Yes, it’s hard to be original in this business. And even the ugliest of things get recycled eventually, like the mug on the front of this ’56 GMC. Who would have thought?
Hat tip to rudiger (I must have repressed the Rebel introduction)
Unfortunately, neither truck in the pic have very attractive front end styling.
You win “The most restrained comment on the internet” award for the day.
To anyone who was around when the ’55 GMC came out: How ugly or attractive was it considered at the time? Did people complain about ugly cars then too?
I always thought that 1956 front end remined me of a bulldogs overbite
I agree, needs the hooded headlights on the GMC to complete the bulldog face look.
I thought this was the inspiration.
The Ram Laramie Limited is the one with the pig snout.
Ellie May Clampett? I just don’t see it.
Technically it’s Janet Tyler and your right, BUT, may i direct your eye to the distinguished gentleman on the right…..
There’s a COE-equivalent of them.
At least the original is metal and gained some character as it aged. Imagine that ugly plastic mug on the Ram when that textured black plastic inevitably turns to a patchy grey after a few years.
The new Ram Rebel front end still reminds me of a Star Wars stormtrooper helmet, especially when the truck is painted white. With the new movie coming out, they’re missing out on a cross-branding opportunity making a Star Wars edition. Heck, they even called it the Rebel!
If you never hear from me again, assume I saw a Ram Rebel on the street and involuntarily drove off a bridge.
Ugly just met its match.
I wonder if the designers happened to see a ’56 GMC on the street during the process. It’s quite likely, as there are indeed few ’56 GMC and similar models hanging around Woodward Ave, John R Rd, Lake Shore Rd and Gratiot Ave.
I am not a fan of ether of the trucks.
I never liked the looks of GM Task Force trucks of 55-59 (though I do think the Chevy version was better looking then the GMC one)
But this could be because I love the looks of the 47-54 Advance Design trucks. Those trucks look good with their body lines. By contrast the Task Force trucks look like they were in a accident with a wall.
The 1960 GM trucks look good also
I’ve always really liked the Task Force Chevys. The oddball grille treatment on the GMC ruins it though.
Am I the only one who’s digging the Rebel? The grille styling doesnt really sway me either way…I prefer the traditonal crosshairs and swapping back to it is easy enough.
The Rebel’s appeal for me lies in that its a mix of sporty/aggressive/muscle/offroad flavor. The wheels arent a bad design as opposed to the 20+ full chrome clown shoes that come on most new rigs. And the overall look evokes the Challenger just in truck form. Too many fullsize rigs are slathered in chrome and wear paint jobs that are appropriate for a Buick. Barf.
I can see where you’re coming from that the Rebel is a Challenger-like truck. I like the wheels. The interior with tire tracks on the seats and red outline on the dashboard is neat.
The grille is the biggest turn-off to me, very ugly and no chrome. This would be followed closely by the giant RAM on the tailgate. I have partly debadged my trucks. The tailgates on both have no names or emblems. If I got a truck with the giant RAM on the tailgate, it would have to go!
I’m a fullsize car guy at heart. I’m all for a crewcab with chrome grille and bumpers, 2-tone paint, RWD instead of 4WD, and a cap on the box.
Once everybody is used to the Rebel’s looks you will get this. With capital letters RAM on its nose. For the simple fact that this is the current and direct competitor to RWD Ford Transits and Mercedes Sprinters. The ProMaster just isn’t.
So what are they waiting for? The front end of the Promaster looks hideous.
The ProMaster’s front end will stay, it’s in another segment. Ram ProMaster City, Ram ProMaster, and the full-size RWD Iveco Daily above. All van-segments covered. Just my 2 cents.
All we need now is a Ram name for the Iveco Daily….
Ram Sportsman, to borrow a name from the days of the old B-Series. Tradesman would be better, but it’s currently taken by the base model Ram pickups. Maybe Tradesman could be the van, and they could change the name of the base model pickups to some letters.
Is it just me or are all the van manufacturers having a contest to see who can come up with the ugliest design?
If we judge a van only by its “good looks”, then the VW T6 wins, IMO. Same segment as the ProMaster. Note that most of them have big unpainted (black) plastic bumpers, just like all the other brands and models. For obvious reasons, and not only because it’s cheaper when ordering the van.
