Ram: A History of Strength & Power


Ram has a longstanding tradition of strength and reliability. Brothers Horace and John Dodge began the Dodge Brothers Motor Vehicle company in 1914 with its first vehicle, a successful touring car.  By 1917, the company was building trucks so reliable they were called to duty as staff vehicles and ambulances through World War I.


But nothing Dodge developed would become as respected as its symbol of strength: the Ram.  Over the years it has become the marker for a vehicle that is swift, strong, sure, and proud.


1932_Dg_Ram_hood_ornament_resizeThe Ram was first used to adorn Dodge vehicles as a hood ornament in 1932.  The symbol transformed into a model of its own in 1981 – a tough, versatile truck that’s refused to back down from a hard day’s work ever since.


The 1981 Ram truck boasted a short and stout frame, a no-frills cab, and recycled hood ornament from the ‘30s.  1986 brought about a significant design change with the introduction of the new Dodge “crosshair” grille.  It was a leap forward in the style department, but a mere drop in the bucket compared to the design changes to come.


In 1994 the body underwent a stunning change, transforming the Ram into a visual statement of power. It was a risk that paid off big:  The ‘94 redesign more than doubled Ram’s market share in just a few years.

1999-Dg-Ram-Logo_resizeRam’s reputation was cemented as a perfect combination of capability and refinement.  A cutting edge body worthy of replication paired with ever advancing engine technology.  Then, 2002 saw the return of the Hemi engine in Ram trucks, 345 horsepower and 375 ft/lb torque that pushed the power envelope.  But Ram is built to over-achieve, so the advancements kept coming.


The 2010 HD Ram trucks – equipped with 6.7-liter I-6 Cummins turbo engines, exhaust brakes, and “Smart” tow/haul controls – met government emissions regulations in 2007, three years before the due date, and well before any of its competitors.  In 2009 the Ram 1500, powered by the Hemi, offered the best blend of power and fuel efficiency.


This year the Ram 1500 took first place for Edmunds’ Most Wanted Vehicle, International Truck of the Year, and 13 categories in between.  Ram also  won Strategic Vision’s 2009 Total Quality Index™ ranking of “Top of its Class” – with the highest score of any truck in its 15-year history. These symbols of respect are just a few in a long line of awards.

  • Mark

    Did you know you made a 1980 Dodge Ram,not 1981 but 1980..as the 1980 had different taillights,grill,hood…..Yes 1980…google it..1980 Dodge truck truck has a silver sticker picture of a Ram and on the tailgate it says RAM in small lettering… http://z.about.com/d/4wheeldrive/1/0/4/P/1/IMurray_Can_80Dodge_RR.jpg

    Even the 1980 big vans had the sticker and on the back door painted Ram…I had a 80 Dodge truck and it was a Ram..

    • ramzone

      We apologize for taking so long to get back to you — the issue’s a bit complicated, and we wanted to make sure we gave you all the right info, so we had to consult with some Dodge and Ram historians. The short answer is: You’re right, but also not quite.

      First, a bit of backstory: The name Ram in association with trucks dates all the way back to 1932. It was originally used as a hood ornament and did make an appearance as a stylized logo in sales brochures and advertisements over the years. But the first year that a full-sized Dodge pick-up truck was named a Ram and the Ram name appeared on the truck was 1981. The introduction of the Ram name was in conjunction with a complete redesign of the entire Dodge truck line, including vans. Prior to this, Dodge trucks were either referred to by their engineering designation (D150, W150, D200, D150, etc.), or by the names Custom, Adventurer, Power Wagon.

      In late 1974, Dodge introduced the Ramcharger. This vehicle was a two or four wheel-drive sport utility vehicle. It had a shorter chassis than a pick-up. Then in 1979, Dodge began selling the Ram 50 truck. This truck was a compact import, designed and built by Mitsubishi for import to the US and other markets around the world.

      Hope all that info is helpful. Thanks for your detective work digging up that photo, and thanks for your interest in the history of Ram!

  • anthony J Reed

    u guys would drop jaw if u saw my 1980 dodge ram d 150 with 60000 original miles and not a spot of rust cherry red mmm mmm hit me up at my email and ill send u guys a pic and like i said it is all original

  • infagalaxo

    That I love about the Ram is Its design. Just awesome.!!

    am want to post this article in my own style

  • Flecha Azul

    I’m looking for a dodge emblem. I would like to find the entire and jumping ram emblem. I think that it is the emblem of the Dodge models from the late 30. Do you know someone who has one and wants to sell it?
    Best regards

  • Virgilio Aarsbergen

    I drive a black and chrome Dodge Rame 1500 with a magnum V8 from 1997 and would love to fit a hood ornament. In The Netherlands(Nord-Europe) this would be pretty unic. Does anyone know where they can be ordered? How’s best to fix it on your hood?