Ram 2500 Inside, Classic Dodge Outside: Ex-USAF D200 Pickup Was the Pride of Mecum

2024 ram 2500 pickup truck
2024 ram 2500 pickup truck

Ram 2500 Inside, Classic Dodge Outside: The Ex-USAF D200 Pickup That Stole the Show at Mecum

In the world of classic trucks, the Dodge D200 stands as a testament to American engineering and design. But when you infuse the heart and soul of a modern Ram 2500 into this vintage body, you get a restomod that not only turns heads but also redefines performance. This particular Dodge D200, which once served the United States Air Force (USAF), became the pride of the Mecum Auction with its perfect blend of classic aesthetics and contemporary power.

A Heritage of Service: The USAF D200

This 1965 Dodge D200 pickup has a storied past, having been delivered directly from the factory to the USAF nearly 60 years ago. It spent its early years servicing air bases and logistics operations, becoming an integral part of the military’s domestic network. While little is known about the specific duties it performed or where it was stationed, the truck’s military heritage adds a layer of intrigue and history to its already impressive resume.

Restoration and Transformation

The transformation of this D200 is nothing short of remarkable. A comprehensive frame-off rotisserie restoration stripped the vehicle down to its metal bones. It was then painted in a tasteful Oxford Gray, setting the stage for a series of upgrades that would seamlessly meld the past and present. The exterior retains its timeless look, deceiving onlookers until they peek inside the cab, where the early 2010s Ram 2500 Laramie 4WD interior reveals the truck’s modern capabilities.

Modern Heart in a Classic Body

Under the hood lies a 6.7-liter Cummins turbodiesel engine, a powerhouse synonymous with reliability and strength. Paired with a rebuilt 68RFE transmission, this D200 is equipped to tow considerable loads with ease. The addition of a three-inch suspension lift, Rancho shock absorbers, and chunky BF Goodrich KM3 tires ensures that this restomod can handle off-road adventures as competently as any modern 4×4 SUV or pickup.

The Mecum Auction Spotlight

When the Dodge D200 crossed the Mecum Auction block in Kissimmee, Florida, it did so with a quiet confidence. It’s a vehicle that doesn’t need to shout to be heard, its quality and craftsmanship speaking volumes. The truck’s ability to time warp between the recent past and the not-so-recent past is unmatched, making it one of the most unique offerings to grace the auction floor.

A Game of Deception

The D200’s game of deception is its most charming feature. Onlookers are drawn in by the classic Dodge exterior, only to be surprised by the modern Ram 2500 components hidden within. It’s a vehicle that respects its origins while embracing the future, a true restomod in every sense of the word.

The Pride of Mecum

It’s no surprise that this Cummins-swapped classic Dodge was one of the highlights of last year’s Mecum Auction. Its ability to bridge the gap between classic charm and modern functionality is a rare feat, and it’s a shame that it was initially overlooked. But as they say, better late than never, and this D200 has certainly made its mark as a vehicle that embodies the best of both worlds.


The Dodge D200 with a Ram 2500 heart is more than just a truck; it’s a moving piece of history that has been given a new lease on life. Its journey from a USAF workhorse to a show-stopping restomod is a narrative of transformation and respect for the past. As it continues to captivate enthusiasts and collectors alike, this D200 remains a shining example of what can be achieved when visionaries dare to blend the old with the new.

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