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1945 Dodge Pickup

1945 Dodge Pickup

Dodge getting back to civilian pickup production after WWII.

It was in 1939 that Dodge debuted a new design for its pickup truck. A marketing campaign accompanied the truck called “Job Rated,” which helped owners choose the right Dodge pickup for the job. Several versions were offered, including half-ton, three-quarter ton, and one-ton versions, with different engine and wheelbase choices intermingled within.

Things were going well for Dodge when World War II broke out. Like nearly every other private business in 1942, Dodge began making wartime equipment. In its case, the Power Wagon was its shining star. However, Dodge promptly restarted production of civilian trucks a mere two hours after the last military truck rolled off the line in 1945.

It was in 1946 that Dodge built this particular pickup – a half-ton class with an inline six-cylinder engine and four-speed manual transmission, all coated in dark blue with chrome bumpers. It also comes fitted with the Deluxe cab package, which brought more comfortable seats, a driver side armrest and sun visor, dual electric windshield wipers, and chrome trim around the windshield.

The post-war pickups did receive minor updates thanks to enhancements made in wartime production. The chassis and clutch houses were made stronger, and a higher capacity radiator was introduced. All this made the Job Rated Dodge pickup a hardy competitor to other domestic pickups in the post-war boom.

The example seen here recently went under the gavel at the 2016 Mecum car auction at Monterey. It sold for an undisclosed amount, but Mecum’s pre-auction estimate put the price between $50,000 and $60,000.

Continue reading for the full review.

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The 2015 Truck of Texas: Crowing the Winners

The 2015 Truck of Texas: Crowing the Winners

Every fall, dozens of journalists from all over Texas and around the country gather to compare, test, and crown the winner of the “Truck of Texas” competition. It’s a coveted award from the Texas Auto Writers Association that signifies Texas’ collective approval of a truck. And not only are trucks involved, awards go out for the SUV and CUV of Texas.

I already touched on the topic in the preview piece, but awards are also given to the winner in each vehicle category and for various things like “best connectivity” and “best powertrain.”

This year’s competition was fierce. There were 84 vehicles present from 21 automakers entered into 17 different categories. Evaluating the field were 69 TAWA members comprised of journalists and social media influencers.

So let’s get down to the results. Keep reading for the full breakdown.

Continue reading for the results of the 2015 TAWA Truck Rodeo

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1946 Dodge Power Wagon

1946 Dodge Power Wagon

The Power Wagon name is an icon, having been tied to some of the greatest and most utilitarian pickups of the last 70 years. Even today, the Power Wagon name lives on under the Ram brand and boasts some of the most hard-core off-road equipment found on any showroom floor.

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1946 Dodge Power Wagon

1946 Dodge Power Wagon

The Power Wagon name is an icon, having been tied to some of the greatest and most utilitarian pickups of the last 70 years. Even today, the Power Wagon name lives on under the Ram brand and boasts some of the most hard-core off-road equipment found on any showroom floor.

It all got started after WWII when Dodge started producing a civilian version of its military WC Series trucks. Debuting for the 1946 model year, the first Power Wagon brought 4WD to the masses. Sure there was the Willys Jeep, but the Power Wagon was more useful around the farm and for businesses that needed to transport product. The truck’s eight-foot bed and heavy-duty suspension gave the truck the ability to haul upwards of 3,000 pounds.

These early Power Wagons were powered by old-school flat-head inline six-cylinders. The early 230 cubic-inch examples and later 251 cubic-inch mills produced adequate power for hauling such loads, though they pale in comparison to modern engines, including the current 6.4-liter Hemi V-8 used in the 2014 Dodge Ram Power Wagon. Still, the Power Wagon made a name for itself in those early years.

Production of the original Power Wagon lasted through 1980, though a redesign in the mid 1960s brought a more modern, less military look and added more creature comforts. After 1980, the Power Wagon name laid dormant until Dodge revived it on its trail-ready Ram 2500 model for 2005. Nowadays, Dodge has given way to the Ram Trucks brand while the Power Wagon name thankfully lives on.

Still, of all the Power Wagon variations that came throughout the years, it’s those early flat-fender workhorses that earned the Power Wagon name a spot in automotive history.

Continue reading to learn more about the 1946 Dodge Power Wagon.

