The Dodge Ram was a top heavyweight, literally and figuratively, among all of its other fully-sized pickup truck counterparts. Created to look like the big rig trucks on the road, the Ram exuded an air of machismo that was backed by raw power and excellent performance.
1981: First generation
The first incarnation of the 3500 was the Dodge Ram 350. With its one-ton weight rating, it was the most heavy-duty pickup among the Ram line-up, the others being the half-ton 150 and the three-quarter-ton 250. Variations of the truck included a standard cab with two full-sized doors, a club cab which had a small passenger area in the rear with smaller doors, and the crew cab that included four full-sized doors with a roomy interior in the rear passenger area.
1994: Second generation
The Dodge Ram 3500 first came out in 1994 as part of the Ram’s second generation release. It came with either a four-speed automatic or a five-speed manual transmission. Engine choices included a 5.2 liter V8, an 8.0 liter V10 and a 5.8 liter Cummins turbodiesel engine. The Quad Cab was introduced in 1998 as an improvement to the crew cab body style and included two suicide doors on the back. The steering and suspension system was improved in 2000. The 3500’s Steering and handling were considered to be exceptional at the time while its engine power made it more than capable of towing various heavy loads.
2002: Third generation
The third generation Dodge Ram 3500 came out with only standard cab and Quad Cab body styles. The Mega Cab was introduced in 2006 and was essentially a bigger crew cab. The standard cab had a full sized bed, the Mega Cab had a shorter one while the Quad Cab could’ve had either of them. The 3500 originally came with a 5.7 liter Hemi V8 engine but it was discontinued and replaced with a 5.9 liter Cummins turbodiesel engine. The engine was later upgraded to a more powerful 8.0 liter V10 engine.
2009: Fourth generation
The last Dodge Ram 3500 was powered by a 6.7 liter Cummins turbo diesel inline-six engine and came with either a six-speed automatic or a six-speed manual transmission. The crew cab now came with four forward opening doors while the mega cab body style had a roomier interior at the cost of an even shorter bed.
2011: The Ram 3500
In 2011, Chrysler turned the Ram into an automobile brand specializing in the iconic pickup truck. The name Dodge Ram 3500 was discontinued in favor of the Ram 3500.