I have to say that looks a lot better than the others. I am kind of a purist and don’t go for far out designs and overdone graphics. I have always been that way. Most of these new vans look just bizarre to me. I can imagine what the weather will do to all that black plastic in a few years.
What’s your source on the Iveco Daily replacing the current Fiat Jumper as Ram’s full-size van? I think it would make more sense to have this over the Jumper, but it also seems counterintuitive to introduce one van for just a few years, then switch over to another.
Also, in white the Daily looks like a new stormtrooper.
The answer, or rather my opinion, is above. It’s the Fiat Ducato, BTW. The Jumper is its Citroën equivalent. Just like the Peugeot Boxer.
The RWD Iveco Daily is the FWD Fiat Ducato’s bigger brother.
Of course, had a derp moment there. But isn’t the Ducato already big enough to be considered a full-size van?
Ford makes a FWD Transit Custom that slots in between the full-size Transit and compact Transit Connect. But it’s not sold in the U.S. because it overlaps with both of those vans.
I must say I don’t know the US segmentation for vans.
What I mean is weight (payload and GVW), power output and towing capacity. In those cases the Iveco is the Fiat’s bigger brother. Light-duty vs heavy-duty, in other words. Like your pickup trucks, I guess.
In the US, vans are used very little for towing. We have very few cutaway vans with flatbeds or double cab vans. So pretty much the only segmentation we have for vans is full-size (referring to cargo capacity and dimensions) and everything else.
A full-size van is 78-80″ wide and at least 80″ tall. Both Ford and Fiat have a “mid-size” van that would fit that criteria (Transit Custom and Ducato) and a “full-size” van that would fit (Transit and Daily). Ford chose to bring over the Transit because it would be better for a cutaway or chassis cab application like the Econoline it was replacing. Fiat decided this segment wasn’t worth their time and brought over the FWD Ducato as the ProMaster.
OK, thanks. The Fiat Ducato is also available as a cutaway or chassis-cab. It’s FWD, so you can build pretty much anything behind the cab. It’s a very popular base for campers, below a few examples of the chassis.
It’s also very common to see a Ducato as a light flatbed truck, or with other body configurations. Its possibilities are almost endless.
Of course the bigger Iveco Daily is also often used as a (flatbed) truck, with single or dual rear wheels. Or as a tractor unit, to tow semi-trailers.
Why not sell both van’s? The Ducato & Daily are both grat vans in italy. To bad they won’t bring the manual to North America, I guess they think we are scared. And please rename the promaster. I think RAM Ducato, or Dodge Ducato, or even Fiat Ducato are great name’s.
They should’ve just brought over the Daily first and not bothered with the Ducato ProMaster, since the Daily could’ve been adapted for the chassis cab market too.
Manuals are unnecessary in full-size vans. They just don’t sell. In most cases, they’re not any better than the automatics either. The last full-size vans to have a manual option were the Chevy and Ford vans equipped with three-on-the-tree and four-on-the-floor some time in the mid-’80s, and absolutely nobody missed them. It’s not an issue of being “scared,” it’s just knowing what is appropriate for the segment.
As for the name: It has to be RAM because RAM is the “work” brand. The Fiat brand name has absolutely no cachet as a “work” brand. “ProMaster” is kinda iffy, but it sounds tougher than “Ducato,” which Americans might confuse with an Italian motorbike.
To me, “ProMaster” sounds like a discount tool line.
If the body sides were any less straight on that thing I’d have guess that it was in an accident and was repainted at some point. Seriously, those panels are die-pressed but they look like they were hand-beaten due to the thin metal. Just not a good press photo at all.
Most designs, even ugly ones, I can at least understand where someone was trying to go with it. I may not like it, and it may not have come off well, but I can see what the designer was trying to do.
Not here. There is nothing remotely attractive about this front end. There is no Dodge heritage or Jeep heritage or Mopar heritage involved here. This just makes no sense. Does anyone else see Donald Trump’s face in this?
What is seen, cannot be un-seen. If they bring out a smaller line of pickups with this grille treatment, it could be called Ram Apprentice.
