Heavy Duty Hauler! 1952 Dodge Power Wagon

Dodge Power Wagons were the ultimate heavy-duty vehicle during World War II and Korea. They could pull trailers, haul troops, haul cargo and pretty much go anywhere needed. This one is from 1952 and was said to have been used as a utility truck in Wyoming. It can be found here on Craigslist with an asking price of $6,200. Unfortunately, the title has been lost, so it’s being sold on a bill of sale. Hopefully, it isn’t too hard to get a replacement title for the new owner. Currently located north of Salt Lake City, Utah, the truck is said to run and drive, but the brakes don’t work well. A buyer would be wise to trailer it to its new home. Let’s take a look at this Power Wagon and thanks to Ken for the tip on this one.

Apparently the seller has a few Power Wagons! There’s no indication in the ad why this one has to go, but maybe they have too many projects. The red and green ones look a little more finished than this one, so perhaps they are drivers? Either way, this is a cool line up!

As you can see the interior has seen better days. The nice thing about fixing up a truck like this is they are very utilitarian and simple to work on. The interior wouldn’t take much work to clean up. As you can see, the glass needs replaced, however, with the split-windshield, the glass is flat, which makes it a pretty inexpensive job. This truck looks like a survivor that hasn’t been messed with, so hopefully, everything is intact.

As mentioned, the seller says this truck runs and drives, but the brakes need to be addressed. They also indicate they have the original oil-bath air cleaner. These old six-cylinder engines aren’t going to win any drag races, but they will pull just about anything. They feature a ton of torque and run forever if maintained. Plus, they are very easy to work on if you do have any issues.

This particular truck has an interesting bed. Half flatbed, half with sides, it seems like it would be pretty versatile. The seller says there are some dents and dings, but the rust doesn’t seem too bad. Hopefully, this truck will get another lease on life and will be restored and/or driven regularly. What do you think of these old Power Wagons?

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Comments

  1. Todd Zuercher

    I’m pretty sure these have six cylinder, not four cylinder engines.

    Like 7
    • Howie

      They have flat head straight six motors. I have owned both a ‘42 WC-52 USAF weapons carrier and a ‘40 WC-1 National Guard closed cab truck

  2. geomechs geomechs Member

    Most definitely a six cylinder in there. There’s an outfit in Idaho (?) that is fixing these up with diesel engines, namely Cummins 4BT3.9. That is about the only 4 Cyl. engine I would consider putting in one of these. Of course anyone who knows me also knows that the engine I would choose if this came my way would be the one that is powering it right now. Good ol’ flathead six. It might not get you there very fast but it will still get you there…

    Like 13
    • Garry

      I agree, geomechs, they are great motors. I had a Fargo ute with one in it, power without glory! The best application that I have ever seen was five joined together to power a WW2 tank.

      Like 1
      • geomechs geomechs Member

        Hi Garry. I’ve seen some pics of those 30 Cyl. tank engines. It seems that the Sherman tank was powered by one of three ways. I’d hate to be the one who had to keep one of those Chrysler engines tuned up. It was enough trouble with my British bikes and an MGB…

        Like 1
  3. Nevadahalfrack Nevadahalfrack Member

    Fix the brakes, make it safe and drive it until wintertime, then put it in the garage and start making it whole again! I’d prefer to have a pickup bed but this would be a good start…
    Cmon, Superlotto/MegaMillions/Powerball tickets!

    Like 5
    • geomechs geomechs Member

      You and me both, Nevada.

      Like 3
  4. Rob't

    Owned one for about 2 week in the late eighties. Always wished I could have held on to it. But being an urbanite not in the least bit practical. Wasn’t till a couple years later I had a place in the woods to be able to really use it.
    Everything worked on it, slow as molasses. You could just feel how it could pull anything you wanted.

    Like 4
  5. Kenn

    You would need another one to pull the trailer used to haul this one home.
    But yeah, I’ld love to have it.

    Like 2
  6. David Miraglia

    Good investment in a classic truck.

    Like 1
  7. Major Thom

    If it was previously titled in seller’s name, why would he not just get a duplicate title? Suspect he either never bothered to retitle it, or never got a title at all…

    Like 2
  8. Karl

    First off there was no such thing as a Power Wagon in WWII, this type truck was introduced in 1946! The truck featured here was rated as a 1 ton with the ability to of course run a PTO out the front for the winch but also the ability to run a PTO shaft out the back of the truck to be used as a power unit for whatever. As stated the truck is a 6 cylinder engine that was a 230 ci L head flatty with a single barrel down draft carb built by Ball & Ball for Chrysler. Very heavy duty frame with over half the frame built of double wall framing. The truck as it sits here weighs a little over 6k pounds!

    Like 4
  9. dogwater

    I don’t understand why some one would want these trucks unless you had a cattle ranch in Montana what are they good for in town maybe to ride in at parade hot in the summer cold in the winter.

    Like 1
    • Chris in Pineville

      dogwater, what is not fun for you is big fun for some of us. I want the green one……

      Like 2
    • Nevadahalfrack Nevadahalfrack Member

      We understand what you’re saying, dogwater. To each his own, but I have enough acreage and space out here to make use of a truck that can be fixed on the spot with baling wire, bubble gum and black Gorilla tape. Uncomplicated. No electronic stuff. Just get in turn the key and drive anywhere unless you’re in a hurry then you take the new(er) ride….
      If done right, it’ll still be running after the last cockroach is dead!

