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This past weekend marked the 22nd annual Woodward Dream Cruise, an event that celebrates car culture in all of its facets, and we were there not only to take in all the automotive excellence but also to participate in the cruise.

FCA was kind enough to let us take a 2017 Ram 1500 to Detroit this year to take part in what is billed as the largest one-day car gathering anywhere in the world, attracting up to 40,000 cars and over a million spectators.

Now, while the Ram is a nice looking truck, the sheer amount of classics and oddities cruising Woodward would usually keep eyeballs away from a plain, stock truck. Remember, this is a cruise where you can see a lifted F-350 towering overhead next to a rat rod sitting just a hair off the road’s surface, followed by a mint 1960 Chevy Impala riding on 22-inch wheels. Plenty of other brand new Rams, Chevys, and Fords cruised by with nary a sidelong glance, in case you missed something worth looking at.

But painted in Sublime Green, our Ram 1500 couldn’t blend in, turning heads and coaxing constant comments from onlookers up and down the historic street.

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“Is that a stock color?” was the most common question we encountered throughout the day, with folks finding it hard to believe that such a vibrant shade could be offered by an automaker right out of the factory. This hue is one of many colors (e.g. Plum Crazy, Go Mango) that FCA has revived from its heritage, something we experienced first-hand when a Sublime 1970 Dodge Challenger cruised by.


FCA is a master at using heritage to its advantage, and when you attend an American-centric event like Woodward, it’s hard not to feel the love for US metal and for this Ram’s heritage. That is a key tactic in FCA’s sales strategy as marketing (including style), not necessarily updated product, seems to keep the brand’s sales rolling.

In 2016, Ram sold 489,418 pickup trucks, an 8.7 percent improvement over the year before. That is a lot of trucks, which are big profit centers for companies, especially true for special edition trucks that are cheap to build and bring in maximum profit.


Now consider that the Ram 1500 has now been around mostly unchanged since 2009, and though an all-new truck is in the works for 2019, Ram keeps the 1500 feeling fresh with new colors and special editions each year, with no major mechanical updates having arrived for some time. And to bystanders on the street, the chassis and suspension of the truck didn’t matter, but the looks certainly did, and we all know that appearance sells vehicles.

With black badges, wheels, and decals, this Ram looks mean, while the pearlescent paint glimmers with enthusiasm in the sunshine. It also doesn’t hurt that there is a nice HEMI badge on the front fender, yet another call back to the past, with a badge that probably has equal amounts of brand recognition as Ram itself does.

All the love we got on Woodward proved a simple truth: Americans love trucks, and now more than ever, style is king. The folks at Ram understand this, and by offering the crazy colors other brands don’t, FCA is offering a unique bit of style and history that can’t be found elsewhere, and that’s a recipe for success.




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