The Carchive: The 1990 Dodge Ram

20140427_155450 Welcome back to The Carchive, where this week we’re looking at open-backed Dodge Haulers big and small. We had a look at the little one on Tuesday; the Dodge Ram 50 was afforded final recognition for managing to appeal so readily to a broad and youthful audience. Today it’s the turn of the big one. The 1990 Dodge Ram. 20140427_155501 “The Dodge Ram Pickup is so tough and so capable the only way we could make it better was to give you more of it. Introducing the full-size Dodge Ram club Cab Pickup for 1990.” It seemed strange that Dodge should ever have dropped the Club Cab concept, but they did indeed, in 1982. Perhaps it was the increase in popularity of pickups and SUVs around the turn of the ’90s that encouraged the Pentastar to resurrect this line. Bit of luck they kept the tooling, really. Whether you were “off to a worksite or your favourite campsite” the two extra seats meant that “you and your group could move out in comfort and style”. Well, not so much comfort, really. The extra seats were really sideways-facing fold-up jumpseats with the most vestigial provision for padding of your back. It would be a brave man, or one with no pain receptors, who would accept such a perch for long-distance trips 20140427_155511 At least the passenger of a Club Cab had a chance of getting to their destination promptly, The 5.2 V8 was standard equipment. And there was comfort available, or at least the appearance of comfort, for those lucky enough to sit in the front: LE models benefitted from such upscale accoutrements as a “luxury steering wheel” and “woodtone” instrument panel applique. You couldn’t have a rev-counter, though. 20140427_155519 “Dodge D150. Toughness is not an option” That’s a byline that doesn’t immediately make sense until you catch the double-meaning of “Option”. Of course they meant that toughness came as standard, and that toughness was measured by the Ram’s 2250 pound payload capability. Toughness was assured, you’d have to say, by the robust nature of the basic engineering, whose chassis could have been designed by I K Brunel. That, when you’re talking Trucks, is a good thing. 20140427_155527 With the D (4×2) series, going-along was made possible by a standard 3.9litre V6 from which 125 horsepower wheezed out. This was connected to a 5-speed box. You could specify 5.2 or 5.9 as options, but you had to make do with a four-speed manual or a three (of four) speed slushbox. Fascinatingly, no power figures were provided in this brochure for the V8’s. Mystifying. “Dodge 4×4 pickups are built to plow through the toughest of terrains” Ticking the 4×4 box meant an upgrade to PowerRam status, though the same 3.9 litre V6 was standard kit unless you notched up to Half or Three Quarter-ton spec. That said, for doing actual stuff that involved effort and grunt, the available 5.9 litre Cummins turbo diesel was surely the way to go. This Real Man’s engine netted160Hp and 400 stump-pulling lb-ft at 1700 rpm. And probably sounding jolly spiffing in the process. 20140427_155538 “Dodge offers a heavy-duty lineup of powerhouses, capable of digging in and getting the job done. They’re perfect for recreational use, too”. We’re talking about the 250/350’s here, in either regular or club cab configuration, and here the payloads start going mad, 4305lb for the D250 or 4410lb on the D350. Or, go crazy and carry everything in the world if you tick the box for dual rear wheels; 5480lb could be lugged. Buying Ram gave you the same right to MOPAR accessorisation as the little Ram 50, though it has to be said that light-bars and brush guards look rather more at home here than they do on the Ram’s little Japanese cousin. The old Ram seems a little faceless when you look back at it now, consider that the next model along and everything that followed from that point onwards would feature the chrome grille and separate sculpted fenders which have become the Ram look. In fact, I can’t remember ever having seen one in this country at all. But at least I have the brochure. (Disclaimer: All images are of original manufacturer publicity materials, photographed by me. It was a beautiful day and I had a beer on the go at the time. Copyright remains property of RAM trucks, I guess)

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