The biggest issue with the Rebel’s take on the old GMC front end is that the Rebel’s grille is simply too high. If Chrysler had done a better job of copying the old GMC, it would have come off much better. Honestly, the GMC’s look really isn’t all that bad. Maybe someone with the necessary skills can photoshop the Rebel’s front end to more closely mimic the GMC.
Of course, as someone else pointed out, the Rebel’s black plastic grille isn’t going to age nearly as well as the old truck, either.
I didn’t say this yesterday, but I’ll say it today, I love 55-57 GMC trucks! The Rebel, not so much.
To my eyes, the big metal bumpers (especially in chrome) on these GMC’s are like the big bumpers on a 50’s Cadillac- classy and extravagant!
I agree, the Rebel looks just like that “Twilight Zone” guy above!
I like pickups. I own one, a Toyota T100. Not hugely stylish, maybe bland, but at least innocuous. I know pickups should be about function, not style, but I n my opinion, there isn’t a single US market truck except for the Nissan Frontier (Navara), which is not so ugly that I’d really have trouble being seen in one. This Rebel is the worst, though the new Nissan Titan is in the runningr that dubious honor, and the last few generations of chrome-laden Fords aren’t much better. I’d far prefer a Rambler Rebel.
The front end of the new F-150, in many trims, reminds me of a train. The huge upright grille looks tacky, while the rest of the truck is a dull softening of the previous truck’s lines. Step backwards from the last two major restyles IMO, although they are much improved otherwise.
The new GMs look like bricks with droopy chins. And no head restraints for 5th or 6th passengers. No thanks. The new Nissan looks like a Chinese knockoff of a last-gen F-150. Tundras look like many new Toyotas, which is to say boldly overstyled in a bad way with no coherent design going on and an interior lifted from Ford.
I like the Rams for the most part, if not the name change from Dodge. But this Rebel is awful. There are other trims too with “R A M” across the front that look bad, but not this bad.
All that said, I still prefer vehicles with some character, even if they aren’t beautiful, to the anonymous camcords of the 90’s and 00’s. But only when it doesn’t affect visibility or functionality, which is a problem today.
For a generation raised on action movies and video games, this cartoonish, ugly, macho bull-dog of a frontal monstrosity will sell like mad!
Let’s all go for a mustache ride in the RAM Rebel! I can’t wait until RAM comes out with their sporty 7-passenger crossover, the Clan Rallye.
Your humor is less tasteful than either truck.
The Rebel reminds me of a Hammerhead shark.
With proper paint and chrome, or even white trim, the GMC wouldn’t look too bad. I see some Oldsmobile influence there. The RAM on the other hand is just sort of unfortunate.
That Rebel is an abomination. And I actually like pretty much the entire current Dodge lineup besides this. As stated above, it makes no sense.
I saw the pic of the older pickup and in a quarter second I thought “Bulldog”. They made it looks like a bulldog. Sort of homely, and powerful, and dignified all at once. Reminds me of the Indian head or Buffalo nickel.
Anyone else the resemblence ‘twixt the 2010 Mustang and the Rebel?
The Rebel looks like the mutant radiation affected love child of the Mustang & the GMC
Ram designers obviously haven’t gotten the new styling direction sorted yet, as they hedged on putting this grille on the the Laramie Limited and Rebel models only.
Hopefully they’ll either wholesale redesign the truck at some point and get this sorted. It’s a mess as it stands right now. The only reason I can gather for the Laramie Limited front is so it advertises you have the top-of-the-line truck.
The Laramie Limited received a different grille, but it’s an ugly pig snout too. My favourite current Ram grille is on the Big Horn model, chromed crosshairs with floating horizontal bars.
I guess it’s been long enough that they figure folks don’t associate the name with AMC anymore?
The Dodge Rebel is as ugly as a hognose bat. Same goes for just about every car and truck designs. Who are or what are car companies hiring as auto stylists? Some twenty-something year old with video games and gothic-horror inspired imagination?
Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *
Notify me of follow-up comments by email.
Notify me of new posts by email.
This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.
Copyright 2011 - 2021 Curbside Classics. All Rights Reserved.