Here's What Made The Dodge Ram Daytona So Interesting

Long before Chrysler unglued Ram from the Dodge name, the latter produced some interesting Ram truck variants like the Warlock, the Little Red Express, and the Dodge Ram 1500 Rumble Bee, to name a few. However, none were quirkier than the Dodge Ram Daytona, a truck that pays homage to the race-winning, vintage Dodge Charger Daytonas of the late 60s. Introduced in 2005 with a regular or quad cab body and a six-foot and three-inch bed, the Dodge Ram Daytona is for "Ram customers seeking a performance-packaged pickup like no other," said Dodge in its press release.

Under the hood is a 5.7-liter Hemi V8 with 345 horsepower and 375 lb-ft of torque. The burly motor connects to a five-speed automatic transmission with an all-wheel drivetrain and a 3.92:1 rear axle ratio. It could scoot like a muscle car, going from zero to 60 mph in 6.8 seconds, and the standard Borla exhaust ensures a barrel-chested sound with every stomp of the go pedal.

It's also practical despite its racing-inspired theme. The Dodge Ram Daytona leaves the factory with a standard tow package that unleashes 9,300 lbs. of towing and a 1,750-pound payload. It's typically a go-fast, heavy-duty pickup like the modern Ram 1500 TRX. However, the Hemi V8, towing numbers, and performance credentials are not what makes the Ram Daytona so unique.

[Featured image by Elise240SX via Wikimedia Commons | Cropped and scaled | CC BY-SA 4.0]

Rear spoiler on a truck? Bring it on!

Since the Dodge Ram Daytona pays homage to the all-conquering 1969 to 1970 Charger Daytona at NASCAR, it's only fitting to inherit its ancestor's most defining trait: That giant rear wing. The Ram Daytona had an 11-inch rear spoiler from the factory, and Dodge went further by giving it flat-black graphics on the bedsides like the racing rar.

However, the Charger Daytona's rear wing had a purpose. It made the car ridiculously aerodynamic, enabling it to hit 200 mph on the track, the first-ever stock car to achieve such velocities. NASCAR took notice and banned the Charger Daytona after one season, forever leaving a mysterious whiff of dominance whenever the word "Daytona" appears in conversations. Chrysler took the mystique to heart when designing the Ram Daytona, but could that rear spoiler smoothen the airflow of a truck with a long bed?

Moreover, that wing could hinder the practical, heavy-duty nature of the truck, but it didn't matter to enthusiasts longing for a NASCAR experience in their daily drivers. And it's not as if the Dodge Ram Daytona is all for show. With a fire-breathing Hemi V8, stock 20-inch chrome wheels, and performance-style hood scoop, the Ram Daytona goes as fast as it looks, and that's all that matters, wing or no wing.