The Ram 1500 started as Dodge Ram back in the day but there was a split in 2009 between Dodge and Ram and the formerly known Dodge Ram 1500 came to be known as just the Ram 1500 now. Here’s a little background history of how the Ram 1500 came to what it is today.
First Generation: 1981- 1993(D/W)
This generation was based off of the Dodge D series pick-ups which came about in the 1970’s but with an overhaul on features. Some of these included larger wraparound tail lamps, dual rectangular headlamps, and squared-off body lines. V8’s were the engine of choice for this generational upgrade and also an interior make-over was given to include a new bench seat, new dashboard, speedometer in the center and more. This model also came with air-conditioning, cruise control, AM/FM stereo with a cassette tape player and even a plow package for four-wheel-drive models which was known as the "Sno Commander". This truck also was keeping in line with Ford in indications of 150, 250 and 350 for measures in tons of their trucks.
Second Generation: 1994-2001 (BR/BE) - Update in 1988
The 2nd generation was derived from the original concept of the “Louisville Slugger” which was to be a modular platform that was going to accommodate a full size truck and a full size van. Yet this “Lousiville Slugger” was decided against and instead the generation went with a more conventional design. This model was designed with a big-rig-looking front end and a large grille as the forefront features. While at the time this was a risky move it wound up being a popular concept that stuck around. The 1994 Ram truck was such a success that it was named Truck of the Year by Motor Trend. Sales began climbing exponentially in this generation and the Ram truck was even featured in the 1999 movie “Twister” as the truck that chases tornadoes and seems indestructible. This was the high pinnacle during this generation of sales up until Ford and Chevy stepped their game up and sales began to taper for the Dodge Ram. As for engines of this generation, the Ram truck stuck with the 3.9 L V6, 5.2 L V8, 5.9 L V8, and 5.9 L I6 Cummins turbo diesel. The 8.0 L V10 engine was designed as an addition to this generation that was an alternative for those not wanting diesel but wanted great pulling power.
Third Generation: 2002-2008 (DR/DH/D1/DC/DM)
Ram’s 3rd generation was unveiled in the 2021 Chicago Auto Show with major updates. These updates included all-new frame, suspension, powertrains, interiors and Quad Cab trucks that had conventional-opening rear doors. Yet the 1500 lost their Beam axles and gained independent front suspension instead while also adding rack and pinion steering. While the body style still represented much of the same as the previous generation, this overhaul to bolster sales from the tapering off that had previously gone down. 2006 saw an update and in 2007 & 2008 there were Chassis Cab model roll-outs and 9 special editions in the 3rd generation.
Fourth Generation: 2009-present (DS/DJ/D2)
This last generation was sold as the Dodge Ram 1500 in the starting line-up to which other models were then added. This generation brought forth a great deal of changes over the years it began until present. While starting out in 2009 the changes that came into light were a new four-door cab style offering, new suspension, a new hemi engine option, and the Rambox, which were all attempts to keep sales up with competing truck companies that were selling very well at this time. This was also the time that Dodge and Ram parted ways. The Mega Cab option was replaced by a true four-door crew cab for the 1500 in the beginning of this generation and a coil spring five link rear suspension comes into play versus the previous leaf springs. In 2013 the 1500 got a mild facelift. In 2014 there was the added option of Ecodiesel V6 engine and then in 2016 the 1500 Rebel came out.
2017 saw a great deal of additions in already existing trims, as well as 3 added trims this year. The SLT trim is taken away this year as well. 2019 began the production of the 5th wave generation yet the 4th generation is continued in production alongside the 5th generation. 2019 also renamed the Ram 1500 to Ram 1500 Classic and today the Ram 1500 Classic has received upgraded Infotainment systems, and the regular cab will be offered exclusively with a long bed.
There has been a great deal of change from the beginning of the Dodge Ram 1500 with its initial stages to the point where it remains today.