We all remember the great TV ads when Dodge rereleased the Hemi back in '03. Two guys were busy chasing down trucks and asking, "That thing got a Hemi?" Instantly becoming a cult classic, the Hemi engine and branding virtually resurrected Dodge into the mainstream and gave Mopar fans a reason to rejoice. Norm Couturier, of Fredericton, NB, Canada, is a fan of Hemi trucks and cars, but if you labeled him simply as a fan, you'd miss his incredible passion for all things Mopar. In mid-2005, Norm made a personal challenge to build the ultimate high-end custom show truck. In his words, "I wanted a truck that could stand in the company of anything out in the West Coast." With his Visa card as his only sponsor, Norm set out to do the impossible-build the pinnacle of all custom Dodge Rams.
Starting with a '03 Ram Quad Cab, Norm began the teardown process in his two-car garage. After removing the bed, he realized the entire back half of the suspension would need to be replaced because as he described it, "It was OE ugly." After removing all of the original crossmembers, Norm C-notched the factory framerails and fabricated a triangulated four-link. AFCO springs on QA1 coilovers provide the damping. Up front, McGaughy's 2-inch drop spindles were machined to accommodate the massive 15-inch six-piston Brembo big brakes and the factory spring pockets were modified to accept a QA1 Proma Star coilover with AFCO springs. A Hotchkis sway bar keeps body roll down and polyurethane bushing were used throughout for optimum performance. The end result to all of the suspension mods was a 5-inch drop for the nose and an 8-inch drop in the rear. Wheels were key to this build as Norm tells us, "When developing the concept for the truck, I wanted to be able to put fat tires in all four corners." Keeping with his idea, Norm was able to order 22-inch Budnik Hammer billet wheels for his Ram. Ten-inch-wide wheels wrapped in 295/45R22 BFG g-Force KDW tires are mounted up front and out back, 12-inch-wide hoops are covered in 305/40R22 BFGs. With the frame reinforced with custom bracing and every hole and seam filled and smoothed, Norm went out to a 1/3-mile oval track for some high-speed testing. The end result was a 5,200-pound truck that handled like a sports car.
Putting a smile on every Mopar fan's face, the Ram features a 392ci V-8 making 540 hp and
If you think anything but a Hemi powers this beast, you're badly mistaken. Under the SRT-10 fiberglass hood lies a 392ci beast of a Mopar engine. Fitted with the best parts available, the naturally aspirated engine makes 540 hp and 520 lb-ft of torque thanks to CNC-ported heads, custom camshaft, high-flow throttle-body, and Dynatech long-tube headers. Everything under the hood that could be polished was, including a handmade intake tube with twin inlets. Norm installed a five-speed automatic trans equipped with Suncoast clutches and a 2,500-rpm converter from APS. A polished aluminum driveshaft connects the trans to a Moser-built Dana 60 stuffed with a Detroit Locker and 4.56 gears. A B&M ratchet shifter selects the gear of choice and once the "Go" pedal is depressed, as Norm tells us, "There's as much go as show."