Pickup trucks and country music go together like peas and carrots. Unsurprisingly, Ram Trucks has retained brand ambassadors such as Miranda Lambert and Chris Stapleton. Perhaps more surprisingly, when Ram offered to build a fully custom Ram 2500 for Stapleton, the singer-songwriter designed a one-off based on the oft-forgotten 1979 Dodge Palomino Edition pickup.
What is the Dodge Palamino pickup truck?
The Palamino was a unique appearance package that Dodge offered across much of its pickup truck lineup during the 1979 model year. It had two-tone cream and white paint and saddle blanket seats.
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1979 Dodge pickups with the Palomino package had a strong Western theme. First, the name “palomino” refers to a golden or tan horse. To that end, the Palomino package came with several two-tone paint options, all with white, tan or tan. It also usually featured a pinstripe running down the body of the truck.
The interior of Dodge trucks with the Palamino package was even more Western. The sofa was upholstered not in vinyl or leather, but in a “Western motif” much like an iconic saddle blanket pattern. There isn’t much information on the Palamino Appearance Package, but the surviving trucks equipped with it range from the Macho Power Wagon to the two-wheel drive half-ton Dodge D150. You can see more information about the Palomino at Barn Finds or on the Just a Car Guy blog.
Chris Stapleton’s Ram 2500 is a modern Palomino
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When Ram offered to build singer-songwriter Chris Stapleton a completely custom pickup, he could have chosen anything: low-pro rims, a monstrous lift kit, or even a cracked truck. Instead, he chose to create something unique: a modern take on the 1979 Dodge Palomino package van.
According to Ram’s parent company, Stellantis, this custom has finished in “Linen Cream, Radar Red, Bison Brown, and Cashmere.” An 18-inch version of the 1980s “Turbo Fin” wheels anchor the truck’s retro look. Instead of “Palomino,” Ram wrote “Traveller” on the truck’s tailgate. This is a reference to Stapleton’s album of the same name.
Inside, the pickup deviates from Palomino’s original western theme. It is finished in buffalo leather and walnut. Ram even covered parts of his seats with checkered flannel, similar to the jacket Stapleton wore on the Traveler cover.
Stapleton’s Ram 2500 is a heavy truck with a crew cab and a 6’4″ bed. It is powered by the legendary Cummins I6 turbo diesel with a six-speed automatic transmission. It even comes equipped with lockable “Ram Box” cargo containers along the sides of the cargo bed.
Chris Stapleton has been a longtime Aries fan
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Stapleton is one of Aries’ foremost ambassadors to the country music community. He recorded a cover of “I’m a Ram” for the automaker’s commercials.
Ram brand CEO Mike Koval Jr. even said, “Our journey with Chris throughout his career is something we are extremely proud of, and to see this Ram Truck collaboration come to fruition is an undertaking that we will cherish for a long time.”
For now, you can see Stapleton’s Ram 2500 Traveler at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum in Nashville, Tennessee. It is part of the Chris Stapleton: Since 1978 exhibition, which happens to be sponsored by Ram trucks. When the exhibit is over, Stapleton might throw his guitar to bed and go on a trip.
In the meantime, you can check out Stapleton’s cover of “I’m a Ram” in the video below:
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