Releasing one of the most important trucks to the fullsize market in recent years, Dodge teamed with The World's Leading Truck Publication to create an example worthy of the spotlight. This admirable task is one we take seriously and usually with great planning and research involved. Key word; usually. Dropping the truck off to us the first week in October, the truck was slated to appear at the SEMA show in Las Vegas the first week in November. Four weeks, one brand-new truck, and the clock was already ticking. In our line of work, deadlines are very familiar.
Starting things off with an '09 Dodge Ram Laramie, we had a great foundation. Locating available parts for a truck that wasn't even on sale yet proved to be challenging, but we found several companies ahead of the curve who willingly jumped on board. One of our first goals was to drop the Ram down a few inches. Ground Force stepped up to the plate and hit a homerun with its 2/4 lowering kit. Using new front and rear coil springs and cell foam bumpstops, the Ram sat closer to the tarmac and was ready to carve up some corners. The knowledgeable guys at the Custom Truck Shop, in San Dimas, California, hooked our Dodge up with the Ground Force lowering kit. Helping the Ram ride its best with the lowering kit, we installed a new WillyBar weight system in the bed, adding 250 pounds in front of the tailgate. Needing the perfect wheel and tire combo, Giovanna sent us a set of 24x10-inch matte black Anniversary-edition Berlin wheels with Koko Kuture paintable rings. Looks without performance has never been a part of our equation, which is why we wrapped the Giovanna wheels in new Toyo Proxes II tires sized 305/35R24. Fitting the truck perfectly, the wheels and tires really set things off. We were one step closer to our goal, but we needed more from the Ram than the wheels and tires.
Admittedly, the new Dodge Inferno Red Crystal Pearl is one of the best factory colors on the market, and we couldn't cover up such a custom-looking factory pigment. Painting some of the hottest trucks around Southern California, L&G Enterprise, is no stranger to Truckin', and we once again asked them to rescue us in a timely manner. Applying the factory-matching Inferno Red Crystal Pearl paint to the front bumper, grille shell, mirrors, and door handles, the Ram looked great. Theresa Contreras ensured the Ram looked its best by adding a simple and small One Shot black stripe that was added along the side of the Dodge to help break up the large body. With the paint dried and buffed, a new Street Scene Equipment billet grille was bolted in place, as was a new power-locking Leer 700 tonneau cover. L&G Enterprises also took this time to paint the Giovanna Koko Koture wheel rings in the matching Inferno Red Crystal Pearl. Now the Dodge Ram looked both custom and classy. Classy will only get you so far, however, and our need for speed began to creep up.
Mounted in the rear of the bed, a WillyBar system adds weight to help smooth out the ride.
Beautiful matte black Giovanna Berlin wheels sized 24x10 inches are fitted with Koko Kutur
A new power-locking Leer 700 tonneau cover.
Looking to MagnaFlow for a custom exhaust, the team bailed us out with a full converter-back performance exhaust system with large 5-inch polished tips. The rumble of the HEMI V-8 has us smashing the throttle every change we get. With more air exiting the 5.7L, we contacted Airaid for a performance air intake to send more air into the V-8. Bolting on in no time, the intake went in place and with it, our throttle response and gas mileage increased. Thanks to the five-speed automatic and MDS technology, we're getting almost 18 mpg with our HEMI.
Inside the Ram, our Laramie was virtually loaded with amenities such as heated leather seats, heated steering wheel, touchscreen navigation, hard-drive head unit, and power sliding back window. From the factory, our Ram had the optional 9-speaker Alpine audio system with an 8-inch sub under the rear seat. Due to time constraints, we left the interior factory plush and added some window tint to keep things private.
In less than four weeks, our stock Dodge Ram was given a subtle, yet custom makeover and was ready for the SEMA show. Be on the lookout for more '09 Dodge Ram trucks as more parts become available. Winning our Truck of the Year award for '09, the Ram is a great example of the future of fullsize trucks.