Here’s How Ram’s ‘Macho’ Power Wagon Got Its Name

One of the most outrageous of Dodge’s special edition trucks was the 1977-81 Power Wagon Macho Edition. The Ram TRX of its day had an outlandish name, but in modern times the Macho Power Wagon nameplate is staging a comeback.

The 1977-81 Ram Power Wagon Macho Edition

A Dodge advertisement for its 1978 Macho Power Wagon 4x4 pickup truck | Stellantis
Advertisement for the 1978 Dodge Macho Power Wagon | Stellantis

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1977 was a wild time: bell-bottoms were big, disco was on the radio, and Happy Days was the #1 show on TV.

Dodge’s 4WD trucks had worn a Power Wagon nameplate since WW2. The company decided to boost sales with some special badges, the most memorable of which was the Power Wagon Macho Edition.

The Macho Power Wagon was a special edition of the W150 4×4 pickup truck. Every Macho edition came with a factory roll bar and special tires. This off-road-ready rubber was a set of 10-15 LT-B tires wrapped around painted spoke or chrome disc wheels, depending on the year.

Macho Power Wagon trucks all featured special paint. The vehicles’ primary color was usually high-impact paint such as a bright red or orange. For the Macho edition’s secondary color, Dodge painted a glossy black stripe along the bottom of the body. The Macho Power Wagons also featured black interiors, most with bucket seats.

Would this chest-thumping name work today?

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By 1982, Dodge rebadged all its trucks as either Rams or Power Rams (if 4×4). Both the Power Wagon and Macho nametags disappeared. In 2005, Dodge Ram resurrected the Power Wagon name for its half-ton Ram 2500 equipped with front and rear lockers and a winch.

Would a Macho Edition of the Ram Power Wagon work in the modern truck market? Some might predict the name would be too controversial. But Dodge’s Hellcat and Demon names might have once been controversial too. Now they’re some of Stellantis’ best sellers.

Ram actually tested the world’s reaction to resurrecting the Macho Power Wagon badge with an old concept vehicle.

The 2016 Macho Power Wagon concept truck

This is a promo photo of the 2016 Ram 2500 Macho Power Wagon concept truck finished in Macho Mango | Stellantis
2016 Ram 2500 Macho Power Wagon concept truck | Stellantis

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Ram trucks came close to resurrecting the Macho Power Wagon nameplate. The automaker showed up at 2016’s SEMA show in Las Vegas with a modern take on the Macho Power Wagon.

The concept truck was based on a 2016 Ram 2500 Power Wagon. It is a half-ton pickup truck powered by the 6.4-liter HEMI V8.

2016 Ram Macho Power Wagon Concept at the Las Vegas Neon Museum after SEMA | Stellantis
2016 SEMA Ram Macho Power Wagon Concept at the Las Vegas Neon Museum | Stellantis

The 2016 Power Wagon also came with factory tow hooks, winch, and lockers. The concept truck’s builders added a cargo rack and a wide “sail” panel behind the cab. This panel replicates the original Macho Power Wagon’s vertical stripe.

Ram’s one-off builders finished the Power Wagon in a bright orange custom paint named “Macho Mango.” Then the team put the truck on 37-inch Nitto Trail Grappler tires so wide, it needed black plastic fender flares.

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