1944 Dodge WFA-31: War Production

1944 Dodge WFA-31

In addition to my love affair with ex-municipal vehicles, I also dig trucks that bear some connection to war efforts or other government programs. It seems that despite all of the waste generated by excess spending, I can rationalize the use of a work truck that was put to good and hard use. This 1944 Dodge WFA-31 has a dump body and a great story, and is here on eBay with a starting bid of $1,234.56 (clever!) and no reserve.

dodge_war2

The story goes as follows: with the advent of WWII, most manufacturing operations were shifted to produce war goods. Then, as often happens, there was a shortage of trucks so the government ordered a small run of civilian-oriented Dodge trucks, an order that was approved by the War Production board. This truck was sold new in Montana and has remained there ever since; the seller suspects it was utilized in mining operations as the war wound down.

dodge_war3

Now, I can’t quite discern what is happening with the interior: we have a good amount of red paint and then a green door appears. I suspect that door is a replacement, as the door latch and winder mechanisms appear different, but that could be my eyes playing tricks on me. Either way, for a work truck, as long as the water and wind is kept out, the homogeneity of the door colors is no matter. The cab corners appear rust-free, which is a bonus and a benefit of the Montana address.

dodge_war4

The six-cylinder engine has been rebuilt but needs some more fine-tuning, according to the seller. It has received new oil, plugs, coolant, hoses, thermostat, cap, rotor, brake master cylinder, battery and more, but the brakes need further bleeding. Given the presence of red paint inside the engine bay, I’m guessing that was the truck’s former color, but I like the bare metal look as-is. The seller made a good choice slapping it with some clear coat, as the end result is a unintentionally stunning art-deco creation. Well worth the money if you can find a way to get it home, in my opinion.

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Comments

  1. Joe Howell

    Cool old truck. I once owned a 1958 M58, Eager Beaver series Deuce and a Half (2 & 1/2 ton) truck built by Curtis Wright (Studebaker). It had been a town truck for Natty Glow Township PA. It had a dump unit installed under the regular bed and was fitted with a mount to use a snow plow lifted and lowered by the wench. Painted park ranger green you could still make out the stars on the door under the paint. A clean up with a high pressure washer removed some paint from the wheels revealing Civil Defense blue. The truck had been sold after it’s days as a Civil Defense to Natty Glow Township for one dollar.

  2. Cassidy

    That’s a fine looking truck! You’re right, Jeff, the odd color door just adds to its patina.

  3. Rob

    Damn ‘clean’ old truck, and only 20 miles from where I live to boot. If I didn’t have my ’40 Ford pick-up to still finish, I’d probably get into its bidding as well, as I agree with its owner, great for use around a ranch with acreage, as we’ve got over fifteen here. Whomever takes it better spend the extra $2500. for those tires ‘n rims too, as these days, they’re getting harder to find, ‘n ‘twould be a bitch to source-up at a later date.

  4. Dave Wright

    I love this old girl and she is close enough to Idaho. If I didn’ have another 5 weeks in Europe, I would be bidding. The old Chrysler flat head 6 was indestructible and the truck has a perfect configuration to work on the ranch. I need to haul road base to the road up to my house now……guess it will have to wait for spring. VTires and wheels are becoming a problem on many old trucks and vehicles these days. My brother is a large Goodyear distributor/dealer and even we have trouble. One of his employees could not get the 13 inch tires that were correct for a Ford Pinto.

  5. JW

    If I still lived out on the farm I would be bidding on this old girl myself.

  6. Woodie Man

    Super cool restoration project!

  7. geomechs

    Nice truck! I’d be tempted to bid on this one but I’ve already got too many projects. Whoever gets it has to spray it with something, even if it’s Tremclad. Bare metal has no resistance to the elements…

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