chrysler’s President and CEO at the time, decided it was a good mascot for the vehicle.

Models & Powertrains

The model designations back then were made slightly different than they are today. The letter “D” on the truck designated a two-wheel drive. The letter “W” designated a four-wheel-drive. After the letter, a number was allocated for identifying the amount of weight that truck would be able to haul. For example, 150 meant half a ton, 250 meant three-quarters of a ton, and 350 meant one ton. For example, a Ram D350 would signify the truck was a two-wheel drive, one-ton pickup.

Under the hood, the first generation Dodge Rams were quite well-equipped. This engine series had served Dodge well for years, and so the brand decided to bring them on board to outfit the first generation of Dodge Ram pickups. There was a 3.7-liter 95-horsepower slant six, a 5.2-liter 140 horsepower V8, and a 5.9-liter V8 that produced 170 horsepower. These three engines ranged between the half-ton, three-quarter-ton, and one-ton pickup trucks, and provided more than enough horsepower.

Electronic Fuel Injection and New Engines

No significant changes were made to these trucks until 1988 and 1989 when electronic fuel injection and new engines came out. This electronic fuel injection was available for the 5.2-liter V8 Engine in 1988. In 1989, other engines offered electronic fuel injection. These injections helped give the vehicles better performances, especially compared to the carbureted version previously used.

In 1989, Dodge introduced new engines to the public: the 3.9-liter V6 engine with electronic fuel injections and 125 horsepower. The 5.9-liter V8 stuck around and received electronic fuel injection, which bumped up the horsepower to 190.

New Models, Trim Levels, and Changes in Model Designations

1994 was a big year for Dodge Ram trucks. New models were introduced, and they were even more popular than the first models. Dodge created the perfect vehicle for that time by taking the rugged look of a truck, designing a car-like interior, and adding the new engine upgrades from 1993.

New model designations were given new labels. The half-ton truck was labeled 1500, the three-quarter-ton was 2500, and the one-ton was labeled the 3500. By 1994, Dodge had the upper hand in the truck industry and known for producing the largest full-size trucks. These new designations also meant a revamp in trim levels. The new trim levels included the Work Special, LT, ST, and Laramie SLT.

The Breakup

In October of 2009, Dodge and Ram announced that they would no longer be working together. Many enthusiasts and fans of the company were concerned that this split would hurt the company, but they were wrong.

Since splitting up, Ram has built its image and vision to what it is today. During the 2013 Super Bowl, Ram aired a very emotional commercial that represented the heart of Ram and their customers. Watch the Ram Super Bowl Commercial called “Famer”:

While Ram has been able to focus more on creating trucks, Dodge has focused on producing quality vehicles in the car world. Today, Ram and Dodge are two of the best-selling companies. The 2020 Ram 1500 made everyone turn heads when the Ram trucks outsold the Chevrolet Silverado. This made Ram the second-best-selling pickup in the U.S.


We hope you enjoyed reading about the history of the Ram truck. If you’re interested in purchasing your dream truck, we can help you!

Here at Miracle Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram, our staff members are very knowledgeable about every Jeep model we have on the lot and what each model contains. Let our staff assist you in finding the perfect Jeep to match your everyday adventure! Don’t forget we have the ability to complete an entire purchase online WITH home delivery. We are here for you.

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