No Reserve: 1952 Dodge Power Wagon

There’s a row of old Power Wagons sitting on a farm out in North Central Massachusetts that I pass by fairly often, looking just as tired and as tough as this one in Wisconsin. These trucks are the kind of machines that can half dead and still look strong enough to pull out of a field under their own power. This one, of course, cannot, but it’s been a midwest truck for most of its existence and that means it doesn’t have any catastrophic rust to deal with. The condition of the engine is unknown, but these aren’t exactly complicated machines. Find it here on eBay with bids to $2,500 and the reserve unmet.

Now, despite the relatively good news on rust – that being that there’s no major rot in the body, and the seller says you could restore it back to running conditions and never have to address any major rust repair – there is a crack in the frame by the rear spring perch. So, even with its solid condition, a frame repair will still be needed.

And even if it’s not truly rotten, you’ll still have to be OK with seeing a lot of surface rust every time you lay eyes on the truck, which many of us can live with. But it’s no specimen of preservation, by any means. The seller spotted faded lettering on the doors indicating it worked for a marina.

But that’s also how a Power Wagon was destined to be viewed, in my opinion, as a battle-tested machine that you’re not afraid to use for any purpose. A pristine Power Wagon is almost an oxymoron, of sorts. The cabin floor looks as good as the seller promised, with no major rot present. However, the next owner will need to source a complete interior as the original seats and any paneling have been removed from this truck and presumably transplanted to a more deserving specimen. For years, old Power Wagons were likely seen first as good parts rigs before any thought of preserving them came to light.

The engine is the standard 230 CI inline-six, which was a tireless workhorse when new. Certainly not quick by any standard, but an engine you could repair in the field should it ever falter. The seller hasn’t made any attempt to start it, likely partially due to the rear driveshaft being AWOL. I suspect most Power Wagon enthusiasts would place an emphasis on having a mostly rust-free example that just may need a heart transplant in order to run again. The reserve hasn’t been cleared yet, but the seller claims it’s reasonable.

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  1. Nevadahalfrack Nevadahalfrack Member

    If you have a welder and the skills to go with it, this would be a great project truck!

  2. gord

    need to update the commentary as you say reserve unmet, but title says no reserve! ty!


    Midwestern trucks don’t have rust issues? The author has obviously never been to Michigan!

    These old Power Wagons are terrific rigs; Spartan and tough as nails, just as a truck should be. If I didn’t need to travel over 50 MPH, I’d own one in a heartbeat.

    • Stevieg Member

      Nor has the author been to Wisconsin, where this truck currently resides. Cracked frame? I am not surprised lol.

  4. Karl

    Sorry to say but the fact that it looks to be missing carb and air cleaner does not bode well for the engine?

  5. chrlsful

    yes, Northfield to Dubstable reminds me of Holcombe Wisconsin and my yard (last house in town) in Amherst reminds me of Wyoming (fisher, moose, bear, bobcat & even a rattler once) but the ’66 bronk has what’s needed. This one would be over-kill (if running). Thi one’s time has come’n gone.

  6. Karl

    If you ever saw the double wall frame on these trucks you would be surprised! The bad part is the axle housing usually bends way before you would ever crack a frame.

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