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2014 Ram 1500 Power Wagon for the 21st Century

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For anybody that says Murray doesn’t drive his truck, they would be incorrect. Murray uses the truck for shows and for hauling his gear around town

For anybody that says Murray doesn’t drive his truck, they would be incorrect. Murray uses the truck for shows and for hauling his gear around town.

Following World War II, companies who had switched their production to help the military effort were left with overstock and factories set up to build big, heavy duty machines and vehicles. Chrysler was one of these companies, but rather than let a good thing go to waste, they used it to their advantage. During the war, Dodge built a series of military trucks that could go almost anywhere and take a beating. After the war, Dodge used these trucks as inspiration for a new line of trucks called the Power Wagon.

The custom hood on this 2014 Ram is unlike anything you will find at the dealership. Custom made by Pfaff Designs, it features a functional inlet and washboard-style heat extractors.

The custom hood on this 2014 Ram is unlike anything you will find at the dealership. Custom made by Pfaff Designs, it features a functional inlet and washboard-style heat extractors.

Billed as a self-propelled power plant, the Power Wagons were stripped down 4x4 trucks meant for hard work. They featured an all-weather cab, 8-foot bed, and 230ci inline-six engine backed by a 4-speed manual trans. One of the unique features, was a power take off, or PTO, feature that provided power to the front or rear for connecting auxiliary equipment. This feature is more commonly available on tractors now. Originally a 1-ton truck, Dodge later offered ½- and ¾- ton versions. These trucks were sold through 1993 before being discontinued. In 2005, Dodge announced that they would be releasing an updated version of the Power Wagon. This time around it was more about off-road capability.

Much like how Dodge used their war vehicles as inspiration for the Power Wagon, Murray Pfaff, owner of Pfaff Designs, in Royal Oak, Michigan, used the Power Wagon as inspiration for his own creation, the Draggin’ Wagon. “It was built to serve as a show piece and then be directly enlisted as a shop truck,” explained Murray. “I used the 2014 Ram Express as the basis because it is a consumer version of their work truck and being a stripped-down truck, I was able to build it up just as I liked.”

From the side, the Draggin’ Wagon has the perfect stance.

From the side, the Draggin’ Wagon has the perfect stance.

Just like the hood, the rear bumper has been completely reworked, but thanks to the attention to detail, it looks completely factory.

Just like the hood, the rear bumper has been completely reworked, but thanks to the attention to detail, it looks completely factory.

Fortunately, it didn’t stay stripped down for long. The first thing Murray changed was the stance. But rather than Ram’s latest, off-road version of the Power Wagon, Murray went the other direction. A Belltech 2/4-inch lowering kit was installed to bring the Ram closer to the pavement. However, since this was meant to be used as a shop truck, it would need to be able to carry cargo in the bed. To prevent the bed from bottoming out with heavy loads, a set of Air Lift 1000 air springs and QuickSHOT compressor and tank were installed. Rolling stock consists of 20x10 and 22x11 Forgeline GA3C wheels wrapped in Toyo Proxes STII tires in sizes 295/45R20 and 305/45R22. Anticipating the power he would inject into the 5.7L Hemi, Murray added white lettering to the tires. Up front the lettering reads, “For Turning” and out back it proclaims “For Burning”.

The K&N 63-1561 kit had to be customized to work with the Maggie on top of the Hemi.

The K&N 63-1561 kit had to be customized to work with the Maggie on top of the Hemi.

The 5.7L Hemi is stout from the factory, but for Murray’s needs, and to really turn the rear tires into melted slabs of rubber, he was going to need help. Enter the Magnusson 2300 supercharger, pumping out 7 lbs of boost. With all that air pumping into the engine, the factory intake system needed an upgrade. For this, Murray went to the air filter know-it-alls at K&N. After using K&N’s search by vehicle tool, Murray ordered the 63-1561 intake system. Even knowing he would have to modify the system to fit with the supercharger, Murray was certain that the filter and housing would fit in the stock location perfectly. He was also certain that the deep-breathing, supercharged 5.7L would be provided plenty of fresh, cool air. Finishing up the powertrain modifications, Murray added a Magnaflow exhaust and JMS PedalMAX throttle response improver.

One of the many subtle styling modifications that Murray incorporated into the build are the tire lettering that says “For Turning” on the front tires and “For Burning” on the rear tires.

One of the many subtle styling modifications that Murray incorporated into the build are the tire lettering that says “For Turning” on the front tires and “For Burning” on the rear tires.