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2013 Ram Superman Power Wagon

2013 Ram Superman Power Wagon

Cross-marketing stunts aren’t new in the auto industry.

It’s a great way for two companies to promote each other to two completely different audiences. Recently, a lot of auto brands and movie studios have taken this route to promote a particular movie and the car that will appear in said movie.

Alfa Romeo and Fast and Furious 6 recently did something like this a few weeks ago. Now, it’s Ram and Warner Bros’ turn to get in on the action.

With the upcoming "Man of Steel" movie set to hit theaters on June 14th, the two companies went ahead and unveiled a special edition, one-off "Man of Steel" Ram 1500 Power Wagon that was specifically built to promote the movie.

If this truck isn’t intimidating enough on its own, the specially designed Man of Steel-inspired styling will definitely get your attention.

Shortly after its unveiling, the one-off Man of Steel Power Wagon will head over to New York City on June 10th, just in time for the world premiere of the highly anticipated Superman movie. From there, the truck will go on its own tour around the country in the coming months before heading over to the auction block where it will be auctioned off for charity.

Click past the jump to read about how Ram dressed up this 1500 Power Wagon in the style of the Man of Steel himself

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2012 Dodge Ram L'il Red Express Truck

2012 Dodge Ram L’il Red Express Truck

Back in 1978, Dodge rolled out a special edition package for its D150 pickup trucks, which were not yet named “Ram.” This new package was known internally as Package Code YH6 and featured a high-output 360-cubic-inch V-8 engine with a 4-barrel carb pumping in fuel. The engine boasted high-flow cylinder heads and an aggressive cam shave and it all hooked up to a 3.55-to-1 rear end. This package, which we all know as the L’il Red Express, only lasted two years – 1978 and 1979 – and saw only 2,188 units in 1978 and 5,118 units in 1979. This makes it one of the most sought after Dodge pickups ever built.

Well, Ram is rolling out a remake of this classic short-body pickup truck in the form of its SEMA-stationed L’il Red Express Truck. Though it is more modern than the original rendition, it certainly pays it homage rather well. It features the bright-red paint of the original, a side-stack exhaust system, and a wood-trimmed bed.

In addition, this remake of the cult classic pickup features 22-inch Mopar rims with gold inserts, a 5.7-liter HEMI engine that pumps out 390 horsepower and 407 pound-feet of torque, gold accent stripes, “Hyperblack” painted grille inserts, and a custom Katzkin (no, not “cat skin”) interior. Sure, it lacks the flare-side styling and the wood-outlined bed of the original, but it is bad-ass nonetheless.

There is no mention of this special edition ever coming to the Ram lineup, but don’t be too surprised to see it roll out in 2013 and 2014, as Chrysler loves running special-edition Rams – there have been plenty of them. One thing is for sure, it would definitely carry a higher premium than the $1,131 price for the original L’il Red Express package.

Stay tuned to find our of Chrysler plans to launch this model or not.

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2012 Dodge Urban Ram

2012 Dodge Urban Ram

The new Dodge Ram pick-up will also be presented at the upcoming SEMA Show with a very cool Urban Ram concept car specially customized by Mopar. The concept features a very cool Modern Blue paint scheme combined with a Mopar blue stripe - reminder of the limited edition Mopar ’11 Charger.

The new Urban Ram Concept features a very cool sport performance hood, a new set of 22" wheels painted hyperblack and a fiberglass tonneau cover matching the body color.

The standard 2013 Ram 1500 is powered by a 392 HEMI engine, but Mopar decided is time to make it even more aggressive. For this the tuneer added new Mopar headers, a Mopar cold-air intake and Mopar performance dual exhaust with chrome tips. They did not announced how these updates improved the engine’s output, but the package also includes a Mopar performance handling kit and SRT rotors and brake calipers that help rein in all the extra power.

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1965 Dodge D200 Crew Cab by ICON

1965 Dodge D200 Crew Cab by ICON

With SEMA barely a month away from opening its doors, it’s a safe bet that a lot of project vehicles are being finished in time for their SEMA debuts.

In 2011, ICON was in attendance at SEMA with a customized Bronco, a creation that certainly drew its fair share of attention. This year, ICON will return to SEMA with another glorious - and classic - project vehicle.

