Classic Pickup: 1946-68 Dodge Power Wagon

Posted on 08. Aug, 2012 by in Auto News

Text and photos by Richard Truesdell

For many truck enthusiasts, the history of Dodge trucks starting in autumn 1993, with the introduction of the Ram pickup. In a heartbeat Dodge went from being an also-ran in the light-duty pickup truck market in a big competition with established leaders Ford and Chevrolet.

In retrospect, it is easy to remember Chrysler executive Bob Lutz said, "Even if 80 percent of the focus group participants, the proposed 1994 Ram, 20 percent in love with it were hated Even if only half actually bought the upcoming Ram, we will more than double our. shares "Since 1993 Dodge share full-size pickup market has exploded, with the brand typically collect about 20 percent of the total market each year.

But the reality is that Dodge in a legacy hard-working truck has originated from 1916. And of all the pickup trucks that Dodge has ever produced, one stands out: the Dodge Power Wagon, the first factory built 4X4.

Civilian Dodge Power Wagon was conceived an existing T214 Dodge truck chassis, which the Allies used during the Second World War. More than a quarter-million copies were built. It was offered virtually unchanged in appearance from early 1946 until 1968, when the model was discontinued for domestic sales. (Continued production for export.) The robust Power Wagon was a no-nonsense truck, a throwback to a time when truck and there was little effort to move upmarket features carlike.

Civilian Power Wagon, was introduced in February 1946, answered the question by many GIs again: "Where can I get a truck like I used in the war?" Dodge answered by the uncompromising WDX, now best known as the Power Wagon. The truck costs about $ 1,600 – more than twice as high as the more conventional half-ton pickups. (If you pace with inflation, $ 1,600 in 1946, about $ 19,000 today translated.)

The Power Wagon shared its basic design and 126-inch wheelbase with the three-quarter-ton weapons carrier and the front shell and grille similar to the T234 were three-quarter-ton truck from Dodge for the Chinese Army built, what makes his strip along the Burma Road. It should be noted that Dodge built the first factory 4X4s, something that was not Ford and GM are matched up well into the 1950s was.

The truck-126-inch wheelbase was a near-halfway between the 120 – and 133-inch wheelbase on conventional Dodge "Job Rated" one-ton two wheel-drive trucks. The Power Wagon was big fender owners plenty of space for wheel diameter for extra-heavy-duty applications is increasing. Standard wheels were 16×5.50 inch bear 7.50×16 inch eight-inch tire 16×6.50 or 9×16-inch wearing eight layers of rubber.

The styling of the Power Wagon was a carry over from the war 1939 truck design. The top of the hood and radiator surround are borrowed from a Dodge three tons trucks. The interior looked Spartan, with the functionality of its main calling card.

In 1961 began a 251-cubic-inch flat-head engine to the original and somewhat under-powered 230-cubic-inch flat-head engine, replace the back to the pre-war period. A synchromesh transmission, alternator and 12-volt electrical system upgrade were among the big changes over the years. Many Power Wagons were converted into fire trucks, school buses and other specialized applications. (Fitted in 1949 Power Wagon fire truck shown here with a body from the American Fire Apparatus in Battle Creek, Michigan) According to "Dodge Trucks" Don Bunn, some Power Wagons were also converted to body, making them the original Dodge SUVs. (These were available with both four and six doors.)

Total 95,145 WDX-WM300 Power Wagons were sold in Germany from 1946 to 1968. Thereafter, they were mainly built for export and owners estimated in less developed countries of the truck reputation for ruggedness.

The dark blue example shown here by Jim Hetrick of Lake Forest, California, is heard, according to the owner, this is one of the earliest surviving and running performance cars out of the car in the first year of production. First-year civilian production was 2,890 units. While Power Wagons surface regularly on eBay and other auction sites is the best way to acquire a to active in the online Dodge Power Wagon communities and let them know that your desire to be an add to your collection.

Author Notes

Dodge has the Power Wagon name used several times over the years, starting in 1957 with the light-duty half-ton W100 (two-wheel drive) and W200 (all wheel drive) models of the one-ton W300 in followed 1958 . From 1956, the chassis-cab-only offered two-ton W500 model, production ended in 1971when it with the W600 for the 1972 model year was replaced. Production ended in 1977 with the elimination of all medium-duty Dodge trucks.

A concept version of Power Wagon, powered by a Cummins turbo diesel engine, debuted at the 1999 North American International Auto Show. Some of his style are built into the mainstream Ram pickups with the 2002-08 (DR) generation. From 2005, an off-road-oriented high-performance Power Wagon version of the Ram lineup, where it was added to the present day. For more photos of this classic Power Wagon, our Facebook page and like us.