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Dodge Truck

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About Dodge Truck

Ever since the beginning of its history in 1914, Dodge has offered light truck models to interested buyers. For the first few years, these were based largely on the existing passenger cars, but eventually gained their own chassis and body designs as the market matured. Light- and medium-duty models were offered first, then a heavy-duty range was added during the 1930s and 1940s.

Following World War II and the successful application of four-wheel drive to the truck line, Dodge introduced a civilian version that it called the Power Wagon. At first based almost exactly on the military-type design, variants of the standard truck line were eventually given 4WD and the same “Power Wagon” name.

Dodge was among the first to introduce car-like features to its trucks, adding the plush Adventurer package during the 1960s and offering sedan-like space in its Club Cab bodies of the 1970s. Declining sales and increased competition during the 1970s eventually forced the company to drop its medium- and heavy-duty models, an arena the company has only recently begun to reenter. Dodge in the late 70's, to boost its truck sales, added the limited edition, Dodge Lil'Red Express, which was a 1/2 ton truck with a 360 cubic inch High Performance Engine, and had a pair noticeable Smoke stacks, and the Dodge Warlock which had the similar features as the Red Express, however, it had the four-wheel drive option. The LCF-Series heavy-duty trucks were eliminated in 1975, along with the Dodge Bighorn, which only came out in 1973, and the medium-duty D-Series trucks, and affiliated S-Series school buses were dropped in 1978.

Financial problems meant that even Dodge’s light-duty models – renamed as the Ram Pickup line for 1981 – were carried over with the most minimal of updates until 1993. But two things helped to revitalize Dodge’s fortunes during this time. First was their introduction of Cummins’ powerful and reliable ISB(The Cummins B was the original engine applied by Dodge, the ISB is an electronic fuel injected version of the B, introduced by Dodge half way through the 1998 model year) turbo-diesel engine as an option for 1989. This innovation raised Dodge’s profile among serious truck buyers who needed big power for towing or large loads. A compact Dakota pickup, which later offered a class-exclusive V8 engine, was also an attractive draw.

Dodge introduced the Ram's all-new “big-rig” styling treatment for 1994. More attention was brought to Dodge by the hit TV show Walker Texas Ranger staring Chuck Norris, the TV show used Dodge's New line of cars and trucks like the Viper,the Ram, and the Mini Van. The new Ram also featured a totally new interior with a console box big enough to hold a laptop computer, or ventilation and radio controls that were designed to be easily used even with gloves on. A V10 engine derived from that used in the Viper sports car was also new, and the previously offered Cummins turbo-diesel remained available. The smaller Dakota was redesigned in the same vein for 1997, thus giving Dodge trucks a definitive “face” that set them apart from the competition.

The Ram was redesigned again for 2002 (and the Dakota followed in 2004), basically as an evolution of the original but now featuring the revival of Chrysler’s legendary Hemi V8 engine. New medium-duty chassis-cab models were introduced for 2007 (with standard Cummins turbo-diesel power), as a way of gradually getting Dodge back in the business truck market again.

For a time during the 1980s, Dodge also imported a line of small pickups from Mitsubishi. Known as the D50 or (later) the Ram 50, they were carried on as a stopgap until the Dakota’s sales eventually made the imported trucks irrelevant.