When I talk to Ram truck owners. It’s apparent that there is a definite distinction between fans of first-, second-, third-, fourth-, and fifth-gen trucks. That’s not to say that all the generations are not respected — let’s face it, they’re powered by a Cummins engine. But each generation of Cummins does have a loyal following. Take, for instance, young, Landon Baker of Pleasanton, Texas. There is no denying he is a fan of the first-gen Ram.
He started his email by telling me he purchased this 1990 Ram D350 about two years ago. “I found it local to me, and even though I planned to build a nice truck, I never expected it to turn out as nice as it did,” Landon says with a smile on his face. “I have wanted a truck like this for as long as I can remember. When I was younger, my dad had a ’93 D350 extended cab that was destroyed in an accident. I will always remember that truck and this one is my way of paying respect to that one.”
The truck was in decent shape when Landon found it, but one look affirms the fact he spent alot of time making it perfect. Being from Texas, there was not a lot of rust that needed repair, but we’re certain it took some time to smooth the small dings and “life experiences that were found throughout the sheetmetal. Once all was straight as an arrow, the body was covered in a Pearl White coating of shine.
Inside is where Landon spends most of his time, so that received just as much attention as the exterior. “Finding parts can be tough and since I wanted to build something with a custom look, I got creative,” Landon says. “I made custom arm rest out of a 2×4 lumber and shaped them to look how I wanted, and I painted all the panels black. It has an 8-inch apple CarPlay radio that feeds two JL Audio 10-inch subs. Finally, I put a newer style carpet in it to give it a newer look and it has a starlight headliner. The seat, however, is 100-percent original.”
When talking to anyone about a Cummins engine, it is impossible to not find the conversation turn to the 12-valve. This was the first Cummins engine to be placed in the D-series pickups.
When Dodge decided to get into the diesel pickup market with the first-gen Ram, the company turned to Cummins. General Motors was placing the Detroit diesel under its hoods, while Ford had International Harvester’s powerful IDI diesel. Both of those were V8s specifically designed for use in a pickup truck as an alternative to gasoline engines. Dodge has always been a company that doesn’t follow the pack, so the powers that be decided to borrow the existing B Series Cummins engine. The straight-six diesel engine was already in use within mail trucks, school buses, and even mining operations as power sources for generators. If Dodge was to enter the diesel pickup battle, it needed to work in the Ram as well.
Getting back to Landon’s truck, “my truck has a 5.9-liter 12-valve Cummins that is completely stock,” Brandon clarifies. “I did however spend some time cleaning things up and the powder coating some of the under-hood parts.”
I asked Landon how he uses his first-gen Ram because obviously, it’s too nice to spend time in the fields, and he had this to say, “I use my truck to drive around town, and for shows. I’ve taken it to battle at the Alamo in San Antonio, Texas, and to the Truck Nationals.
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