Fully Restored? 1946 Dodge Power Wagon

Don’t be fooled by its appearance, because there is more to this 1946 Dodge Power Wagon than meets the eye. The current owner has spent a considerable amount of both time and money on the vehicle. The result is a classic that now runs and drives perfectly, and possesses bucket-loads of character. The time has come for it to move on to a new home. That means that there will be a buyer faced with the choice of completing the cosmetic work. Or perhaps they will choose to leave the Dodge at its “rough and ready” best. It is located in Whitefish, Montana, and has been listed for sale here on eBay. The listing has been set to open at $32,000, but there have been no bids to this point.

It would appear that the owner of this Power Wagon was setting out to create a specific look with the vehicle. The panels all seem to be in excellent condition for a truck of this age. The body has been color sanded to reveal the Dodge’s paint history, which is like looking at the rings on a tree. They show a rainbow of different colors and give the vehicle a distinctive appearance. The buyer might choose to treat the Power Wagon to a repaint, or maybe they will add a coat of clear to protect the current look. There doesn’t appear to be any rust problems for the next owner to tackle. The bed has been treated to new timber and presents exceptionally well. The Dodge is fitted with military wheels, which add a sense of purpose to the vehicle.

It is when you delve below the surface that this Dodge begins to reveal its secrets. The restoration of the Power Wagon is said to have consumed many hundreds of hours of labor. It has also consumed around $25,000 in parts, up to this point. As a result, it is a truck that is said to run and drive perfectly. Everything has been rebuilt or replaced, and all of the parts have been NOS components. This includes a rebuild of the entire drivetrain. The 230ci flathead 6-cylinder engine produces 94hp, while the Dodge features a 4-speed manual transmission and transfer case for 4-wheel-drive capabilities. Engine power isn’t enormous, but the Power Wagon is blessed with healthy levels of engine torque. This allows the truck to crawl over some pretty harsh terrain with relative ease and makes it a perfect beast of burden.

While the Dodge’s exterior might appear to be rough and ready, the same can’t be said for the interior. This has undergone a meticulous restoration, and it wants for nothing. The seat wears a new cover, the painted surfaces are free from scratches or flaws, while all of the correct labels and badges look clean, clear, and crisp. There are rubber mats on the floors, and the whole interior looks like it has just rolled off the production line. This is potentially where this Dodge could throw the buyer a curveball. With the drivetrain fully rebuilt and the interior so carefully restored, it would be tempting to return the exterior appearance to the same level. However, leaving everything untouched would provide an effective contrast that would get its fair share of favorable comments.

The owner states that this 1946 Dodge Power Wagon attracts plenty of attention, and it is easy to see why. Below the surface, it has been treated to the sort of restoration process that could be described as “money is no object.” However, the exterior simply drips with character. It is an exterior that loudly and proudly proclaims that this is no trailer queen. It wears its past life like a badge of honor, and if I were to buy it, I wouldn’t change a thing. What would you do?

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  1. Ken Jennings

    Not a chance, my a** still aches from the last one I rode in…decades ago. Great engine, though. These really need a two speed rear end, so highway driving is possible. A super low set of gears for stump pulling and more reasonable ones for going to town with the missus.

  2. Paul

    Beautiful! My dream truck.

  3. geomechs geomechs Member

    I still think they should get the same treatment on the outside as they did on the inside. True, it doesn’t make them any better but they still have to endure the weather. If I got it I would paint it. Nothing fancy, just keep the sheetmetal out of the elements…

    • Paul

      @geomechs (sorry don’t know if they tag you in comments.)
      I fully agree.

  4. Howard A Member

    No bids? What a shock. Apparently, their idea of “meticulously restored” differs greatly from mine. Back when the old car hobby was fun, a restoration, OF ANY KIND, included a paint job. Matter of fact, it usually preceded a lot of other work. I apologize to the seller, but your “patina” baloney isn’t working, and if they spent $25g’s on parts,( I don’t see it) and didn’t include a paint job, something wrong. If it looked nice, be a whole different story, but someone unfamiliar with mechanics, are going to look at this, and say, “What restoration”? Again and again, if you are going to ask this kind of money, it should be a lot more usable and look nice. Don’t people care anymore????( throwing arms in the air).

    • JMB#7

      I suspect that the $25 G included labor for someone other than the owner. The popularity of these is driving prices upward. That “color sanding” makes it more of an “Art Car” which is nice to look at, but who really wants to own an “Art Car”?

      • BR

        And there you have it. Labor! You just don’t recoup that unless you bought it real short or it was free. Does the seller think he’s Jay Leno?

      • JMB#7

        Simple math..
        $100 per hour X 40 hours per week X 6.25 weeks = $25,000
        Now trade some of those hours for parts and there you have it.

  5. 370zpp

    It would be worth it just to buy it and park it in front of my neighbor’s house.

    • MrBZ

      I actually spit out my iced tea, 370zpp, cause I’ve got the perfect neighbor for it!

  6. JMB#7

    I really like these. To each his own, but…. I am not a fan of the “color sanding”. I do however like the old company logo on the door. If it were mine, I would clean it up to match that paint scheme. This is truly the definition of a “real truck”.

  7. SourPwr Member

    I’d put linseed oil on to protect the metal and park it indoors. If anyone complained I’d drive over them.

  8. RexFox Member

    My wife and I are riding through eastern Oregon. We got up this morning for a 5ish mile run and saw a Dodge like this cruising On the highway. It was painted though. It sounded good, didn’t smoke and appeared to drive straight down the road. I pointed it out to my wife and told her we don’t see trucks like that west of the mountains. This one is nice too, but it needs paint.

  9. R.Lee

    32g’s and no paint. I would not pay that much with paint. The Power Wagons are now doubt great trucks. And the powertrain probably was operational when the “restoration” was started. So where did the money go, NOS parts?

    I owned 2, a 46 and 47WDX, and were very capable 4×4 trucks that could drive 45 mph on the roadway. Both were old construction trucks that had been used by the time I bought them in 77 for $200.00. Very simple and rugged trucks that were made to last. I am glad that I had a chance to own one.

    The truck pictured if that kind of work has been done is more than Deserving to have a fresh coat of long lasting enamel paint applied to keep weathertight for the next 75 years. Without paint, rust is in its future.

  10. Richard Van Dyke Sr Member

    $32,000 starting bid and then you have to paint the darn thing. I can see the truck’s desirability factor but you can’t drive it on the highway without causing delays all it’s good for is a fishing/hunting truck.

  11. Steve

    it looks to me more like he started sanding for paint and ran out of steam (or cash).

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