      Like 2
    • geomechs geomechs Member

      Re: Dogwater. Many ranchers in Montana, and Wyoming, and North and South Dakota, and go north into Canada and there were more. Cowpokes needed a workhorse and they needed something just as rough as a pony. They got one, in the form of a Power Wagon. Hot in the summer and cold in the winter? That describes most of the trucks I grew up with. Nothing like freezing your toes while attempting to defrost the windshield. And all to be able to provide steak and burgers to grill in the backyard in the spring and summer…

      Like 2
      • petemcgee

        People do let nostalgia overcome reason with these old trucks. I watched an older gentleman pay six figures for a restored 50’s Power Wagon at B-J Scottsdale. Later in the tent after the sale, he tried to drive it away and couldn’t even turn the steering wheel! Had to have a B-J employee drive it off. I assume a power steering upgrade will be in the offing…..

        Like 2
      • geomechs geomechs Member

        I think there are a lot of people who really don’t think things through when they buy something like a Power Wagon. They are a much different form of transportation than what they’re used to. I remember the trucks on the ranch were ALL ‘Armstrong’ Power Steering. You learned to keep a 3-ton truck full of grain in motion when maneuvering it around because there was no way you could steer them otherwise. Every harvest I would endure pulled muscles in my arms and back, just from trying to steer those trucks…

        Like 1
  10. BR

    It’s a WM300. It’s the same chassis and running gear as the 3/4 ton military WC series. I had a ’55 M37, same truck but with military dressing (wish I still had it). Some of these had the Willock Chassis Swivel. This one probably doesn’t. I’d slap 12 volts on it and make it a sound and pretty daily driver.

    Like 1
  11. Johnmloghry Johnmloghry Member

    I can hardly believe how many of these have shown up here lately. They were rough as corn cob in a outhouse, but could go just about anywhere you might want to go.
    God bless America

    Like 2
    • geomechs geomechs Member

      Rough as a corncob in an outhouse. That hurts just thinking about it…

      Like 4
    • Stevieg Member

      Rough as a corn cob in an outhouse? I hope you don’t mind if I use that lol. I love it!
      I always thought one of these would make the ultimate plow truck. I would hate to destroy one to find out, but I believe it would kick a$$ as a plow pusher.
      This one is almost begging for that. Too bad it is gone & I will be soon for a while.

      Like 1
  12. Rick

    It would make sense if the current owner got a title. Buying a vehicle with a bill of sale can be an incredibly difficult process.

    Like 1
  13. Karl

    I love these trucks in so many ways I have had and still have 1 M 37 and am restoring a 50 Power Wagon the 37 prices have gone up but nothing like the Power Wagons. One of the reasons I think people are willing to pay truly astronomical amounts for these trucks it they look very neat and tough, they are extremely recognizable, I mean everyone knew someone who drove one and they take anyone who drives one back to another simpler less hectic time in life. Some folks buy a new 911 twin turbo to make their statement and some drive old Power Wagons, now days the PW will get you more pleasant friendly comments than any Hi end expensive car will!

    Like 4
  14. Ray

    Do a Gas Monkey or Counts Kustom spin on it.😲

  15. Ray

    And a HellCat motor.

  16. Chris Londish Member

    Well looks like it runs battery fitted, carby overhaul and a hose for a temporary fuel supply I think there was about 300,000 built during WW 2 and after just as many, he’as probably decided to turn it over to someone who will restore it now so he can concentrate on the other two

    Like 1
  17. Ray

    Maybe do a GAS MONKEY or COUNT’S KUSTOMS spin on it.
    With a HELL CAT motor.

    • BR

      There is no accounting for taste.

      Like 1
  18. James Turner

    I realize these are heavy duty trucks but I cannot agree with the term POWER wagon. There is nothing powerful about these truck other than the heavy frames and axles Etc. I could justify the term power wagon if they had at least a more powerful V-8 engine or diesel engine. Just saying.

    • Tony

      The power comes from their ability to move stuff. Not set land speed records.

      Like 1
  19. Howard A Member

    I know it bothers perfectionists, but the words Power Wagon, for a vehicle like this, is kind of a generic term, like all gelatin is Jello or all tissue is Kleenex. I appreciate the knowledge, but we know what we mean. It’s just what we call them. It’s a vehicle for a certain purpose, not driving 2 hours to the closest Home Depot. And yes, like halftrack sez, these and cockroaches will be all that’s left after “The Big One”. Naturally, I feel the price is a bit out of whack, I wouldn’t pay that for a nice one, but I like the truck much better than a pickup, looks like a dump bed. Needs dual back wheels, tho. AND,,,,it’s a goner,,,too bad on these CL ads, we never see the actual sale price.

    Like 3
  20. BR

    Think marketing, James. Power Wagon is just a model name. The word “Power” is totally subjective, don’t take it literally. Like Chrysler New Yorker or Chevrolet Biscayne, this is a civilian Dodge Power Wagon.

  21. James Turner

    Ok, Thx for the heads up on this subject. I knew a garage owner who had one
    many years he was more or less proud to own.

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