California Transplant: 1970 Dodge Power Wagon

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The Dodge Power Wagon brand is pretty famous now, going back to 1946, when Dodge repurposed its mid-duty military truck line for civilian use, offering 4×4 driven wheels to the American truck market. First issue trucks are known today as “flat fender” Power Wagons, and were based on Dodge’s 3/4 ton WC series WWII military trucks.

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While those now-iconic first generation brawny looking trucks were manufactured well into the 1960s, the Power Wagon name was also applied by Dodge to the W-100 and W-200 civilian based model trucks starting in 1957. Here is an example of the flat fender Power Wagons, it’s a 1949 one-tonner. Trucks like this one were used all over America in farms, logging camps and oil fields, and some of them are still hard at work today, though most survivors are now in the hands of collectors and truck lovers.

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A new pick up design was introduced by Dodge in 1961 and was called “Sweptline” with the pick up bed inside the fender lines. This design was used through 1971 in a variety of configurations and load capacities.

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This 1970 W-100 short bed Power Wagon is offered for sale on here on craigslist in Hillsdale, New York. Based on the photos that accompany the ad, it appears the seller has some interest and expertise in Chrysler Corporation products from the sixties and seventies.

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This is a great looking truck that appears to be in exceptional condition. It’s nicely equipped with a 318 cid V-8 and a four speed transmission, and manual locking hubs, of course. I am pretty sure that rear bumper is a non-factory offering.

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The seller says this truck was purchased from California earlier this year, and claims its paint is all original. I think that claim would need to be verified by inspection as the truck looks almost too good to be original in the photos provided.

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While there is no mention of the mileage on this Power Wagon, the interior does look amazingly good. I don’t know enough about this model truck to be able to tell whether the upholstery is original. Do any of our readers know for sure? All knobs appear to be present, and the steering wheel looks to be in great condition too.

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The truck is said to run and drive well, and “everything works.”

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While it is currently outfitted with wagon wheels, the seller says the original wheels also come with the truck. I’m not a big fan of wagon wheels so if this truck were mine, I’d go with the mud & snow tires on the original wheels instead. I do like short bed trucks, and this one presses all my buttons. The seller is right that finding a Power Wagon in this kind of condition is pretty rare. He is asking $9,700 for this truck, which in today’s pick up market seems almost reasonable.

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Dodge only made 1,500 short bed 4x4s in 1970, and you can bet that the vast majority of them were driven to death, and most survivors will be rusty and in beaten up condition. So if this one truly does have original paint, it is very close to being the one-of-a-kind find the seller claims it is. Do you want this truck as much as I do?

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Comments

  1. jaygryph

    If that truck is as clean as it looks I would not at all be surprised if it sells for the asking price. Dodges of that era always seem to be rotted out and banged completely to death so it’s rather uncommon to see them in such nice shape.

    There will be a lot of older guys who see this as not being worth the asking price because they remember when these were mostly worthless $200 trucks, much the same way that I feel about 80’s and 90’s pickups, but they’re pretty uncommon these days. Look at what prices of clean late 50’s trucks have been doing and this does not seem too outrageous if you consider the value to be rolling and inching along a decade at a time as people become nostalgic for things from their past, and can actually afford them.

    Nice truck, I’d drive it, but if I had the money for a project I’d probably buy something else first. Lots of good options in that era.

    As a side note, before this thread starts, if the site moderators are watching. You might consider instituting a daily downvote cap. The threads lately have been seeing every single comment downvoted, but usually only by one downvote, which tells me that a single person is getting upset and acting like a child by downvoting every single comment.

    Making it so each user only has, say, 4 or 5 down votes would keep that from happening so badly. No limit on up voting, but restricted down voting will help prevent temper tantrums and infighting on here.

    Like 1
    • Howard A Member

      Hi jaygryph, good points , I’m one of those old farts that remember these as $200 beaters. I realize, this isn’t the ’70’s anymore, and you are right, something like this doesn’t come along often, especially in the midwest. I think Dodge was the worst of all the rusters of the big 3. And it hasn’t got much better. I see many Dodges from the 90’s and even newer, with whole sides a sheet of rust and frames with big patches on them. Despite it’s rarity, I think this price is a tad optimistic, and the novelty will wear off once you actually drive this truck. Still, a great find.
      Re: Thumbs down, I see some posts don’t get a thumbs down, unlike my posts that get a “down” everytime. So perhaps, by process of elimination, maybe we can find out who the culprit is doing that. Irritates many of us here. The “Achilles Heel” of BF’s. It’s as if they say, “I don’t agree with what you say, but I’m too spineless to respond, so I’ll just push the thumbs down, and it’s over”.

      • jaygryph

        Amusingly, I noticed you got voted down, as did I. I think it’s two people in particular doing it over and over. If it’s a hotly debated topic I can see there being equal votes either way, but for things that aren’t particularly inflammatory or divisive there really shouldn’t be any down voting at all.

