Ram Channels Cher

  • January 8, 2024

What if you could turn back time – to 2008 – and buy a brand-new half-ton truck like they used to make them? One without the “assistance” and other “technologies” that come standard with the new ones, like it or not – but with a standard eight-foot bed that’s increasingly hard to get  . . . and for thousands less than what they’re selling the new double-and-crew cab short-bed trucks for today?

The very thought of it almost makes you want to dance around a battleship turret, doesn’t it?

Better to get out your checkbook – because for a time, you can buy a brand-new 2008 Ram 1500 Classic with a regular cab with an eight-foot bed and a standard 3.6 liter V6 without “e-Torque technology” for $32,345.

“Classic” meaning the previous generation Ram that was “all new” back in 2008 and hasn’t been changed much since then.

As opposed to a brand-new current generation 2024 Ram quad cab with a short bed (and standard “e-Torque  technology”) for $38,570.

“E-torque technology” refers to an iteration of the automatic stop-start (or ASS) “technology” that practically every new vehicle now comes standard with that shuts off the engine every time the vehicle isn’t moving – in order to staunch the “emission” of the dread gas carbon dioxide. The gas that plants metabolize into the oxygen we breath.

In the new Ram, this takes the form of a 48 volt electric system that powers a high-torque belt-drive starter system. It re-starts the engine faster than less “advanced” versions of ASS “technology.” But it does so at the cost of a 48 volt electric system, the belt-drive starter system and a large (secondary) EV-style lithium-ion battery that will have to be replaced at your expense at some point down the road.

And that is the main reason why a new 2024 Ram 1500 that isn’t Classic costs $38,570 to buy – or $6,225 more than a brand-new Ram Classic that will never need a new lithium-ion battery.

That has an engine that stays running until you turn it off. That comes standard with an eight-foot rather than a short bed – and the regular cab you can’t get anymore in a new 2024 Ram 1500.

How about a V8-powered ’08 Ram 1500 regular cab with an eight foot bed – also without “e-Torque technology” – for $36,335? That’s the price of a ’24 Ram Classic so configured. As opposed to $41,755 – which is the cost of a new Ram 1500 quad cab with the V8 (and all the latest “technology” you may want no part of).

You can save yourself $5,440 by going Classic – and save yourself having to deal with all the latest “technology,” too.

This is what many truck buyers want – in part because it is what many truck buyers can afford. The new Ram 1500 that isn’t Classic is a truck many can no longer afford – and don’t want, besides. This includes people who do not want a four-door/short-bed truck, which may be more passenger-friendly but isn’t as work friendly.

The regular cab Classic with an eight foot bed is configured the way full-size trucks used to be – when trucks were not yet substitutes for the full-size cars that government regs de facto forced off the road. The italics to emphasize the evil subtlety of the method. No law was ever passed by Congress forbidding the manufacture or sale of the full-size sedans (and wagons) that were once even more popular than full-size trucks are today. Instead, regs were promulgated by the bureaucratic apparat styled EPA requiring cars to deliver ever-higher MPGs, irrespective of the cost – including the cost of such vehicles becoming almost-no-longer-available. The handful that still are all luxury-brand cars such as the Mercedes S-Class, Audi A8 and BMW 7 Series (and even these are only mid-sized sedans by the standards of the ’70s) that cost tens of thousands more than a full-sized truck. And they no longer come standard with a V8. The 2024 A8 no longer even offers one.

And that is why people who need a full-size vehicle (with a V8) buy trucks today.

But they are becoming unaffordable in their turn – as well as laden with “technology” people who buy trucks because they want a truck do not want. The “e-Torque technology” that is now standard in the ’24 Ram 1500 is a prime example of this. It does not make the truck more suited for work – and it makes it both more expensive and almost-certainly less long-term-reliable. These are not qualities that appeal to people who want a truck.

The fascinating – the depressing – thing is that in order to be able to offer the attributes truck buyers want, Ram is obliged to sell an old truck as an end-run around the regs that have rendered the new truck less desirable to truck buyers than the new one.

Let that sink in a minute.

Has there ever been a case of the new being less desirable than the old? Well, yes – many such cases. For instance, people who wanted a muscle car in 1975 would have done a Cher if they could have bought a new 1970 model that year rather than a gelded-by-government ’75 model.

But this is the first time a major manufacturer has brought back an old model to sell alongside the new. And that says a lot about the new – as well as the old.

It’s also a good sign in that at least one manufacturer is still trying to sell what people want to buy – as opposed to passively purveying what the government is trying to force people to buy, while pretending it isn’t doing exactly that.

Better hurry, though.

Time’s running short.

. . .

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