Do you have to transport more than two people and you must have a 500hp V10? Or have you always wanted to have an experience of shifting gears behind a Viper V10 engine, but the average asking price for a Dodge Viper is still out of reach for you? What do you do? Fortunately, there is an answer.
Enter the Dodge Ram SRT-10. For several decades “The Big Three” have offered enthusiasts a relatively affordable way to get behind their most powerful and desirable engines, and this way was in the form of a pickup truck. Chevrolet had their SS versions of the Silverado, Ford had their SVT/Lightning pickups, and Dodge had its own long running tradition of hot-rodded pickups. Who can forget the 1978 Lil Red Express?
When Car and Driver magazine tested this 230hp V8, the Lil Red was the fastest American made vehicle from 0-100 mph that year. It’s OK if you did not know this somewhat depressing bit of trivia, but the legend of this cool looking truck is still with us. Dodge’s group of Street & Racing Technology (SRT) engineers followed up on the legend in 2004 by lifting Viper’s 8.3 liter (aka. 505 c.i) V10 motor and dropping it into the engine bay of the Ram 1500. The huge engine fit in nicely and the rest is history.
The 2004 Ram SRT-10 came only in a Regular cab configuration and did not have a lot of the usual pickup truck utility. It averaged 10 mpg on a good day and was not rated to haul or tow a lot of cargo, but it did haul it’s own bulk very well. The only rational thing about this vehicle was that it provided the owner access to the Viper’s V10 and 6 speed manual transmission for half the cost of an actual Viper. Of course, the cost was not a likely factor in the purchase of this truck, since many original owners bought it as a match for the Viper or Vipers they already had. Although the truck will not beat it’s coupe relative in a race, it’s no slouch as it gets from 0 to 60mph in just about 5 seconds.
This Ram also held the world record for the fastest truck at 154.587 mph. It has it’s own following with numerous clubs and groups dedicated to it. A quick YouTube search will reveal dozens of highly modified SRT-10 trucks terrorizing drag strips and streets around the country and abroad. The Ram has a lot more room under its hood than the Viper. It’s possible to stuff a very large turbocharger or two under there without any exterior modifications. There is at least one truck that is chucking out over 1,300hp at the rear wheels. There is no question that this fast truck still is and will be highly desirable.
The SRT-10 Ram is also rare. Overall a total of 9,527 of these truck produced. If you are looking at just the Regular cab two doors, then there are just 5,533 of those spread over 3 years. The second model year saw an addition of a Quad cab version and provisions for increased towing capability. And the final 2006 model got the facelift along with the rest of the Ram line. There was a special run of just 50 uber cool Viper Club of America (VCA) edition Ram SRT-10s in 2004. The VCA trucks were painted in Electric Blue with white racing stripes and had special VCA badges.
The other two door rare colors are white/with blue stripes and yellow at 200 units a piece. Another important note is that all Regular cabs utilized the Tremec 6 speed manual transmission, while the Quad cab used a 4 speed automatic. Some of these trucks have been heavily modified, raced, and damaged – this makes finding an original example even more difficult and this is good for future owners of original machines. Production number details can be found here.
Although the Quad cab is more rare than the two door, ultimately the two door with its manual 6 speed is likely to be more desirable and collectible. The used car listings have many ultra low mileage and original examples that are asking close to $40,000, which is not far from it’s original MSRP of $46,000.
The two door examples already hold a slight edge on average asking price over the four door trucks, and most prices are far above the book value. The Dodge Ram SRT-10 has not had any rival in its day or since and the world may not ever see such an outrageous sport truck again. This vehicle definitely has what it takes to be a future collectible.
Andre Smirnov is a Software Engineer by trade and a life-long automotive enthusiast. On the weekends – you may find him at a car show, an auction, watching a race, or tinkering in the garage. When not working or spending time with the family – he often scours the internet and other media for various automotive, mechanical, and computer related information.