        Another option would be to only allow registered users to have the ability to vote (which is what Reddit does), or to somehow show how many up and down votes a particular user has done which may not be the best way, but if someone has say, 1 up vote given and 400 downvotes given there is obviously a troll problem with that user. I don’t think this site is big enough to warrant a vote tally system like Reddit uses, that’s a whole lot of extra back end stuff the BF guys probably do not want to deal with or moderate.

        I think maybe going to unlimited up votes, and say, 3 down votes a day per registered user would sort this. Let unregistered users up vote, and only unlock the down votes with an account on the site.

        There’s going to be things we all don’t agree with from time to time, and while I rarely ever down vote something that I simply don’t agree with, there are times when someone is being so abrasive or is speaking very clearly with the intent to cause problems that I will lob a thumbs down their way. I do like how it will hide comments that get buried in negative points, but still allows you to see what it is. Most of the time it’s valid to get that comment run out on a rail, but there are times when what was said was just different opinions that people bandwagon against.

        As to the truck, yeah, I tend to agree that the novelty of this style truck does wear off. Some people would love to daily drive this. I have a friend that daily drives, to work and back every single day, a 1960 Dodge Dart Phoenix 2 door hard top that I sold him a year or so ago. It’s about as ratty as could be but he’s got it tuned up so it runs and drives fantastic. There are people that would love to drive this stuff, but honestly, myself after owning 100+ vehicles, many of which I drove fairly regularly…I’m finding I really have nothing against a modern vehicle. I’ve put more comfortable and trouble free miles on my 08 Hyundai Accent and 2010 F150 than I ever have on any of my 50s, 60s and 70s cars and trucks.

        Sure, the modern ones have no ‘soul’ to most people, but, frankly I don’t care what people think about what I drive any more. I did in highschool, I don’t now. I’m pretty okay with comfortable seats and power options and good mpg. Better mpg just means more time spent actually driving, which is the activity I love more than the vehicles themselves.

      • Howard A Member

        I say, have the down thumbers identified.( and a short essay required as to why they think that way) That would stop this foolishness toot sweet.

      • JW

        Howard just blow it off, I don’t even look at my posts once I’ve posted it, if it gets all thumbs down I don’t know and don’t care. Life’s too short to let people who don’t agree with me get under my skin. Have a good one !!!

  2. Rock On

    We should all just consider one down vote as zero down votes from now on. I also noticed this “winner” down voting every single comment on every single posting.

  3. CapNemo

    I really dig this truck, and personally feel that it’s worth the money. Nice to see it in such good condition! I like long beds better than short beds, but if I had the ability at this time, I’d still buy it!

  4. JW

    I love it, V8 / Manual trans / short box / lockout hubs, for a work & play truck you could not get much better and I think his price is reasonable for the condition.

  5. gtojeff

    Nice truck

  6. Moparmann Member

    I would LOVE to have the a-100 pickup in the background!! :-)

  7. Jim B

    Man, love all the Mopars in the background. I hope they all have good shelter. That A-100 is killer, as is the orange possible Adventurer! Yow!

  8. Jim B

    Also odd: I wonder how this truck got regular vehicle plates in California (see closeups) instead of commercial plates, which are nearly mandatory for all pickups here in CA. Weird! Maybe they were just added for the photos.

  9. VR LIVES

    I buildt Dodge truck seats for Douglas and Lomason from 1988 -1993, this seat is a standard charcoal cloth seat. One year before the new body style took root. I miss that job, will answer any questions on Dakota or Full size trucks.

  10. angliagt

    Not sure those are car plates.The new ones have
    so many number/letter combinations that it’s hard to keep
    up with.
    In CA,you could get “House Car” plates,but you were
    supposed to have a canopy on it.If you got caught without a
    canopy,it was a big fine.Not sure if they still have those.
    I was showing my ’68 F250 CS to a retired CHP officer,
    & he noticed that it had car plates,& the canopy was off of it.
    I reinstalled it quickly.

    I also agree that the older trucks are cooler,but the
    newer ones are much nicer to drive daily.
    I’m trying to decide which way to go,if I replace our
    ’95 Dakota,as it’s like a comfortable pair of old shoes.They way
    things are going,you won’t be able to get a manual transmission
    on one soon.

  11. James

    I’ve seen this seller on Craigslist many times before. He always has fair prices and solid, original Mopars from California. Not sure who his contact is, but I want in!

  12. Rustytech Member

    Being a Mopar truck fan I would love to have this truck. All of these earlier 4X4’s were rather crude driving vehicles, they weren’t designed to be daily commuters, they wer WORK trucks unlike today’s. This would be a great vehicle for off road trails, hunting camp, or farm use. Or just take it to local car shows and enjoy the positive comments. I agree with JW, don’t sweat the negative comments, it seems to be a sign of our times, listened to any political commentary lately?

  13. Ck

    Whats not to love about this truck.It has every thing you could possibly want in a vintage truck ,and at areasonable price.I’d throw the original wheels back on ,put Lassie in the passenger seat ,and go save Timmy.

  14. Jerry HW Brentnell

    has any body taken notice what sitting in the background in the pictures here? like that sweet a100 pickup, or the duster, ramcharger and that coronet out front

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