My truck was ordered new by my step-dad Pete on March 17th 1997 from Carter Dodge in Manchester CT and he took delivery of the Ram on July 7th 1997. He originally ordered the Ram as a SLT Laramie with two tone black / red exterior and a tan leather interior. Thankfully shortly after Pete placed the order he changed the color from black / red to black / silver. The Dodge was also ordered with the V10 engine, NV4500 5-speed transmission, 4x4, sliding rear window, premium Infinity sound system, block heater, fog lights, and the Camper Special package. When ordered with the V10 5-speed 4x4 combo Dodge gave it the big Dana 80 rear axle vs. the standard Dana 70 for automatic trucks...
I purchased the truck from Pete in November of 2010 with 62,000 original miles on it and then drove it back home to the Midwest. From the beginning I was planning on a full frame off restoration. I have literally everything in regards to paperwork for this truck from the original order form that created it to my most recent receipt for its restoration. While the truck was mechanically in excellent shape it still unfortunately had the usual New England rust from the few winters it was driven in. Once I tore into the Dodge I found it was in far worse condition from the rust than I originally anticipated. If the truck wasn't a member of the family I would have been much better off starting with a rust free one.
When possible all parts that have been replaced have been done so with Mopar factory parts. Although I've found factory parts are starting to dry up for these 2nd Gen trucks. Otherwise I have used reconditioned original parts from donor trucks and high quality aftermarket parts. I did add a mild 2" lift front and rear for the 17" wheels and tires.
A big Thanks!!! To Midwest Collision in Paola Kansas for the final body work and paint on the truck. Those guys are the best and made the truck look great!
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Dodge Ram Restoration Pictures From Start To Finish
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