Ram Truck recently revealed what the company is calling the Texas Ranger Concept pickup at the 2015 Dallas Auto Show. While it is essentially just a 1/2-ton Ram 1500 with an upfitted interior and trim package, it certainly gives a nod to J.J. McQuade and the importance of the Texas truck market. But just how important is the Texas fanboy pickup and how likely is it to become a reality?
When you wrap your mind around the fact that one in five new trucks sold in the U.S. is sold in Texas, you start to grasp why Ram Truck would reward the big state with a special edition concept like the Texas Ranger edition Ram. More Texans drive pickup trucks than drivers in any other state, to the tune of 20 percent of motor vehicle registrations versus a 12 percent national average. Ram sells nearly 2.5 times as many pickup trucks in Texas as it does in the next-highest volume state. Need more proof that Texans love their trucks? In 2002, Ram Truck was the first manufacturer to recognize the strength of the pickup truck market in Texas by offering an exclusive edition for the state. The Ram Lone Star was the first pickup truck designed by Texans and built specifically for Texans. The Lone Star edition is by far the Ram brand’s best-selling model in Texas. It accounts for nearly 40 percent of the 1/2-ton Ram Truck sales. Since the Lone Star debut, Ram has sold more than 230,000 of the Texas-only model trucks.
The original Ranger star-and-wheel shape badges were tooled from Mexican five-peso coins minted from 1947 through 1948. The design is still utilized today. The Ram Texas Ranger concept features badging and finishes that celebrate the Rangers and the iconic silver Lone Star Ranger badge throughout the Ram’s interior and exterior. Large five-pointed milled-aluminum emblems are mounted to front driver and passenger-side fenders. A third milled-aluminum Texas Ranger badge can be found on the tailgate. Each of the four 20-inch polished-aluminum wheels has a milled-aluminum Texas Ranger center cap. The bright white and bright silver metallic two-tone color scheme is meant to mimic the white hats and silver badges that the good guys always wear.
Inside you’ll find etched canyon brown and tan leather, tooled-metal details, and other unique Texas Ranger edition accents. These features include four real Mexican five-peso silver coins inlaid within the wooden bits of the door bolsters. The front doors show the heads side and rear doors display the reverse tails side of the coin. An 1823 milled-aluminum Texas Ranger instrument panel badge notes the founding year of the Texas Rangers. The center stack, console, door spears, and seat trim bezels are decorated with a simulated galvanized metal finish. Canyon brown-stained open-pore walnut wood trim is splintered throughout the cabin, including the all-new console tambour door. Under the center console lid is a vault with a combination lock to hold items of value, a .357 perhaps? The seats have etched and sewn-on Texas Ranger seat badges. There is Texas Ranger badging on the gauge cluster splash screen, and the 8.4-inch UConnect center console stack is programed with Texas Ranger edition graphic themes. The front and rear grab handles are leather-wrapped and the door trim panels have been accented with tan stitching. The all-new steering wheel is festooned with a milled-aluminum, distressed-finish Ram badge and tan accent stitching.
Even though the Ram Texas Ranger edition is designed to be a one-of-a-kind concept, we smell more than the scent of fine-stitched leather in the air. Jeep and Ram both have been known to introduce concept vehicles sprinkled with ideas that seem to find their way into production. Given the success of the past Texas-specific truck, overall Texas truck sales, and the simplicity of replicating a similar Texas Ranger trim package for full production, we suspect you’ll see a version of this pickup available on the dealer lot in less than a year. Although, we think Augustus McCrae, La Boeuf, and J.J. McQuade would feel more at home in a Texas Ranger-badged 3/4-ton Power Wagon.