This one is based on the 1965 Dodge D200 crew cab, a vehicle that spent most of its life as a military machine. Rest assured, we expect great things from ICON and the early release of details suggest the same thing.

The body, for one, has been painted in a white body finish with black accents and wheels. Meanwhile, the interior has been dressed in a free-range bison leather with a matching high-end stereo system. Under its hood, the D200 will comes with a new chassis that was taken from the Ram 3500 and has been fitted with a 4.5" suspension lift kit. Powering the ICON-tuned D200 is expected to be a 5.9-liter Banks-modified Cummins turbo diesel, inline-six engine that carries 975 lb/ft of torque. Yeah, that’s enough torque to pull some serious weight.

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2013 Ram Heavy Duty

2013 Ram Heavy Duty

The history of the Dodge Ram began back in 1981 when the original model was launched onto the market. Since then, many things have changed, with the Heavy Duty version to be unveiled in 2009. And now, for the 2013 model year the new Ram Heavy Duty has been updated with an all-new interior, next-generation Uconnect Access, Powernet, new frames and new suspension.

2013 model year also marks the debut of the 5.7-liter HEMI V8 engine as standard equipment. It delivers a total of 383 HP and a peak torque of 400 lbs-ft and is mated to a 66RFE six-speed automatic transmission. Next to it the renowned 6.7-liter Cummins High-Output Turbo Diesel I-6 is now available in three versions: 350 HP, 370 HP and 385 HP.

The 2013 Dodge Ram Heavy Duty will go on sale in the first quarter of 2013.

Hit the jump to read more about the new 2013 Dodge Ram Heavy Duty.

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2012 Ram 10th Anniversary Lone Star

2012 Ram 10th Anniversary Lone Star

In 2002, the first Dodge Ram Lone Star edition went on sale exclusively in Texas. You see, Dodge was banking on the idea that this special edition Ram would do well in terms of sales, since the Texas pickup market was so strong. Boy, were they right; the Lone Star model now makes up 30 to 40 percent of all Ram 1500s sold in Texas, and Ram has sold more than 80,000 units since the Lone Star’s debut.

Ram Truck has now unveiled a special 10th Anniversary edition of its Ram 1500 Lone Star. The 2012 Ram 1500 Lone Star 10th Anniversary edition will get an exclusive appearance package, which includes new, Texas-size “Lone Star” badges that will replace the “Ram 1500” badging. The truck is only available in Crew Cab configuration with bucket seats. Inside the 10th anniversary Lone Star, you’ll find Katzkin perforated leather seats with stylized Lone Star logos, as well as a 10th Anniversary Lone Star logos on the glove box and floormats.

The Ram Lone Star comes standard with the 5.7L HEMI V8, which delivers 390HP, 407ft.-lbs of torque, and 20 mpg. The power is transferred to the wheels by a 6-speed automatic transmission. The Lone Star also gets 20-inch aluminum wheels, a 115V auxiliary power outlet, a Class IV receiver hitch, a 10-way adjustable power driver’s seat, halogen quad headlamps, fog lamps, rear 60/40 split folding seats, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio controls. In addition to the many standard features, more than two dozen factory options and hundreds of Mopar accessories are available for buyers who want to make the Ram Lone Star reflect their personalities.

The Lone Star package is $1,500, giving the 2012 Ram 1500 Lone Star 10th Anniversary edition a starting price of $36,440. You will definitely see a lot of these trucks in Texas in 2012, since the Lone Star edition will be exclusively for sale in Texas at the end of second quarter.

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2009 - 2011 Dodge Ram HPE500 by Hennessey

2009 - 2011 Dodge Ram HPE500 by Hennessey

Hennessey isn’t just about creating uber-sexy vehicles like the Venom GT. In fact, a lot of their projects entail tuning up existing models and then slapping on an HPE title coupled with the appropriate horsepower number. The latest vehicle to be blessed with the alphanumeric title is the 2009-2011 Dodge Ram and its new HPE500 designation.

