Front Line Survivor: 1943 Dodge WC-56

If you’re looking for a great piece of automotive history from the Greatest Generation, you can’t get much better than the 1943 Dodge WC-56 found here on Craigslist, thanks to reader Matt Williams. Even with battle scars from its German tour before and after the war, it’s a wonderful front line survivor.

This particular model was a 4X4 Command Reconnaissance vehicle with 3/4 ton capacity, a 6 cylinder in-line L head engine, 4-speed manual transmission, and hydraulic brakes. Part of the Army G-505 series, the WC-56 represented over 21,000 of the nearly 80,000 total VC and WC models ordered by the War Department.

Unfortunately, these command and recon vehicle were slow, heavy, tough to maneuver, and our G.I’s felt like sitting ducks in them – especially compared to the much more nimble Jeeps that they shared the battlefields with. That doesn’t mean that these gems aren’t collectible, or costly. Since few survived the rigors of war and even fewer made it back to the US, they demand a pretty penny.

I’m far from an expert on the military market, but a WC-57 went up for sale (with a rumored connection to none other than Patton himself), but failed to make it past an over $60k reserve. Another WC example so perfect it looks almost fake, combined with an original Harley Davidson WL bike is for sale for nearly $100k. So perhaps this example for $32.5K could be a good deal and a great collector’s item.

 

 

 

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Comments

  1. Beatnik Bedouin

    Now that is soooooo cool! Thanks for sharing.

  2. Dave Wright

    The photographs are done with a very wide lens distorting the image. They are actually a much better balanced vehicle than illustrated in the photos.

  3. Snidly

    Great vehicles, a doctor I know up in Aspen has had one for years as his weekend townie/off-road buggy. One of the coolest things I have ever been in.

  4. Bling-A-Trailer

    So, it’s a “rumored connection to Patton himself.” Unless it’s Patton passing the rumors, I wouldn’t give ’em much credibility! Years ago I advertised a 1938 Rolls-Royce and said it was “One of the rarest pre-war Rolls-Royces you will ever see for sale!” And when people would ask what made it so rare, I’d reply “It’s the only one known for which absolutely no claims of prior royal use or ownership have ever been made!”

  5. Andrew Tanner Andrew Tanner Member

    My dad worked on an island doing some development work as a teen in the 1960s. The folks in charge of the developments had a couple of these trucks on the island for use by the very small handful of workers they had there, so my dad got to spend lots of time goofing off in one of these!

  6. craig

    My son lives in rural NH and of course, hauling your trash to the transfer station is a weekly ritual. A guy in his town has one of these along with a matching trailer and hauls his trash with it. I’ve seen it several times and it’s a looker. The motor just purrs. I’m sure he uses it for more than just trash runs of course. It’s a sweet ride.

    • Dan Tucker

      Where in NH is this located? Would like to look at it if possible. Thanks!

  7. LAWRENCE

    Have one that’s mine for the taking that’s sitting in the woods near our old scout troop church….it’s at an old buddies parents place a few yards away….his dad hauled water and such in the late 40’s with it before the area we grew up in got city service.

    • Ralph

      Still there?

  8. Jeff

    Just bought a similar one, guess it was a carryall once, then the previous owner cut the rear end off and installed a crane. Thousands of these were left in europe after the war and where sold per squaremeter. The Swiss Army bought many of them and used them till the ninetys. After military use they where sold to the general public, so was this rig.

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