Desert Find: 1936 Dodge Pickup Truck

If only this pickup truck could talk, can you imagine the interesting stories it might tell? There are 86 years of history wrapped up in the sheet metal before us, and yet we know little about the truck because it’s being sold by an auction house. It looks mostly original and solid for its age, so getting it running again may come before undertaking any sort of restoration. Located in the tri-county areas of San Bernardino, Orange, and Riverside, California, this old truck is available here on where the ante so far is just $2,400.

Since we don’t know much about the truck itself, let’s peek into the background of Dodge’s early truck business. After making parts for other auto builders, John and Horace Dodge went into business for themselves in 1914. Their initial focus was on autos, not getting into trucks until after World War I. That began when they acquired Graham Brothers, who had already been selling pickups to Dodge dealers. The brothers sold Dodge to Chrysler in 1928 and the first new product after this deal was a ½-ton pickup in 1929. By 1933, Dodge trucks began using modified Chrysler engines for heavy-duty applications. That was a 201 cubic inch flat-head six that output 70 hp that Plymouth would continue with through 1960.

As the 1930s rolled on, Dodge increased its truck offerings by producing ¾-ton and one-ton trucks based on the existing ½-ton. New for 1936 was a fully synchronized three-speed manual transmission that was offered in addition to the one that was not synchronized.  We don’t know from the seller’s posting if this is a ½-ton or ¾-ton pickup, but it’s in surprisingly good condition.

We assume the engine and transmission here are intact, but no photos are provided from under the hood to verify. The body is good with minimal amounts of corrosion, excluding surface rust. Those into patina might argue that you should just fix a couple of holes and clear coat the green and black paint which might be original. The interior is not perfect, but some new vinyl on the bench seat and driver’s side door panel should take care of that.  Keeping this truck as close to original would be my goal, but that might not be what others would do.


  1. bobhess bobhess Member

    Fix he mechanicals and drive it. All in one piece and no heavy rust. Nice!

    Like 7
  2. Fred W

    Not much chance of original paint , considering how un-faded it is, but a California “potentially rust free” truck for that little is quite a deal.

    Like 2
  3. Shingo

    If it could talk, it would say “call my successors by their name——Dodge.”

    Like 7
  4. JRHaelig

    Still kicking myself for turning down a beautiful ’37 Dodge pickup. Found it 50 miles away on my first day of looking. “This is easy, let’s look for an even better one…” took another year to find a not as nice ’39 Ford PU.

    This one starts out looking good, but lots of bondo is baking off.

    Nifty truck, but don’t start picking its scabs!

    Like 1
  5. James Sayre

    get it running, then can address the issues one at a time.

    Like 2
  6. Larry Member

    I used to have one with 5,360 original miles. Mine had the drivers side mount. I bought it off the original owner who had a chicken farm outside of Macomb, IL

    Like 3
  7. Joe Haska

    WTF! Priced at a fair market vaiue. Must not want to sell it.

  8. Ken Vrana

    I’m ready to list my mint perfect 1970 AAR Cuda but have never sold a car on line before. Can someone tell me the best way to do it and where? This car has an amazing background and has never been restored. Thanks

    • Joe Haska

      Ken, Your joking? Right?

      Like 1
  9. Johnmloghry Johnmloghry

    Two things first got my attention, 1) The suicide knob is illegal in California and 2) the gas tank filler inside the cab. Wow! keep the windows down when refueling and air out before driving, unless you’re a huffer I believe the term is for people who sniff gas. Now I do like the truck and it looks to have great possibilities.

    God Bless America

  10. Mike S.

    A running, moving 36 that obviously has had some recent work done to it… If I had the $$$ I’d be all over it.. was at 5K when I looked which is still an amazing price.. Miss my ‘49 3/4 ton and ‘51 1/2 ton now.

  11. greg

    up to $5250, Still not a bad price for the pickup. So what is not illegal in California? Guess on of the great DA’s would prosecute a guy for using the suicide knob on a vintage pickup. Just saying for a friend.

    Like 1

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