The Ram HPE500 is powered by a 5.7L Hemi that has been geeked up with a TVS2300 Supercharger System and an HPE Air Induction System to help cool the beast down. This setup can produce 505 HP at 5,400rpm when fueled with 93 Octane. Broken down, it gives the driver 422 HP at the rear wheels with a 20% boost providing the 505 HP at the engine. For comparison’s sake, the Ram SRT10 powered by the Viper’s V10 engine gets 410 HP at the rear wheels and 505 HP at the engine. The deep rumble of the truck’s new inner workings can be heard flowing out of the new stainless steel cat-back exhaust system.

If the engine upgrade isn’t enough to convince anyone of Hennessey’s involvement then the company’s badges found on the exterior of the car, as well as the floormats and the embroidered headrests will give onlookers the confirmation they need that this monster was tuned by the killer team at Hennessey.

Pricing for the installed kit is $12,950, but for those do-it-yourselfers out there, you can get the kit mailed to you for $10,950. A less involved HPE425 kit is also available for $6,950 (installed) and $4,950 (mailed kit).

Hit the jump for the full list of specifications for the Ram HPE500 and HPE 425 by Hennessey.

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2012 Dodge Mopar Ram Runner Stage II

2012 Dodge Mopar Ram Runner Stage II

Ford F-150 SVT Raptor is a car with almost no competition on the market. But things are about to change now that Mopar has announced the Ram Runner Stage II for the annual Moab Easter Jeep Safari which takes place April 16-24. The Ram Runner Stage II kit will be available for any 2009-2011 Ram 1500 models starting next month. Prices will be as follow: pre-runner stage II lift kit - $13,270; off-road front bumper - $1,250; off-road rear tire carrier $1,010; off-road front fenders $1,020; off-road rear fenders - $1,350.

The Ram Runner Stage II features a HEMI 5.7-liter V-8 engine; larger tires, additional ground clearance and a sophisticated suspension system capable of withstanding tremendous impact. Inspired by trophy trucks, steel front fenders and rear bed-sides are replaced with fiberglass layered in the Liquid Metal Mopar racing scheme. The high-clearance wheel wells allow tremendous suspension articulation with zero tire-to-body interference.

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2011 Dodge Ram 1500 "Code Name: Adventurer"

2011 Dodge Ram 1500 "Code Name: Adventurer"

Dodge has just added a new entry-level model to their Ram line-up. Typically, automakers try to outshine each other with plenty of gizmos and gadgets to warrant a heftier price tag and a power struggle between them. However, Dodge has taken an entirely different route with this new model, whose name has yet to be decided upon. For now, Dodge is choosing to call the new and affordable Ram by its code name "Adventurer." This new model was produced and targeted for the first time truck buyer who doesn’t want to settle for mediocrity. Dodge figures the Tradesman is sure to be a success so why not offer another low budget truck for the masses to swallow up whole.

"We know we have the formula right," said Ram Truck President and CEO Fred Diaz. "Now we just need a great name that promotes pride of ownership. This new Ram model will be an attractive alternative for a younger or first-time buyer looking for performance at an affordable price. Case in point, it will have more horsepower and a lower base price than our competitors’ entry-level performance cars with the added benefit of versatility and capability."

In terms of power, Dodge has promised that the new "Adventurer" will borrow the same formula from the highly acclaimed 2011 Ram Tradesman recently revealed at the Chicago Show. This means we should expect to see a 5.7-liter V8 engine with an output of 390 horsepower and 407 lb.-ft. of torque tucked neatly underneath the truck’s massive hood.

The Dodge Ram 1500 "Code Name: Adventurer" will go on sale in the second quarter of 2011 at a bargain price of $23,830.

Hit the jump to read more about the Dodge Ram 1500 "Code Name: Adventurer".

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2011 Dodge Ram Tradesman

2011 Dodge Ram Tradesman

For every pencil pusher and paper shuffler sitting in a cubicle is a sweat-producing, muscle-flexing worker with plenty of equipment to tote around to their various projects. These blue-collar workers have places to go and Dodge has created a new entry-level model to make the commute that much easier. The new Dodge Ram Tradesman is an affordable option with a starting price of $22,780 with sales beginning in the second quarter of 2011.

Available in either regular cab short-bed (6 ft., 4 in.) and long-bed (8 ft.) models, the Tradesman comes with a choice of 4x2 or 4x4 powertrains, a bright chrome grille, 17" painted wheels, and numerous interior and exterior updates.

