Hard Working Past: 1937 Dodge Humpback Panel Truck

These 30’s era Dodge “Humpback” Panel trucks are interesting and beautifully styled. This specific truck must have lived an interesting life as a plumbing and heating work truck in the city of New York! The seller hasn’t given much info on the truck but looks to be a recent discovery. Appearing completely untouched since it’s handyman duty this looks like a cool project. The billboard paint work on this truck is interesting and really adds some character. With 2 days remaining, bidding has risen to $7,300. Check it out here on ebay out of Bayside, New York. A big thanks to Peter R. for the awesome submission!

With a thick layer of dust, it is obvious this 6 cylinder engine hasn’t run in some time. Despite the down time, the engine appears complete and untouched with only minor surface rust to be seen. The condition of the engine is unknown, but hopefully the engine is not seized. The engine bay looks nice as it still wears a fair amount of paint. Once cleaned, I imagine the engine bay would show nicely.

Inside of this old handy van is a very simple interior. There is only a driver seat, but the dash is really quite beautiful. With a light patina, and no heavy damage, the dash, steering wheel, and shifter look like the controls to a time machine. The remainder of the interior is empty, but the wood floors remain, although they are in rough shape. There is some rust in this truck but it is a New York native so it is to be expected. The rear lip edge of the floor is rough having some extensive rot present. The structural integrity of the floors is unknown, but it would appear this panel truck was used as a storage shed in its hibernation.

The majority of the exterior looks quite reasonable on this Dodge, but there is some rot lurking as I have already mentioned. Both driver and passenger side rocker areas on this Dodge have some rust and perhaps some rot as well. Also the interior section of the rear doors have some rust, but they do not appear rusty from the exterior. Instead the rear doors are dented at the door bottoms.  The running boards are mildly dented and wavy, but they appear worthwhile for a restoration. There is various surface rust all over this truck, but there is also still plenty of paint. For the most part the body seem straight minus a few minor areas. There are no extreme dents, or creases, except for the rear doors. Also the seller isn’t too clear on the subject, but the roof may have some issues. The exterior appearance of this Dodge is fantastic, and its New York roots as a plumbing and heating work truck is something neat to see, as it seems so many “work trucks” didn’t survive the crusher. Although not as solid as many of us would hope for, this Dodge would be a wonderful restoration candidate, and at that it would be awesome to restore and maintain its Plumbing and heating history. Would you restore this Humpback to its former glory?

Fast Finds


  1. Paul B

    I’d restore it in two-tone green or green and gray, and give it to a friend who is a baker and wants a cool noticeable delivery truck. But I’m not rich enough to do that. I like this thing though.

  2. jaygryph

    Scotch brite that truck with CLR to clear up some of the surface rust and bring back some color and then clear coat it to keep it that way and give it a mechanical restoration, detail out the frame and the engine bay back to factory new, and drive the wheels off it. Or restore it, but I dunno, I think something really special would get lost by sanding off that old lettering.

    Cool truck, always kinda surprised any of these survived their hard life.

  3. Woodie Man

    Looks like the Plumbing business was downtown on Delancey Street which I think is in an area that was once known as Hells Kitchen. Be great if someone down that way bought it

  4. David Wilk Member

    Delancey Street is in the Lower East Side neighborhood of Manhattan (my grandparents grew up a few blocks from there); Hell’s Kitchen is on the west side of midtown Manhattan, a few miles away.

    What a great looking truck. Nice find.

  5. George

    Too much money.

  6. Howard A Member

    Another incredible find. Imagine opening up an old garage door, somewhere in a back alley in NYC and seeing this. I thought maybe the war thing again, but it’s too worn to be used for 5 or 6 years and the owner not coming back. It was probably used well into the 50’s, and something caused them to park it. There still are a couple “A&B Plumbing” outfits in NY, who know’s if it’s the same. The amazing thing, is someone held on to it all these years, or more accurately, didn’t know about it. It will get resto-modded, it’s the only logical choice today. They make great advertising pieces and Hemmings has a ’36 Dodge panel for their business. Price= unobtainium.

  7. geomechs geomechs Member

    Love it! Full Driver restoration plus the addition of a passenger seat is mandatory. It’s probably running a 217 which will whisk the truck along at a steady 55. That’s as fast as I’d want to take it. If you wanted to go 65 instead of 55 you might want to look around for a 251, but I’m pretty sure that the 251 has a longer block. These were NOT designed for a V8 although I saw a ’37 pickup running a 383. I might add that I would never take it in that direction; I prefer ’em stock with some added reliability…..

    • Mark S

      Hi Geomechs I’d go the same way as you, the 217 is a common engine on your side of the boarder and very reliable. The 230 would be another option for this truck that would work well. Up I Canada Chrysler corporation used a 218 engine and the easiest way to tell them apart is to measure the length of the block. The US block is 23″ long and the Canadian block is 25″ long. As you know these flatties are not going to win any races but what they lack in horse power they make up for in torque. Yes a full restoration is needed as for the graphics thy could be reproduced to exact measurements if it was so desired. No reason to not sand them after some detailed pic’s. I like how you think when it comes to these cars.

  8. Steve H

    What a cool old truck. I do wonder though, what that tarp on the roof might be hiding.

    • Marshall

      I was wondering that too.

      That baby ought to be restored righteously original(not abominated into a hot rod)! By righteously original, I mean complete with the original plumbing and heating business paint work on it.

  9. Doug Towsley

    This thing is a thing of Beauty,,, Totally cool in my book. We had a epic windstorm recently come thru and my friends 2007 GMC the cab was crushed by a falling tree. Overdrive 4wd V8 that gets 20 mpg. This is too nice to restomod, but thats the sort of vehicle body that should adorn my friends truck. His Truck dies so others may live!
    As to the tarp, Many of these 1930s cars had an open top with a insert or canvas material that goes on them. Came that way Factory. Easy enough to make a patch panel or replacement modern material in old style.

  10. Chris in WNC

    PLEASE, PLEase, please do not restore it!
    restore the mechanicals, stabilize and preserve the body as is….

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