We're spending this month with a 2013 Ram 1500, but while we're focusing on what makes the full-sizer one of our top-rated pickups, we're also taking a look back into history for the five Chrysler pickup trucks we'd have all over again.
The Ram's history is just as cloudy as the past for the big Chevy, Ford, and GMC trucks. There's a clear family tree, but when it comes to names, there are relatively few Seniors and Juniors in the lineup. The ram logo first showed up in the 1930s; the Ram pickups, in the 1960s. The Dodge Ram appeared in 1972, which is when we've started our search for five Ram-branded vehicles we'd love to own--and we're including only those vehicles built from or derived from the full-size Ram or Dodge Ram pickup trucks. Sorry, Power Wagon.
We'll revisit at least one of these later on in our 30 Days Of Ram 1500. But first, the best Ram trucks and sort-of trucks of all time:
"Feeling shy? Lacking self-confidence? Ten solid years of psychoanalysis might straighten you out, but lay down the same amount of scratch up front for Dodge’s insane Ram SRT-10 — the fastest, most powerful pickup truck available in this great land of ours — and you’ll feel better in a hurry." That's what we said back in 2004 on our first drive of the Dodge Ram SRT-10, the Viper-powered pickup that shattered expectations and more than a few 0-60 mph barriers. With the Viper’s 8.3-liter V-10 at its disposal, the Ram SRT sported 500 horsepower and 525 lb-ft of torque, good for 60 mph in just 5.2 seconds. At $45,850, it was no bargain, but there was utterly nothing like it, and no disguising its performance. As we warned, "your wallflower days will be over."
2011 Ram Laramie LonghornEnlarge Photo
Brooks Brothers, meet Dunne. We love a good tramp stamp, and we love a good truck. Put the two together, and you have a truck that so knowingly exceeds all bounds of good taste, it circles back around on itself in a redneck-pleasing Mobius strip. "It's the most luxurious Chrysler truck ever built, it shares a name with steak we love, and it looks like it's taken a backstage tour through Gretchen Wilson's wardrobe racks," we wrote back in 2011 when we got our first look at the dolled-up truck. "What exactly are we not supposed to love about the Ram Laramie Longhorn?" On top of that, the LL was among the Rams featured in a spectacularly conceived set of ad posters that perfectly recaptured the 1930s era of travel. Just don't call it a King Ranch.