"The Ram Tradesman is named for — and aimed at — the heart of our business," said Fred Diaz, President and CEO, Ram Truck Brand, Chrysler Group LLC. "This is a hard-working truck for hard-working people. Durability, reliability and value for the money are the top three considerations for our customers. Their truck is the most important tool they own and one they’ll use every day. The Ram Tradesman is a truck they can depend on."

Hit the jump to read more about the Dodge Ram Tradesman.

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2010 Dodge Mopar Ram Runner

2010 Dodge Mopar Ram Runner

Who said large pick-ups can’t be cool? Mopar has brought at the SEMA Show a vehicle that wants to prove exactly the contrary. Their new Ram Runner pick-up is inspired by the Baja-style desert racing.

The rigors of off-road racing require large tires, plenty of ground clearance, extreme durability and a sophisticated suspension system capable of withstanding tremendous impact. These features are combined into a package that is stable at speed and in the corners. To achieve this kind of handling, a low center of gravity and long wheel travel are paramount. Mopar Ram Runner has the look and feel of a thoroughbred desert racer. Inspired by trophy trucks, steel front fenders and rear bed-sides are replaced with fiberglass, allowing tremendous suspension articulation with zero interference.

The package includes two stages of suspensions upgrade: Stage 1 Pre-Runner Suspension Kit is priced at $3,129 and stage 2 includes a Ram Runner Suspension Kit priced at $13,270. For the exterior package Mopar is offering front Ram Runner bumper, tubular tire carrier, front Ram Runner fenders, rear Ram Runner fenders, sport performance hood, cold-air intake system and cat-back exhaust system. The price for the entire exterior package is $17,389.

Update 02/16/2011: If you went to the SEMA Auto Show and were impressed by the Runner, then we have a good news for you: Mopar President and CEO Pietro Gorlier has announced that the kit will be street legal: "After the Ram Runner concept debuted in Moab and reaction was so positive, we went back and changed the kit to be street legal. We want to make sure buyers can enjoy it on- and off-road. Mopar will have a clearance-identification kit available. The kit will meet requirements for driving on the street with wider fenders."

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2010 Dodge Ram 2500 MegaCab Laramie

2010 Dodge Ram 2500 MegaCab Laramie

Our motto at this website is ‘no boring cars’. Whether that’s sports cars, Italian exotics, or super luxurious sedans, we love them all. For this review though, we decided to change things up a bit. We wanted to find out what you can and can’t do in a truck during a week test and, living up to our motto, we went all out and got one of the biggest heavy duty trucks on the market, the 2010 Dodge Ram 2500 Heavy Duty Mega Cab.

The Ram 2500 might not be everyone’s choice for a daily driver and to be honest, it wasn’t ours either, but we put all that aside and used this four-door, four-wheel drive turbo diesel behemoth every day of the week, during which time we never came close to the truck’s full capabilities.

Although it couldn’t fit in our garage, or in a normal parking space, we did our best. Hit the jump to see how the week went and our new review style.

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2011 Dodge Ram Laramie Longhorn Special Edition

2011 Dodge Ram Laramie Longhorn Special Edition

There’s no better place to reveal a special edition Ram than good ol’ Truck Country, especially considering the new edition is called the Ram Laramie Longhorn. The special edition will be offered in ST, SLT, Outdoorsman, Sport (1500 only) Laramie and Power Wagon (2500 only) trim levels and will go on sale in the first quarter of 2011.

The car’s exterior will be distinguished by distinctive Western-style exterior badges, a chrome metal Laramie Longhorn edition badge with painted accents, and Laramie Longhorn edition on the doors. It will be available in five exterior colors, including an exclusive Sagebrush with White Gold exterior paint treatment unavailable on other Ram models. Matching White Gold lower-body two-tone, wheel flares, painted front and rear bumpers, and Mopar running boards compliment a bright chrome grille and painted tow hooks.

The interior gets leather, engraved details and burled walnut woodgrain. The Laramie Longhorn is available with a choice of dark slate gray and russet or bark brown and light pebble beige interior colors. The interior features 100 percent leather seat coverings with laser-etched bolsters (bark brown only). The leather-wrapped steering wheel receives special stitching while the door trim front and rear is also wrapped in leather and features special stitching, wood grain, and LED door-handle and map-pocket lighting.

Press release after the jump.

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