Is The Price Right? 1957 Dodge Town Wagon & 1958 Town Panel

Before you start your comment, I know the 1957 on the right has rear side windows, which means it’s not really a panel truck, it’s a Town Wagon. However, that’s what the owner has called both of them, and it makes for a neat alliterative title. So there. The pair are located in Denver, Colorado and are listed for sale here on eBay, where bidding has only just broken $1,000.

There’s a good deal of room in these big trucks–which can lead to some creative ideas for what to do with them! The seller states that both have rust, but are not “totals.” The 1957 Town Wagon runs, with the original six cylinder engine and a four speed transmission. The 1958 Town Panel has no engine, but the transmission is in place.

The pictures included are seemingly random, with most being of the 1958 Town Panel despite the other vehicle being the one that runs. The sheet metal actually looks to be in decent shape here, although I’m still trying to figure out exactly what’s going on at the rear of the driver’s side fender. It looks as though duct tape was used to seal a rust out (maybe at the rear floor level?) Who knows?

While no pictures were included of the engine in the 1957, we do have this great picture of the empty engine bay of the 1958! At least we know there’s plenty of room in there for whatever you wanted to install. Speaking of which, what would you put in here? And show some creativity–something besides a pushrod gasoline V8, please!

I think this is the 1958, but I’m not 100% sure. Either way, it’s pretty plain, but attractive somehow. I’d love to know what the two other “gauges” are in front of the passenger–they aren’t going to do the driver much good over there!

The seller also says they might include this cool stained glass piece that their mother purchased for them–if the price is right! What do you think that right price would be?


WANTED 1959 Cadillac Seeking convertible Rust free Contact

WANTED 1970-1976 Pontiac Trans Am Must be 4 spd. Like big block. I can fix motor or tranny. Needs to be somewhat sound other than that Contact

WANTED 1965-1985 Chrysler Fullsize Roadtrip car for crazy swede Nice original fullsize US car, up for a 5000 mile trip. Max 10 k USD. Contact

WANTED 1960-1965 Ford Ranchero Looking for period-correct cap or topper. Protect-O-Plate was the main brand, but open to any brand Contact

WANTED 1973 Dodge Challenger Wanted – 1973 Dodge Challenger Rallye or 1966 Chevrolet Impala SS (must be reasonably rust free) Contact

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  1. Howard A Member

    I don’t ever recall seeing a Dodge Town Wagon, which clearly was aimed at the Chevy Suburban, or IH Travelall market. Got to be pretty rare. The Town Wagon I think I’d keep original, or, make it into a 4×4 Town Wagon, I read, ’57 was the 1st year Dodge made that. The ’58 panel, go nuts with a hemi and such, I suppose. Great find. I’ve got to get out there.

  2. Jason

    I’d go with a Mercedes OM 617. Conveniently enough I have one sitting in my barn, but I’m in the Hudson Valley, so it’s not repowering this panel truck.

  3. fc

    That interior shot is from the ’58. You can tell from the fractured windshield which is better seen on the ebay site.

  4. Mark S

    I’d put in a 318 2V with an overdrive automatic transmission into the 58. I’d then restore body to stock, go through the the rest of the mechanicals. I’d upgrade the front brakes to discs. Finally I’d put in a custom interior geared toward travel.

  5. geomechs geomechs Member

    Maybe the ’58 was Red Green’s first ‘Possum Wagon.’ They’re both great candidates for restoration, or for the ’58, a restomod. I’d be tempted to search for a Hemi like a 354. Couple it to a Torqueflite and have fun. But then, the idea of a Cummins 6BTAA5.9 starts wrestling with my imagination. That would be a shoehorn of a project; the ‘Columbus Vibrator’ is long, despite displacing only 360 CID. I might try to source out a slightly newer 24 valve with VP44 pump which I’d immediately fling and convert to a P-7100. Either way that firewall will end up with a deep cavity, which will be filled with snorting, smelly diesel power. And now that I’ve headed down that alley, it just wouldn’t be right unless it was made into a 4×4. And yes I’d remove the duct tape and do up the body properly….

    • Howard A Member

      geomechs,,,is that you? What happened to the guy that would go with the 6 Briggs & Stratton engines in a row? :)

      • geomechs geomechs Member

        Hi Howard. Maybe I drank too much of my own bath water this morning. And that’s 6 WISCONSIN engines in a row…..

        Like 1
      • Jerry HW Brentnell

        heres my idea, I have a 97 dakota 5.2 5 speed stick reg cab short box I that panel truck body would look good sitting on my dakota frame! with the dakota interior in it!

      • boxdin

        As I recall that Dakota has a 108 inch wb? What is the panel truck?

    • Mark S

      Sounds like a plan Geomech why didn’t I think of that.

      • geomechs geomechs Member

        Hi Mark. I saw a feature in Vintage Truck about a Dodge Town Wagon with 4×4. I took an immediate liking to it and thought I’d like to do something like that. A 354 Hemi would be a good way to power that thing but then, since the motor is long gone and I work with diesels on a daily basis, why not go with the mosquito killer?

      • Mark S

        It probably had a flatty 6 banger in it so I don’t think engine length is going to be an issue might have to beef up the suspension though as those Cumins 5.9’s weigh in at 1150 lbs and the transmission and transfer case another 600 to 800 lbs it might be easier to do a chassis swap on to an older 3/4 ton 4×4.

      • geomechs geomechs Member

        You know, me and a co-worker were talking, and he was suggesting a 4BTAA3.9. It’s lighter, shorter and if you can find one of those with a P-3000 or P-7100 injection pump and you can tweak them to 200+ hp. They won’t exactly go like Jack, the bear, but they’ll beat a cut cat (my dad was a vet and I know what a cut cat goes like).

        I’m really cautious about dropping the body on a more modern chassis. I was at a swap meet a couple of years ago and talking with a guy who had put a ’49 Chevy tonner cab and bed on a modern chassis and got everything going real well; even took it to a couple of show-n-shines. The next thing he knew the DMV cancelled his tags because the chassis was from a write-off. He jumped through more hoops than a circus dog to get it validated. He told me that as long as it’s in his name, he can drive it, but he canNOT sell it. Now I’ve heard some similar horror stories from Montana and Wyoming (?) and the Intermountain region to the west.

    • seth karpen

      putting in a cummins in a half ton truck is not a great idea. It is to heavy for the suspension and to long to fit. People have had success with putting in a 4 cylinder cummins

  6. Ed P

    I can fix that rust. Hold my beer and hand me the duct tape.

  7. Don

    Cummins 6 banger

  8. boxdin

    Easier to go w the Cummins 4 banger. Still a ton of power.

  9. Sam

    Drop the body onto a Jeep Commander chasis with hemi and 4wd.

  10. Rustytech Member

    I like the Dakota chassis idea. But I would put in 3 rows of seating. The last time I saw one of these was about 1972, a neighbor had one that he hauled his six kids around with.

  11. American_Badaz

    Hmmm, for the 58, any one of the Detroit Diesel 149 series engines. They have a sound all their own. I doubt you will fit the V20 version in it though!!

  12. Neal

    Geomechs, I love the songs you sing!
    Wish we were neighbors. And then you could help me do a 4BT swap into a Scout.

  13. Snotty

    57 I.M.O. is better looking [single headlights] but guess they couldn’t leave well enough alone and add another headlight and an awful grille.

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