Car News:  Oversteer

The Dodge Ram SS/T Was the Original Viper Truck

RELATED READING
See all Dodge Ram 1500 Truck articles
RESEARCH BY MAKE
Toyota cars, trucks and SUVs Ford cars, trucks and SUVs Honda cars, trucks and SUVs Chevrolet cars, trucks and SUVs Jeep cars, trucks and SUVs Nissan cars, trucks and SUVs Lexus cars, trucks and SUVs Volkswagen cars, trucks and SUVs Dodge cars, trucks and SUVs
Acura cars, trucks and SUVs Alfa Romeo cars, trucks and SUVs AMC cars, trucks and SUVs Aston Martin cars, trucks and SUVs Audi cars, trucks and SUVs Bentley cars, trucks and SUVs BMW cars, trucks and SUVs Bugatti cars, trucks and SUVs Buick cars, trucks and SUVs Cadillac cars, trucks and SUVs Chevrolet cars, trucks and SUVs Chrysler cars, trucks and SUVs Daewoo cars, trucks and SUVs Datsun cars, trucks and SUVs DeLorean cars, trucks and SUVs Dodge cars, trucks and SUVs Eagle cars, trucks and SUVs Ferrari cars, trucks and SUVs FIAT cars, trucks and SUVs Fisker cars, trucks and SUVs Ford cars, trucks and SUVs Freightliner cars, trucks and SUVs Genesis cars, trucks and SUVs Geo cars, trucks and SUVs GMC cars, trucks and SUVs Honda cars, trucks and SUVs HUMMER cars, trucks and SUVs Hyundai cars, trucks and SUVs INFINITI cars, trucks and SUVs Isuzu cars, trucks and SUVs Jaguar cars, trucks and SUVs Jeep cars, trucks and SUVs Kia cars, trucks and SUVs Lamborghini cars, trucks and SUVs Land Rover cars, trucks and SUVs Lexus cars, trucks and SUVs Lincoln cars, trucks and SUVs Lotus cars, trucks and SUVs Maserati cars, trucks and SUVs Maybach cars, trucks and SUVs Mazda cars, trucks and SUVs McLaren cars, trucks and SUVs Mercedes-Benz cars, trucks and SUVs Mercury cars, trucks and SUVs MINI cars, trucks and SUVs Mitsubishi cars, trucks and SUVs Nissan cars, trucks and SUVs Oldsmobile cars, trucks and SUVs Plymouth cars, trucks and SUVs Pontiac cars, trucks and SUVs Porsche cars, trucks and SUVs RAM cars, trucks and SUVs Rolls-Royce cars, trucks and SUVs Saab cars, trucks and SUVs Saturn cars, trucks and SUVs Scion cars, trucks and SUVs smart cars, trucks and SUVs SRT cars, trucks and SUVs Subaru cars, trucks and SUVs Suzuki cars, trucks and SUVs Tesla cars, trucks and SUVs Toyota cars, trucks and SUVs Volkswagen cars, trucks and SUVs Volvo cars, trucks and SUVs Yugo cars, trucks and SUVs
RESEARCH BY STYLE
AWD/4WD
Commercial
Convertible
Coupe
Hatchback
Hybrid/Electric
Luxury
Sedan
SUV/Crossover
Truck
Van/Minivan
Wagon
ADDITIONAL MODEL INFORMATION

author photo by Doug DeMuro February 2017

In the early 2000s, Dodge captured the hearts of performance-loving pickup buyers everywhere by sticking the Dodge Viper engine inside the Ram pickup. The original Dodge Ram SRT-10 is still one of the craziest pickups ever sold: a 500-horsepower truck with an 8.3-liter V10 that could be purchased with a stick shift. It was wild.

But Dodge enthusiasts know the company had already foreshadowed the idea of a Viper-themed pickup truck a few years earlier.

The year was 1996, and a Dodge Ram inexplicably served as the pace car for that year's running of the Indianapolis 500. To commemorate this occasion, Dodge -- like many other automakers before it -- offered an Indianapolis 500 pace-truck version of the Ram 1500, which featured a door sticker announcing the truck's duty at the race. It also had a modified version of the Ram's biggest engine (a 5.9-liter V8), which added 15 horsepower for a total of 245.

While 245 horses might not seem like a lot, the Ram came standard with 175 hp -- and the entry-level V8 offered just 200 horsepower. More importantly, the Ram pace truck came standard in the Viper GTS's iconic color scheme of blue paint with white stripes -- and it boasted unique wheels, a lowered suspension, and performance tires.

Although the Indy 500 commemoration should've ended the following year, Dodge kept it alive with a new version of the Ram called the SS/T -- which stood for "Super Sport Truck." Featuring the same upgrades as the normal Ram, the color scheme now expanded to offer black, green or red, all with the same stripes.

Clearly, Chrysler had a high-performance pickup truck on the brain. And when the 1996-2002 Ram 1500 went away, the SS/T went away with it -- only to be resurrected shortly afterwards with a lot more power in the form of the now-famous Ram SRT-10. Indeed, while that may be the first "Viper truck," the SS/T proves the idea was planted a few years earlier.

Doug DeMuro is an automotive journalist who has written for many online and magazine publications. He once owned a Nissan Cube and a Ferrari 360 Modena. At the same time.

MORE FROM OVERSTEER:
Here Are the 7 Strangest Limos For Sale on Autotrader
Autotrader Find: Orange-Accented Porsche Cayenne Transsyberia Edition
The Lotus Evora Is Better Than You Think

This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
The Dodge Ram SS/T Was the Original Viper Truck - Autotrader