In 2004, the RAM brand (then part of Dodge) introduced the Rumble Bee, a popular “buzz” model inspired by the Dodge Coronet Super Bee muscle car of the late ‘60s. In 2013, RAM unveiled a new HEMI-powered Ram 1500 Rumble Bee Concept to celebrate the 10-year anniversary and the heritage of RAM’s unique truck designs that included the Lil’ Red Express and Warlock pickups of the late-1970s, and the legendary Power Wagon.
“The Ram 1500 Rumble Bee continues to have a strong fan base and what better place to celebrate its 10-year anniversary than Woodward Dream Cruise,” said Reid Bigland, then President and CEO of Ram. “There’s a lot of energy surrounding concept trucks and buzz models, and the Ram Design Team revels in creating something that is unique for our customers to enjoy.”
The Ram 1500 Rumble Bee Concept, began life as a 2013 Ram 1500 R/T. Keeping with tradition, the lightweight, two-door, two-wheel-drive configuration was covered in a custom “Drone Yellow” paint with a unique matte finish. The rare color/finish flowed over the entire truck including the bumpers, flares, and the Mopar ground effects kit.
True to form, a new version of the iconic performance bee design (called “Speed Bee” for the Rumble Bee), adorned both sides of the truck with a Gloss Black stripe that cleverly faded into a honeycomb. The stripe glided front to rear, around the top of the bed, and over the Mopar tonneau cover and memorializes the Super Bees of the late 1960s and early 1970s, which dominated the racing scene.
The factory 22-inch aluminum wheels were replaced with Gloss Black 24-inch Vellano VRH wheels. The suspension was dropped 2-inches by a King Suspension enhanced handling, performance, and appearance with the help of a reservoir shock at each wheel. The grille, hood vents, badging, fuel door, and dual exhaust tailpipes were coated in Gloss Black and carried out the theme on both sides of the vehicle.
The color and graphics theme were spread throughout the Ram R/T-based interior, featuring Black and Drone Yellow leather sport mesh seats with two-tone yellow/light-grey stitching. “Rumble Bee” lettering and RAM logos were placed on the side of the seats, floor mats, and door bolsters. The interior centerpiece was an actual amber-encased yellow jacket bee mounted into the 8-speed rotary shift knob that lit up to expose a honeycomb pattern background.
Under the hood, the Ram 1500 Rumble Bee Concept housed a 5.7-liter HEMI V8 delivering 395 horsepower and 410 lb.-ft. of torque, which was mated to an 8-speed TorqueFlite automatic transmission. The HEMI was fitted with a custom Gloss Yellow and Black engine cover with a honeycomb graphic pattern. Mopar’s cold-air intake system gives the HEMI a bump in performance and torque is transferred through a set of 4.10 rear gears for a quick jump off the line.
Two buttons that were below the rotary knob, controlled exhaust cutouts to bypass the Mopar cat-back dual-exhaust system, allowing the full sound of the 5.7-liter HEMI V8 to rumble outside. The buttons were cleverly called “Loud” and “LOUDER!”. The honeycomb pattern from the outside was shared with several parts of the interior like the door trim and dash. A milled aluminum “10th Anniversary” commemorative badge serves as the truck’s ID.
The 2013 Ram 1500 Rumble Bee is the “buzz” model we all wanted but never got. With the current Ram 1500 Classic pickups still being a success in the truck segment, it would have been awesome to see something similar come back to the regular cab model 4th generation offering, to keep the truck fresh.