The Dodge Ram Van was a cargo van that was introduced at the end of the 1970′s. The vehicle had an extremely long production life, produced from 1979 through 1998. The popularity of the vehicle as a fleet model and work vehicle ensured that it continued to be produced.
Although the vehicle had really been introduced in 1971, it was not called a Ram Van until 1979. It had originally been named the Dodge Tradesman, the name indicating its value in the work place. While intended as a work van, it found popularity as a conversion for cabover motor homes. This would remain the case until Chrysler was forced to cut models when it encountered severe financial difficulties stemming from the energy crisis and newly enacted emissions laws.
The B-Series vans had very few changes throughout its life span, though there were cosmetic upgrades made to the fenders, hoods and grilles along the way. Many utility and service companies used the cargo vans due the unique panel feature of the work vans. This feature involved a panel that was situated between the passenger door and the side door which allowed more access to the cargo space with out interfering with the passenger seating.
The B-Series van was offered with every single engine that Chrysler made of rear wheel drive vehicles. Several of these engines included the 225 cu inc Slant Six I6 engine, the 3.9 L VA V6 engine and the 3.9 L Magnum V6 engine.
Small block engines were also included in some models of the van. Some of these were the LA-series 318 engine and the Magnum 5.2 L engine.
Chrysler also produced models that came with an optional 5.2 Liter engine that used Compressed Natural Gas. These vehicles had a range of up to 300 miles and as you can imagine were the most popular models for natural gas utility companies.
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