Keeping a 1997 Dodge Ram 1500 in tip-top shape after all these years is no easy feat. And owner Chris Cadotto knows it all too well, especially since he turned his example into a race truck that’s gone through multiple incarnations and now shares little with the factory model. Meet The Brick.
The full-size truck, sporting a short bed and a single cab—the perfect spec for performance enthusiasts—had been racing ever since owner Chris Cadotto grabbed it off the showroom floor.
And while the factory V8 Small Block, probably a 5.9L Magnum V8, did gift the truck with respectable driving dynamics, its driver started modifying the pickup and never stopped playing with the vehicle, not even when the machine was ruined by a garage fire or damaged in a racing accident.
Nowadays, the 1997 Dodge Ram known as The Brick hides a full tube chassis underneath the stock-looking body panels—this is a Pro Street racer.
The vehicle tips the scales at around 2,800 lbs (1,270 kg). After all, the machine has been put on a strict diet, with one of the most striking clues towards this being the composite windows.
The motivation is currently provided by a HEMI V8 sporting over 500 ci (8.2L) in displacement and working with a two-speed Rossler transmission. And, as Cadotto explains in the video below (lens tip to Jmalcom2004), the motor is capable of churning out up to 3,300 hp.
However, that doesn’t necessarily mean the monstrous V8 is turned up all the way and it all has to do with traction.
Chris Cadotto’s strategy for drag racing the Dodge Ram The Brick
Sure, this truck has an otherwordly power-to-weight ratio, but there isn’t too much Cadotto can do about the aerodynamics of the machine, even though this has already been considerably closer to the ground—apparently, giving the vehicle the said nickname does little to change the on-track behavior of the vehicle.
Of course, fighting the drag takes less of a toll in the 1/8-mile, but it’s not like the vehicle steers clear of 1/4-mile runs.
In fact, the best numbers of the Dodge Ram see this completing the 1/8-mile in 3.98s at 187 mph (301 km/h), while its 1/4-mile stats involve an E.T. (elapsed time) of 6.59s and a 212 mph (km/h) trap speed.
However, the class in which the racer often competes mandates 10.5-inch-wide (267mm) bias-ply slicks. Sure, radials have the potential to make the beast even quicker, but switching to a class that uses such tires would mean facing even more expensive drag contraptions packing 4,000 or 5,000 hp.
Returning to the clip below, this sees The Brick doing its drag strip thing at the Middle Georgia Motorsports last weekend. And, even before it turns a tire into smoke, this Dodge Ram looks dramatic on the prepped surface.