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Lancaster says he first noticed dash plaque numbers over 3700 while looking over Rumble Bees on eBay. Then he saw higher numbers online as more new owners started posting pictures of their vehicles, including shots of the dash plaque.

“I couldn’t believe it,” Lancaster says through an email interview with PUTC. “I felt like I had a no-value, overpriced regular truck when I had paid for what Dodge calls a limited edition collectible truck.”

When asked if he would have purchased the Rumble Bee without the production limit, Lancaster says: “If it would have been a cheaper retail price I would have considered it. But the limited edition and how DaimlerChrysler deemed it as a collectible is what got me as a selling point. Plus, mine was one of the 43 NASCAR trucks from the Carolina Dodge Dealers 400 (loaned to Ricky Craven).”

As part of Lancaster’s research, he emailed DaimlerChrysler Customer Service and asked about the Rumble Bee production. A response from senior staff representative Lynn Dilley sent July 22, 2004, said, “Our records indicate there were 3,703 of the 2004 Dodge Ram Rumble Bees produced. In addition, there are some being built for the 2005 model
year. Hopefully, this information helps.”

That is just one of many references to the 3700 number from Dodge. The first came early in 2004 when word of the Rumble Bee package was just getting out. Auto Week magazine ran a short news item that was also posted on the Auto Week Web site in early February last year. It said: “Starting this month, Dodge will begin cranking out 3700 special-edition Ram SLTs with the ‘Rumble Bee’ package.” Around April 2004, the Web site 440magnum-network.com posted a page dedicated to the Rumble Bee. It showed a photo of the truck and close-up of the emblem and posted information about the Rumble Bee package. The last two lines of the page read: “Production of the Ram Rumble Bee started in the spring of 2004, with only 3700 to be produced. Source of Information: DaimlerChrysler Corporation.”

Editor’s Note: When PUTC ran its review of the Ram Rumble Bee in October 2004, I mentioned the 3700 production limit but was not aware at the time of the overrun controversy within the Rumble Bee community. I did not get the 3700 number from the DaimlerChrysler information package sent to me. I found the number in the Auto Week and 440magnum-network.com news items. I considered both to be reliable sources and did not confirm with Dodge before the story was written and posted.

For this story, I contacted the authors of the two news items. Both confirm that information about the Rumble Bee and the reference to the 3700 limit came directly from Dodge but neither author kept the original paperwork.

The Auto Week news item was still available online when this story was written but 440magnum-network.com has rebuilt its truck section. The Rumble Bee page is similar to the previous page except there is no reference to the 3700 production number. A spokesperson from 440magnum-network told PUTC in an email, “We were going to update that page with the actual production numbers but were unable to verify how many they built.”

– Mike Magda

A search on the Internet reveals references to the 3700 limit in scattered news items. Even an internal DaimlerChrysler employee publication in a password-protected Web site ran the following news item, according to a posting on RumbleBee.org:

“Ready to Rumble? Auburn Hills, 1/29/2004 – Starting this month, Dodge will begin cranking out 3700 special edition Ram SLT trucks with the “Rumble Bee” package. The truck gets no extra horsepower, but it will have unique body cladding, body-colored taillight guards, a hood scoop, chrome exhaust, 20-inch wheels and cool exterior graphics and interior trim, including Rumble Bee logos on the door inserts and a numbered badge. Like its namesake, the truck comes in two colors: yellow and black. Package price is $2600, available only on the Ram SLT regular cab, two- or four-wheel-drive models. Read more Chrysler Group Employee News on The Scoop at Chrysler Group.”

This news item was tipped off by a person claiming to be a DaimlerChrysler employee who also was upset at the production numbers. The author of the post said: “If I knew then what I know now, I would have waited for a 6.1 Hemi.”

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