Former Military Truck: 1942 Dodge Power Wagon

$2,100 seems like a fair price for this 1942 Dodge Power Wagon with its factory flathead under the hood that still turns over. While it’s hard to make out the lettering on the door, there’s little doubt this Power Wagon led a rough and tumble life on a military base or anywhere, really, where a battle-ready truck was needed. The seller says everything is there, and even has a matching trailer he’ll throw into the deal for $700. Find it here on craigslist near Portland.

I recently returned from a trip to Portland and the Oregon coast, and it’s incredible how many workhorses like this are still doing daily duty. Even if they’re only on weekend duty, it’s clear that Oregonians (at least the ones outside city limits) have an appreciation for old cars and trucks that can still fire up and lend a hand when needed. The pick-up bed body on this one make it even more utilitarian than a Power Wagon is already born to be.

Really, there’s no Power Wagon model that isn’t utilitarian in some way, but this one has a simplicity about it that makes it an interesting alternative to a Toyota FJ40 or Series 1 Land Rover. It may not have the same swagger and style of those rigs, but it’s also a hell of a lot cheaper. The interior looks pretty rough, but I really don’t think there’s anything about this truck that needs to be pretty.

The seller notes surface rust all over, but this seems to be as bad as it gets in Oregon. Every vintage car and truck I saw looked like it had never seen road salt, just plenty of sun exposure in the case of the rougher examples. For $2,100 – and I’m guessing you could bargain that down pretty easily – there’s a fun project lurking here, and while I wouldn’t spend $700 for the trailer, you could easily have a crowd favorite for less than $4K.


  1. Nevadahalfrack Nevadahalfrack Member

    What a perfect ride for Memorial Day weekend. Not too many survivors as we’re told..
    And to whoever buys this PLEASE don’t make it a “Ratrod”. A Cummins 12v with accompanying drivetrain maybe if the flathead doesn’t work out but don’t make this into some Sad Sack Special.
    I’ll bet even Evergreen Air Museum in Mcminnville south of Portland doesn’t have one of these!

    Like 2
  2. Tyler

    Wait…$2100 for the truck, $700 for the trailer….$3600 for the truck and trailer together?

    Like 2
    • Nevadahalfrack Nevadahalfrack Member

      “New Math”

      Like 3
    • Mike

      Common core math…

      Like 2
  3. Matt steele

    Oregon math?..or meth?…um $2800

    Like 2
  4. TimM

    Really cool truck!! It is such a major dilemma for me as to what to do with it!! These trucks don’t go over 45mph and to do a full restoration on this truck to drive in a parade once a year is not something I would want to do!! Because of its heritage I wouldn’t want to resto-rod it or rat-rat rod it!! It deserves to be saved but my pocket and storage wouldn’t allow it!!! I hope the best for vehicles like this especially on this Memorial Day weekend!! These tools along with the tanks, guns, boats and planes were what made us free along of coarse with the people that used them!!! If it wasn’t for these tools and people we might be speaking German or Japanese right now!! Good luck to the buyer hope he does the right thing!!!

    Like 3
    • Garry

      TimM, I agree. Whilst it is too expensive for an individual to restore and drive on parades, it would be a great club project. Perhaps serve as an opportunity for older members to pass on skills to younger ones. Community involvement is another possibility, maybe with some social objectives, the more so in a smaller community!

      • TimM

        Good idea Garry!!

  5. Mountainwoodie

    Crusty The Clown ought to buy it

  6. stevee

    Anyone figure out or know the lettering?

  7. Allen Member

    I’d like to fix all the mechanicals – including that headlight, otherwise leave it as is and USE it.

    Like 2
  8. 36 Packard

    Many moons ago while in high school, my buddy used to drive us around in his Rambler and he would go out of his way to drive by one of these in an old dudes yard. His comment usually was that he would give his “left nut” for it. Unfortunately the old guy wouldn’t part with it for a left nut (or a right one for that matter), he said he needed it once a year to drag a deer from the woods to feed himself. Well enough, but it made my poor buddy so sad. As crazy as my buddy was, prob a good thing he didn’t get it, he would have taken us somewhere bad, maybe sunk into oblivion in the middle of some quick sand or something. I can not hear an old L Head Chrysler without remembering that rusty old truck and the even rustier old dude that loved it, but for just two weeks a year.

    Like 1
  9. Karl

    Hey guys I do mean to be a stickler but just want to correct your statement that this is a Military Power Wagon. Number 1 the Power Wagon did not exist till 46 and number 2 the military never used Power Wagons! It’s a very common misconception that any old M37 or any other M-series Dodge is labeled a Power Wagon, it’s NOT!

  10. Jay

    I wonder what that cab is they grafted on it . looks like maybe its a ford cab

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