In 2005, Dodge revived its Daytona nameplate to produce a limited-edition Dodge Ram Daytona truck. The Daytona calls to mind the stylish, sporty cars produced in decades past. These sleek, aggressively styled cars sat low to the ground, had heavy doors, and offered a spirited driving experience.
Dodge’s special-edition pickups boasted head-turning Daytona looks, along with all the things that make a great Ram truck. But one design element completely ruined the truck. What was this glaring problem?
The 2005 Dodge Ram Daytona
It sounded promising. A vice president of marketing for the Chrysler Group at the time described the special-edition 2005 Dodge Ram Daytona as a bold truck with a race-inspired attitude. It targeted consumers who wanted a performance pickup unlike any truck they’d seen before.
According to TopSpeed.com, the Ram Daytona’s flat-black side graphics — a nod to the 1969 winged Dodge Charger — and huge 11-inch rear spoiler made it immediately recognizable. The body-colored grille and taillight guards, 20-inch chrome-wearing aluminum wheels, and performance-style hood scoop were also familiar. The Ram Daytona offered many styling cues that brought to mind all the special-edition Daytonas of the past.
It was available in two colors — Go ManGo! and Silver Metallic — with the same exterior color featured on the center bezel on the dash. Because only a limited number of trucks rolled off the assembly line, a numbered plaque sat on the dash.
The Dodge Ram Daytona came in four-by-four or four-by-two in regular cab or quad cab configurations. The bed measured 6 feet 3 inches. Molded side sills adorned regular cab models, and running boards lined the quad cabs.
With the Daytona package, you got a 5.7-liter Hemi engine producing 345 hp and 375 lb-ft of torque. The transmission was a five-speed automatic, with a rear-axle ratio of 3.92:1.
According to HotCars, no one really knows why Dodge added the rear spoiler. The team explained the truck was as capable and as sporty as one would expect from the Daytona moniker.
The spoiler, however, ruins an otherwise good-sized trunk. If you’re hauling timber around, HotCars explains, you might have a challenge getting it in and out of the back without damaging the spoiler. Eventually, it might make you want to remove the spoiler in frustration.
The spoiler renders the 2005 Dodge Ram Daytona one of the most annoying trucks ever produced despite its good looks. The wing prevents you from making any significant use of the truck’s storage space. Hauling anything eats up more time and effort because you have to use the side of the bed to load. Sure, the spoiler is removable, but without full use of the truck’s bed, what’s the point of it?
A useless truck
There are many benefits to owning a pickup. One is the ability to haul various large items, from furniture to lumber. Trucks today are designed to make loading and unloading payloads easy, to secure items in the truck bed, and to make cleanups a breeze.
Hauling anything in the 2005 Ram Daytona isn’t easy. Working around the spoiler and avoiding damage to it takes time, effort, and even creativity. It’s just too much hassle.
Those who liked the nostalgia associate with the Daytona name and had money to burn appreciated the 2005 Dodge Ram Daytona. Those who needed a fully functioning truck for work or other practical purposes had to look elsewhere to meet their hauling needs.
Update, January 21, 2021: This post has been corrected to reflect the fact that the 2005 Ram Daytona’s spoiler is removable.