Classic-er: With No Midsize in Sight, Ram's 1500 Holdover Stands to Live On

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
classic er with no midsize in sight rams 1500 holdover stands to live on

For those of you who value, um, value in your pickup purchase, there’s good news. Ram’s 1500 Classic, the name given to the previous-generation half-ton that soldiers on alongside the new-for-2019 1500, shows no signs of impending death.

Fiat Chrysler CEO Mike Manley made that point abundantly clear during an earnings call last week. Debuting for the 2009 model year, the Classic earns its moniker, yet the advancements and refinements showered on its successor hasn’t diminished demand for the old model — the new-gen 1500’s higher price point assures FCA of a steady stream of buyers.

Amazingly, a refresh may be in the works.

Manley’s comments come via Motor Trend, which reports that the automaker still has no end date to etch on the 1500 Classic’s tombstone. In February’s multi-billion-dollar plant investment announcement, the Classic’s Warren Truck birthplace earned a stack of its own, earmarked, in part, for a production extension of the Classic. The automaker said the cash was needed “to meet market demand.”

Now comes word that the Classic, besides just seeing its lifespan extended, may see an update before eventually biting the dust. Manley didn’t commit to the refresh, but the fact he mentioned it makes it a strong possibility. Without a midsize pickup to lure buyers of lesser means into the brand, Ram’s decision to keep the old, long-since-paid-off 1500 in production was a wise one. Once the new generation came fully online, Ram sales soared, pushing the brand ahead of the Chevrolet Silverado nameplate in terms of volume.

The gap between old and new isn’t an insignificant one. Starting at $29,340 (after destination) for a stripped-down, regular cab Tradesman, the Classic line’s entry point is nearly six grand lower than that of the new generation — and there’s cash on hand for lessees. Tradesman buyers who prefer the next-gen model’s swankier looks can expect to pay $35,135 for a base quad cab.

This year also brought the introduction of the Warlock model to the 1500 Classic line, ostensibly to placate fans of the departed old-gen Rebel.

[Images: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles]

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  • Dal20402 Dal20402 on Aug 05, 2019

    I just noticed the red Classic in the picture above. I wish more full-size trucks were trimmed like that. It's like the descendant of the simple, clean trucks of the '90s. Plain body-color bumpers and grille, no chrome, no moldings, no giant garish wheels. On the more modern trucks, even the "subtle" appearance options tend to have giant blocky black or chrome grilles and big chrome or black wheels.

  • DenverMike DenverMike on Aug 06, 2019

    Not offering a midsize pickup is a mistake (Ford found out about) as most midsize pickup buyers aren't cross shopping fullsize pickups, no matter how much greater the value proposition is. Just ask Vulpine... For most Americans, "midsize" is the biggest pickups they care to take on (and they're even pushing it), and wouldn't own a fullsize pickup in a million years, thanks to their size, not even '70s, '80s "fullsize" pickups.

  • Jim Bonham Thanks.
  • Luke42 I just bought a 3-row Tesla Model Y.If Toyota made a similar vehicle, I would have bought that instead. I'm former Prius owner, and would have bought a Prius-like EV if it were available.Toyota hasn't tried to compete with the Model Y. GM made the Bolt EUV, and Ford made the Mach-E. Tesla beat them all fair and square, but Toyota didn't even try.[Shrug]
  • RHD Toyota is trying to hedge their bets, and have something for everyone. They also may be farther behind in developing electric vehicles than they care to admit. Japanese corporations sometimes come up with cutting-edge products, such as the Sony Walkman. Large corporations (and not just Japanese corporations) tend to be like GM, though - too many voices just don't get heard, to the long-term detriment of the entity.
  • Randy in rocklin The Japanese can be so smart and yet so dumb. I'm America-Japanese and they really can be dumb sometimes like their masking paranoia.
  • Bunkie The Flying Flea has a fascinating story and served, inadvertently, to broaden the understanding of aircraft design. The crash described in the article is only part of the tale.