The Ram is a big, powerful, reliable, brutal, and fairly inexpensive truck compared to other American pickups. The Ram brand and logo are great characteristics of this line, and there are many fascinating nuances in its history. Today, we delve deeper into the past of the famous Ram.
The logo adorning the radiator grille, steering wheel, and other nameplates features the head of a bighorn ram (Ovis canadensis) widespread in North America. Males are quite dense, strong, and large - up to 300 pounds. The weight of the horns of an adult ram reaches 30 pounds, and all the other bones in its body weigh the same. With such formidable weapons, they sort things out, divide territory, and protect themselves from predators.
The ram animal first appeared on Dodge cars in 1932 as a mascot - a chrome figure on the hood. At first, it was a ram jumping forward, which changed a little over time, and then, only the head remained. This mascot disappeared from the hood in 1954.
These huge horns reappeared on the Dodge Bighorn truck in 1973. Dodge produced full-fledged trucks for quite a short time, and they were not commercially successful. In 1973, for example, only 10 Bighorns were sold, and in three years, 261 trucks were produced on the assembly line, which today makes them a collector's item; it is believed that there are no more than 110 Dodge Bighorns left in all North America.
In the late 70s, a ram's head mascot began to appear on Dodge D Series pickups, which, starting in 1981, became known as Dodge Ram. You can also find it on Ramcharger SUVs. The full-size vans of this brand received the name Ram Van, and the brand symbol at that time was a five-pointed star. Most likely, the initiator of assigning such a powerful symbol for these large and mighty cars was Lee Iacocca, a brilliant manager of automobile concerns, who undertook the management to pull the entire Chrysler Corporation out of a deep crisis that threatened it with bankruptcy in 1979.
Since 1992, the ram's head on the Dodge Ram is no longer in the form of a mascot but a drawing. Perhaps they thought about the safety of a pedestrian who could be gored by this chrome head (which is unlikely, given the height at which it was). Or maybe it was influenced by the fact that in 1993, the same symbol appeared on the Dodge Intrepid with a modern, aerodynamic body on which a mascot would be out of place. By 1996, the ram's head replaced the five-pointed star on all Dodge vehicles as its official logo. The only exception was the Dodge Viper.
Starting with the second generation of Ram pickups, production of which was launched in 1994, this truck acquired the appearance we know.
By the way, work on the design started back in 1986. The process was not easy, with rejected sketches, and, in the end, it was decided to move away from the rectangular design of the first generation and take as a basis not some futuristic concept car but a Studebaker pickup truck from the 1955 model year. The new product differed favorably from the ascetic trucks of other concerns, and in the year of release, 1994, the RAM won the prestigious American “Truck of the Year” award. Ram sales quadrupled, and perhaps for the first time, Chrysler could compete with GM and Ford in the pickup truck segment.
Subsequent generations of Ram were also quite successful and competitive in terms of technical components and design. And then, due to the global financial crisis, Chrysler Corporation almost went bankrupt. It was saved from inevitable collapse by the help of the US and Canadian governments and the merger with Fiat, followed by a series of major changes in the company.
In 2010, the RAM model separated from the Dodge brand into a standalone new Ram brand. The reason for this division was the positioning of the Dodge brand as a manufacturer of personal, sports, or family cars for active and mainly young people. Owners of Ram pickups, according to the company's management, are people who buy a truck not for style but for its consumer characteristics: farmers, fishermen, and other business people.
Starting in 2013, the American market began supplying vans under the Ram brand. The Ram ProMaster is famous in the rest of the world as Fiat Ducato, Citroën Jumper, Citroën Relay, Peugeot Boxer, or Peugeot Manager. A significant difference of the Ram ProMaster is the availability of a version with a gasoline 3.0-liter V6 and a 6-speed automatic instead of a diesel four. In 2014, the Ram ProMaster City appeared, known in Europe as the Fiat Doblo. Also, the lineup includes a small Ram 700 pickup truck based on the Fiat Strada available in Mexico and the Ram ProMaster Rapid from the Fiat Fiorino. In 2016, production of the Ram 1200 began - the redesigned Mitsubishi L200.
But we love this brand primarily for the powerful Ram 1500, 2500, and 3500, which still look brutal and do not cause much trouble in servicing. If you want to buy a used RAM truck or van in Indiana, check the Indy Auto Man inventory and schedule your test drive!