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Needs No Roads: 1964 Dodge Flat-Fender Power Wagon

While many manufacturers produced military vehicles during WWII – Jeep, Ford, Studebaker, Dodge – Dodge was the first to mass produce a civilian version of its four-wheel drive three-quarter-ton WC truck. The new truck was a response to the popularity of surplus WCs among farmers, forest workers, miners, and construction companies, all of whom routinely traveled roadless areas. The WC offered the first lever-controlled four-wheel drive, commanded by the driver from inside the cab. As surplus supplies dwindled, the new WDX arrived in 1945 to meet demand. The WDX was renamed the Power Wagon a few months later. These “flat fender” military-style beasts have become intensely collectible lately, and are often found resto-modded into the six-figure price range. Here’s a more reasonable alternative on eBay: a 1964 Dodge Power Wagon bid to $9999, reserve not met. Requiring a complete restoration including rust repair, this handsome truck is located in Holly Springs, Mississippi.

Speed was not the Power Wagon’s strong suit. Its first engine produced a bare 94 hp – combined with its crash box transmission, the truck could reach 45 mph. Its mechanicals modernized at a measured pace – in keeping with the truck’s performance – incorporating 12-volt electricals in 1955, power steering and synchros in 1956, a key start in 1957, and an alternator in 1958. A 10,000 lb winch became an option. By 1961, a 125 hp 251 cu. in. flat-head six was available. The seller indicates that this truck does run and drive, but it doesn’t stop! The brakes will need attention.

The passenger’s door and rear glass need replacing; I can’t tell if the driver’s side glass is intact. The crank-out windshields are decent. Instrumentation changed over the years; by 1964, the gauge faces were black. The seller says the rain gutters, door jambs, and rocker sills need rust repair.

Early Power Wagons had a smooth-sided bed; later, the bed became ribbed as above, punctuated by stake slots – three per side in 1964. The original tailgate is included. The seller assures us that the frame, fenders, bed, and doors are in decent condition; the majority of the work is in the cab. As noted, these stout trucks command premium prices when nicely restored; this one sold for over $90k, and this ’47 brought $120k. But project Power Wagons cluster in the $10k to $15k range. How would you tackle this project if it dropped into your driveway? Swap the motor, or leave it as is?

Comments

  1. Avatar photo Aussie Dave Member

    This is one cool truck, fix the rust, restore the mechanicals to factory (upgrade the brakes tho).
    Protect the pertina and enjoy.

    Michelle, you mentioned crash gearbox, had a series one landie, grinded the gears less not using the clutch, just learnt to rev match. The clutch was only used for starting and stopping.

    Like 13
    • Avatar photo Michelle Rand Staff

      Plus, rev-matching is fun.

      Like 4
      • Avatar photo Aussie Dave Member

        Lol, yes it is, also fun watching someone try and drive a non synchro box.

        Like 3
      • Avatar photo Robert

        Around here we called it double clutching, but yeah it’s fun when you get used to it, works on a bike too! This old pig would be a lot of fun, be a great DIY resto project, not for north of 10 large tho…just sayin

        Like 1
    • Avatar photo Gary Smith

      I wonder if the rear bumper is original or a add on? It must weight several hundred pounds from the looks of it. Probably weights more then most cars these days…lol

      Like 3
    • Avatar photo silas

      Drop a 350 in there and some brakes and you’ll survive wwIII

      Like 0
  2. Avatar photo Lydel Neer

    Looks more like 46 to me, just saying.

    Like 4
  3. Avatar photo Jeff P.

    I like the petina. If it can be preserved in its current state without rust through spots, I’d go that rout.

    Like 1
  4. Avatar photo Frog Man

    Best Truck I ever owned hands down, mine had 251 that i had to do some head work to. I used it for my Dive gigs recovered a sunk airboat with it, it was slow on the roads but shined offroad. Bought it for 1200 bucks from an awesome dude that had maintained it since 1967 for Orange county Fl. Road department. These trucks have unbelievable charm.

    Like 3
  5. Avatar photo Roy Foster

    Learned how to drive a non-synchro tranny using one of these hard working trucks! Double clutching is an art that I somewhat mastered! I would fix any rust holes but leave the patina under a clear coat as it gives the truck lots of character. Fix and modernize the brakes and maybe change the rear end gear ratio so it would run with the pack on the highway. Love that back bumper as I just know no one with a plastic car is going to do me any major damage!

    Like 1
  6. Avatar photo BimmerDude Member

    The Land Rover I bought in about 1970 was crash in first and second. After a couple of months double clutching I found it was easier/better/more fun to Rev match with appropriate timing, both up and down. Lots of fun around northern NH, especially in mud season, pulling out those sunken pickups. Not so much fun in the middle of summer with a ~150 mile drive to Boston, no insulation in the firewall…or anywhere else.

    Like 3
  7. Avatar photo Nevada1/2rack Member

    Someone appears to be a very lucky individual-

    SOLD:$9,999

    Like 1
    • Avatar photo Fahrvergnugen Member

      I don’t think it sold. Rather, the auction ended without the reserve being met.

      Like 1
  8. Avatar photo John Perrott

    I’ll be looking for this very project a year from now

    Like 0
  9. Avatar photo stillrunners Member

    Haven’t we seen this same truck before ?

    Like 0
  10. Avatar photo Karl

    Rear bumper is not original they didn’t come with one. The tail gate is not original. The windshield regulator needs to be overhauled. The seat support has a lot of rust going on. One thing on these trucks is there are a lot of things that need to checked out so you know what your getting into! The parts are expensive and although most are available better keep your wallet well filled!

    Like 0
  11. Avatar photo Charles ross

    This is not a 64?

    Like 0

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