What appears to be the last remaining 2018 Ram 3500 Laramie that you can buy brand new with a manual transmission has apparently been languishing on a dealer’s lot in Pennsylvania for more than six months. Folks, I am crestfallen.
I’ve been tearfully rocking myself to sleep every night since we heard America’s last-ever brand-new stick-shift Cummins diesel pickup trucks would be sold this year. Shockingly, people who can actually afford these vehicles don’t seem to share my affinity for them.
Jalopnik reader Eric Weitzmann, who works at a Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, and Ram store called Brown-Daub in Bath, PA sent me its listing for the truck thinking, correctly, that I would appreciate it.
Look at this freaking monster–diesel, one-ton dually, Laramie, manual–It’s like a monument to maximum truck.
Weitzmann did some research on how many similar machines were left on lots around the country. As he shared with me in an email:
“I searched our DealerConnect VIN Locator software, which shows me all of the unsold new inventory within a radius up to 3,000 miles, and I verified that is the only 2018 3500 Laramie with a manual transmission. There are a some 200 odd manual 2500s left, and about 50 manual 3500 Tradesman and SLT trucks, but this is the last new manual Laramie 3500 in North America.”
Indeed, it’s worth noting that this is a very good indicator that we’re looking at the last of its kind, as our own professional car sales expert Tom McParland explained, noting “Dodge’s internal dealer inventory search is pretty accurate. The only way it would be off is if there was by some chance a new car not being sold by an FCA dealer.”
That is all to say, while this is not the last manual Ram full-stop, it looks like it’s the last luxuriously-appointed one.
The Laramie is sort of a sweet spot in Ram’s vast catalog of trim levels. Enthusiasts, myself included, usually say we want the most basic flavor when it comes to utility rigs (in Ram’s lineup, that would be a Tradesman.) But after test driving quite a few new trucks in my years at Jalopnik, I don’t mind admitting that some creature comforts are nice.
In other words, this version of the truck stops short of the cowboy accessories that border on self-parody you might see in an ultra-lux Ram (barbed wire accents, ect...) without relegating you to a janky AM/FM radio and a vinyl bench seat.
This one in particular with the chrome grill, simple polished wheels, 32 gallon fuel tank and six-speed transmission... man. Just, man. It looks righteous.
Of course, buying a truck like this just for the looks would be pretty obnoxious. This vehicle is over 260 inches front-to-back and weighs about as much as an aircraft carrier. But if you do need to do heavy lifting, the spec sheet says the truck can pull almost 25,000 pounds and take more than 4,000 in its cargo bed.
Caveat emptor though: the 6.7-liter Cummins diesel engine is de-rated when it’s paired with a manual. It’s only tuned to make 350 horsepower and 660 lb-ft of torque, while the same engine hooked up to an automatic puts down a claims 370 hp 800 lb-ft.
Despite the fact that it is much cooler and more fun to use, reality is that the G56 manual just isn’t as astoundingly robust as the Aisin automatic.
Still, if it were me, stick is life. I would rather get the manual and see if I could strengthen it with the heavier clutch or something. And anyway, like I said, this truck is a monument.