Chris Stapleton Based His Custom Ram Pickup Truck on a Forgotten 1979 Dodge Special-Edition

Pickup trucks and country music go together like peas and carrots. It’s unsurprising that Ram trucks has retained brand ambassadors such as Miranda Lambert and Chris Stapleton. What may be more surprising is that when Ram offered to build a completely custom Ram 2500 for Stapleton, the singer-songwriter designed a one-off based on the often-forgotten 1979 Dodge Palomino Edition pickup truck.

What is the Dodge Palamino pickup truck?

The Palamino was a unique appearance package Dodge offered across much of its pickup truck lineup during the 1979 model year. It featured two-tone cream and white paint as well as saddle blanket seats.

1979 Dodge pickup trucks with the Palomino package featured a strong western theme. Firstly, the name “palomino” refers to a golden or tan-colored horse. To this end, the Palomino package came with several two-tone paint options, all featuring whites, tans, or browns. It also usually included a pinstripe running along the truck’s body.

The interior of Dodge trucks with the Palamino package was even more western. Its bench seat was upholstered not in vinyl or leather, but with a “western motif” that looks a lot like an iconic saddle blanket pattern. There is not much information on the Palamino appearance package, but surviving trucks optioned with it range from the Macho Power Wagon to the two-wheel-drive, half-ton Dodge D150. You can see more info on the Palomino at Barn Finds or on Just a Car Guy‘s blog.

Chris Stapleton’s Ram 2500 is a modern-day Palomino

Promo photo of Chris Stapleton's custom cream-colored Ram 2500 pickup truck based on the 1979 Dodge Palomino, parked in front of a black background.
Ram 2500 “Traveller” custom | Stellantis

When Ram offered to build singer-songwriter Chris Stapleton a completely custom pickup truck, he could have opted for anything: low-pro rims, a monstrous lift kit, or even a squatted truck. Instead, he opted to create something unique: a modern take on the 1979-only Dodge Palomino-package truck.

According to Ram’s parent company, Stellantis, this custom is finished in “Linen Cream, Radar Red, Bison Brown, and Cashmere.” An 18-inch version of the 1980s “Turbo Fin” rims anchor the truck’s retro good looks. Instead of “Palomino,” Ram wrote “Traveller” on the truck’s tailgate. This is a reference to Stapleton’s album of the same name.

Inside, the pickup truck diverges from the original Palomino’s western theme. It is finished in bison-colored leather and walnut. Ram even upholstered patches of its seats in a checkered flannel, similar to the jacket Stapleton wore on Traveller’s cover.

The leather interior of Chris Stapleton's custom Ram 2500 based on the 1979 Dodge Palomino.
Ram 2500 “Traveller” custom interior | Stellantis

Stapleton’s Ram 2500 is a heavy-duty truck with a crew cab and 6’4″ bed. It’s powered by the legendary Cummins I6 turbodiesel with a six-speed automatic transmission. It is even outfitted with locking “Ram Box” cargo containers along the sides of its bed.

Chris Stapleton is a longtime Ram fan

Chris Stapleton leaning against the door of a RAm pickup truck, its steering wheel visible in the foreground.
Ram and Chris Stapleton | Stellantis

Stapleton is one of Ram’s main ambassadors in the country music community. He recorded a cover of “I’m a Ram” for the automaker’s commercials.

Ram brand CEO Mike Koval Jr. even said, “Our journey with Chris throughout his career is something we are extremely proud of, and to see this Ram Truck collaboration come to fruition is an endeavor we will cherish for a long time.”

Ram unveiled Stapleton’s Ram 2500 Traveler during the opening of Chris Stapleton: Since 1978 exhibit at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum in Nashville, Tennessee–which Ram is sponsoring.

You can watch Stapleton’s cover of “I’m a Ram” in the video below:

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