Rod Hall's 1987 Dodge Ramcharger W150 reigned supreme in SCORE Class 4 (4x4) desert off-road racing.
Spare tires were mounted in the bed because flats were common in desert racing and the driver/co-driver needed to be able to change them out as quickly as possible.
State-of-the-art (at the time) suspension included four shocks per side at all four corners on Hall's '87 W150 Ram 4x4. Note springs are basically stock.
All the comforts of home-for a desert race truck. Roll cage, 4spd automatic, ratchet shifter, a few gauges and and thinly padded racing seats. A Laramie Limited it isn't.
Off-road lighting consited of a pair of halogen lights on the push bar and another pair on the roof. LED and HID weren't even in the racer's vernacular back in the late '80s.
Jeep Cherokee Overlander concept vehicle. The perfect vehicle for the Urban outdoorsman.
Roof-top tent for two keeps the urban outdoorsman driving the Jeep Cherokee Overlander concept from having to rough it on the ground.
One Jeep concept that would be a huge hit: The Jeep Chief. It's a nice blend of modern chassis/drivetrain technology mated with retro bodywork.
This Jeep Wrangler "Red Rock" concept drew a lot of attention. It has a short bed masked by the high sides.
Jeep Wrangler Red Rock concept's bed adds a lot to the utility of the typical Wrangler. This concept could easily be put into production.
Ram Rebel drew a lot of praise in the looks department. Now if Ram could share some of the off-road suspension features from Ramcharger they'd have a wicked 1/2-ton 4x4.
The Jeep Wrangler Africa concept sports a 2.8L diesel under the hood and a host of nice aftermarket accessories that'd make any trip into the wilds a little easier.
2016 Ram 3500 Chassis Cab with a Knapheide flatbed and 6.4L Hemi under the hood. A good basic work truck package that's one of the most popular sellers in this segment.
The top dog on the 2016 heavy-duty diesel trailer towing podium. The 6.7L Cummins sports 900-lbs/ft of torque and the Ram 3500 is rated to pull 31,210 pounds.
There’s a lot going on at Chrysler’s Chelsea (Mich.) Proving Grounds and the general public is kept at bay lest any secrets get out as to what’s coming down the road.
But once a year what is now known as Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) invites automotive journalists like me to spend a day driving the company’s newest vehicles, from the Ram Rebel to the Jeep Wangler, from the Fiat 500 to the Dodge Charger Hellcat.
It’s a good time had by all.
This is also a time when you can walk around the newest concept vehicles and dream that one day soon they will be offered in a production model.
To my surprise, sitting in the same area is another vehicle that brought back fond memories-Rod Hall’s 1987 Dodge Ram W150 desert race truck.
I had the honor of riding in the very same truck as “co-driver” with Rod during one leg of a Mint 400 desert race in Nevada. It’s an experience that I’ll never forget.
Back in the late ’80s his W150 Ramcharger was considered a state-of-the-art desert race truck and Rod drove it to victory after victory in the roughest and most demanding of off-road conditions.
Today a stock Ram Rebel could give it a run for its money. Wow! Trucks have changed a lot in three decades.