To paraphrase the Talking Heads, you may find yourself behind the wheel of a Ram 1500 Limited with a 12-inch touchscreen and sumptuous leather, and you may ask yourself, “How did we get here?”
Well, some of that credit goes to that loaded Ram’s predecessor, the second-generation Dodge Ram. As you’ll see in this fascinating promotional video for the truck uploaded by YouTube Channel TheClassicSports, it seems to highlight all the things that make up the modern pickup truck, albeit in a slightly more modest form.
Right off the bat, the video starts talking about how the new Ram isn’t your traditional pickup. It has features like anti-lock brakes, a spacious, comfortable cabin and standard driver-side airbag. Later, it notes the extensive sound insulation, as well as the cupholders and a giant center console to set up your mobile office, with space for a cell phone and laptop.
But it’s not just a comfortable truck. It’s a powerful, practical and intimidating one. This Ram is frequently credited as the truck that changed pickup design, moving from simple rectangular boxes to ones with style, particularly semi-truck style. In the video, the host notes that regardless of what people think, “They all call it ‘big’.” And of course, there’s the all-important utility aspect. Highlights include various interior storage bins, slots in the bed to create divided sections, and the critical towing and payload capacities; best-in-class of course. Don’t forget the wide array of engines, too, from the base V6 to the unique at the time gas V10 engine.
This isn’t to say that competitors from Chevy and Ford weren’t changing to this more stylish, more well-appointed truck philosophy, either. The mid-’90s Silverado was quite modern, too, with its sleek, if still boxy shape. And the late-’90s F-150 ushered in a sleek, curvy design that has yet to return to the full-size market. But the second-generation Ram really encompasses everything about how the truck market was about to change for the next few decades.