The Warlock is back as a Ram 1500 Classic special edition, with one glaring omission

There was a brief, glorious time, shortly after the initial release of "Dungeons & Dragons" and right around the time guys were using their vans as rolling canvasses for their best Frank Frazetta tributes, that at least one automaker was willing to put on its robe and wizard hat and jump in to the fantasy fray.

The results were the Dodge Warlock and Warlock II, a series of short-wheelbase “factory custom” pickups produced from 1976 to 1979. They were useful as tools, but also fun — in that sense they previewed how a lot of people use trucks today — and, incidentally, they were a good way to get a beefy V8 in the emissions-strangled mid-‘70s automotive landscape.   

Four decades after the Warlock II went out of production, the Warlock name is back. Fittingly, it’s appearing on a special edition of the Ram 1500 Classic. The Classic, remember, is the new branding for the fourth-generation truck, which is (for the time being) still being built alongside the new fifth-gen version. Sadly, however, the new Warlock is not quite as whimsical as its Malaise Era namesake.

The original Warlock was offered with a wide range of engines, from the slant-six to the 318, 360, 400 and 440 V8s. There aren’t as many engines available today; You’ll choose between a 3.6-liter V6 and a 5.7-liter V8 and (as with the Warlocks of yore) either 4×2 or 4×4 configurations. There’s just one bed length offered — 5 foot, 7 inches — and all trucks get a 1-inch lift, heavy-duty rear shocks, tow hooks, black wheel flares for those 20-inch black aluminum wheels, black badging and more. A sport hood is optional.

Cabin options are limited to a quad or crew cab. Inside, the truck gets diesel gray cloth seats. The luxury group features (a leather-wrapped wheel, auto-dimming rearview mirror, LED bed lighting and so on) are standard, but heated bench or bucket seats and an 8.4-inch Uconnect touchscreen are optional. So these should be fairly well-equipped trucks, even if they’re not packed with all the tech and luxury features found on the new 1500s.

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