The next step in the process is where Murray was able to let his creative juices flow. He started with custom bumper inserts below the headlights. Acting as functional brake ducts, the “eye black” inserts look completely factory. A custom intake duct and washboard-style heat extractor in the hood keep the Hemi’s vitals in check. Out back, the rear bumper was completely reworked. The center step section was flipped upside down, the exhaust cut outs were moved inboard 8 inches, and the whole bumper was narrowed 3 inches and tucked into the bed for a factory roll pan look. With the body modifications complete, it was sprayed with a triple threat of paint from PPG – Ram Granite Metallic Grey, Mercedes Polarweisse White, and Angry Banana Pearl Yellow. Finally, Murray could finally add the lighting that he wanted to the truck. Lightwerkz Offroad, in Wixom, Michigan, built custom head and taillights for this build with sequential turn signals. Above the windshield is a Heise 54-inch curved light bar, which is accompanied by a 42-inch version in the bumper. Inside the fog light openings in the bumper sit a pair of Hella Rallye 4000-x LEDs, for just that much more blinding light. If all those lights weren’t enough to ward off any drivers that might want to cut off the Draggin’ Wagon, a set of Kleinn Demon 730 train horns were installed. Fellow drivers beware!

The last piece of the custom truck puzzle was the interior. Ram trucks are some of the best equipped when it comes to interior features. But being a stripped down Express version, meant it lacked leather. Murray took care of that with a black, custom stitched Alea Leather kit. The truck also left something to be desired with the sound system. MTX was the answer for that and the system consists of an XThunder 800W 5 channel amp, MTX 6x9-inch door speakers, and an MTX Thunderform sub enclosure with dual 200W subwoofers.

Finally, Murray had a vehicle he could use to showcase his designs and haul all his gear to and from shows and his shop. He has already taken it to numerous shows and has more planned. “It has been to the Muscle Car and Corvette Nationals in Chicago, Illinois, where it came home with the Best Modified Dodge of the show, was shown in the “D Lot” at the Detroit Autorama garnering a first place in class, and will go on Hot Rod Magazine’s Power Tour this spring,” beamed Murray. “I want to thank all of the sponsors and people who helped me with this build.” Murray’s sponsors included: That’s Minor Customs, Forgeline Wheels, Pilot Transport, Magnuson Superchargers, PPG Automotive Refinish, RM Motorsports, Classic Design Concepts, Synergeering, Alea Leather, Revolver X2, MTX Audio, Line-X, Szott M-59 Dodge Ram SRT, Belltech, Magnaflow, Metra/Heise, Norton, Mother’s Polishes, Toyo Tires, XPEL, Air Lift, EBC Brakes, Kleinn Automotive Air Horns, Lightwerx Offroad, SEM, K&N Filters, AMP Research, Motor City Auto Spa, Swing Case, Hella Lighting, Hellwig, F1 RClab,  AMSOIL, Motofab, JMS Chip, TredWear, Discount Tire, Tale Gator, Frank Maiorano, Scott Conly, John “Airplay” Mijal, Tony G, Mike Brimm, Steve Germond, Joe Holyfield, Troy Whyte, Mark Blaha, Ernie Miyamoto, Steve Langdon, Jeff Schneider, Nick Stewart, and Tom Stark.

Custom “eye black” brake ducts were fabricated into the front bumper.

Custom “eye black” brake ducts were fabricated into the front bumper.

Thanks to Alea Leather, Murray can enjoy the feel and smell of the leather seats in his Ram.

Thanks to Alea Leather, Murray can enjoy the feel and smell of the leather seats in his Ram.

Thanks to the multitude of lights, the Draggin’ Wagon will never be afraid of the dark.

Thanks to the multitude of lights, the Draggin’ Wagon will never be afraid of the dark.


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K&N Engineering in Riverside California is the world's leading manufacturer of washable performance air filters and air intake systems. K&N invented the reusable high flow cotton air filter in 1969 and has been perfecting the technology ever since. K&N is a world class filtration company selling air filters, oil filters, and intakes in over 50 countries. K&N sells over 5,000 products designed for cars, trucks, motorcycles, engines, and industrial applications. From their Million Mile Warranty to their Consumer Protection Pledge, K&N stands behind their products and their consumers 100%. The distinctive K&N logo represents performance from one of the original performance companies. For more information, visit knfilters.com.