In 2004, the RAM brand (then part of Dodge) introduced the Rumble Bee, a popular “buzz” model inspired by the Dodge Coronet Super Bee muscle car of the late 1960s. In 2013, RAM unveiled a new HEMI-powered Ram 1500 Rumble Bee Concept to celebrate the 10th anniversary and legacy of RAM’s unique truck designs, including the Lil’ Red Express and Warlock pickups of the late 1970s, and the legendary Power Wagon. .
“The Ram 1500 Rumble Bee still has a strong fan base and what better place to celebrate its 10th anniversary than Woodward Dream Cruise,” said Reid Bigland, then president and CEO of Ram. “There is a lot of energy around concept trucks and buzz models, and the Ram Design Team loves to create something unique for our customers to enjoy.”
The Ram 1500 Rumble Bee Concept began life as a 2013 Ram 1500 R/T. Traditionally, the lightweight, two-door, two-wheel drive configuration was coated with a custom “Drone Yellow” paint with a unique matte finish. The rare color/finish flowed all over the truck, including the bumpers, flares and the Mopar ground effects kit.
True to form, a reimagining of the iconic Performance Bee design (dubbed “Speed Bee” for the Rumble Bee), adorned both sides of the truck with a gloss black stripe that cleverly faded into a honeycomb. Sliding from front to back, around the top of the bed and across the Mopar tonneau cover, the stripe commemorates the Super Bees of the late 1960s and early 1970s that dominated the racing scene.
The factory 22-inch alloy wheels were replaced with Gloss Black 24-inch Vellano VRH wheels. The suspension was lowered 2-inches by a King Suspension improved handling, performance and looks using a reservoir shock at each wheel. The grille, bonnet vents, badging, fuel flap and twin tailpipes were coated in Gloss Black, carrying the theme on both sides of the vehicle.
The color and graphic theme was spread throughout the Ram R/T-based interior, featuring black and drone yellow leather sports mesh seats with two-tone yellow/light gray stitching. “Rumble Bee” lettering and RAM logos were placed on the side of the seats, floor mats and door supports. The centerpiece of the interior was a genuine amber-encased yellow bee, mounted in the 8-speed dial that lit up to reveal a honeycomb pattern background.
Under the hood, the Ram 1500 Rumble Bee Concept housed a 5.7-liter HEMI V8 that put out 395 horsepower and 410 lb.-ft. torque, which was mated to an 8-speed TorqueFlite automatic transmission. The HEMI featured a custom bonnet in gloss yellow and black with a graphic honeycomb pattern. Mopar’s cold air intake system gives the HEMI a performance bump and torque is transferred through a set of 4.10 rear gears for a quick jump off the line.
Two knobs located below the dial controlled exhaust cutouts to bypass the Mopar cat-back dual exhaust system, allowing the full sound of the 5.7-liter HEMI V8 to rumble out. The buttons cleverly became “Loud” and “LOUDER!” named. The honeycomb pattern on the outside was shared with various parts of the interior, such as the door trim and dashboard. A machined aluminum “10th Anniversary” commemorative badge serves as identification of the truck.
The 2013 Ram 1500 Rumble Bee is the “buzz” model we all wanted but never got. With the current Ram 1500 Classic pickups still a success in the truck segment, it would have been great to see something similar returning to the regular 4th generation cab model to keep the truck fresh.