Parked In The ’60s: 1936 Dodge Canopy Express

How’s that old line go, “Don’t shoot me, I’m just the messenger!”  Let’s have some patience as what I have for you today is a 1936 Dodge Commercial Canopy truck that is most definitely a project. It’s hard to make out but it may be a truck worth considering  – additional images should be available via an inquiry. This truck is located in LaPorte, Indiana with a $4,500 or best offer asking price.

1940 Dodge Canopy Express. Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

As you can see from the above image, a canopy is basically a pickup truck with an extended roof over the cargo bed. The design combines the flexibility of a pickup while providing some weather protection for transported cargo. Originally, there would have been roll-up curtains on either side of the bed. The seller tells us that this truck belonged to their great uncle who was a painter and it saw use until the ’60s when it became barn-bound as well as a storage vessel for a lot of whatever. The seller’s thought was to perform a restoration but has since reconsidered and would like to move it to a new owner and use the proceeds to pay for their aged mother’s care. The seller adds, “Hopefully, someone with the skill, time, and resources can make it look like the old advertisements once again“.

Safe to say the engine of this Dodge hasn’t turned a lick in many years. While not stated, it’s probably a 70 HP, 201 CI in-line six-cylinder engine mated to a three-speed manual transmission. Known as a T23, it’s what frequently powered 1/2 ton Dodges of this era but again, it’s a supposition, and not known to be fact – an inquiry would need to be made. Note what’s positioned on the hood, the seller adds, “I don’t know much about the doll on the hood… but it sure is creepy, so I didn’t want to move it“. Bad mojo? Could be, it’s like a talisman from an Edgar Allan Poe novel.

As for the driver/passenger compartment, there are no images but this one of the cargo area at least shows a prospective buyer that a lot of “stuff” can fit in there. As to the underlying structural condition – well that’s going to require another inquiry. Note the yellow license plate top left, I can’t make it our entirely but the registration date does look like “63”.

If one performs an online search, finding other examples of ’30s vintage Dodge canopy trucks is not difficult. They’re actually quite stylish as well as unique with their open sides but roof-covered cargo bed. When I was a boy, an elderly neighbor who lived nearby had a ’27 Dodge canopy truck and the open sides were fitted with black painted wire-link. He said that he thought that it had been used by the post office but he didn’t know with certainty. Getting a ride in that old truck was a real treat and I still clearly remember the fun of it even though it was fifty-some years ago. Well, some of that fun and enjoyment could be rekindled with this 1936 example but it’s going to take some elbow grease (and decluttering). It might just be worth the challenge, right? If you are up for the task, you can contact the seller, Carey, via the form below or through their Barn Finds Classified!

Contact The Seller


  1. bobhess bobhess Member

    With just minimum pictures of parts is there a truck connected to them?

    Like 7
  2. DRV

    Pretty truck with the original Ram hood ornament.

    Like 1
  3. Dan Nuffer

    O.K. get out the blindfold and line up against the wall.

    Like 1
  4. Howard A Member

    Um, I believe they usually shot the messenger, who was also the “wheelman” in many cases, and if TV has taught me anything, it was “don’t shoot the piano player”,, anyway, in this day and age, I simply can’t imagine someone taking on a project like this. After it’s “shoveled out” of the corner, it probably is a decent example, but incredibly labor intensive, and most who would even want something like this, will just go to an auction and what, a write a check is so old fashioned, swipe a card? and that’s that. I think for better results, it should be cleaned up, that way, potential buyers, if any, aren’t so overwhelmed by the way it’s presented, it is a fantastic find.

    Like 4
    • Jim ODonnell Staff

      “Don’t shoot the piano player” was a 1973 Elton John album.


      Like 5
  5. Troy

    Oh if you’re in Indiana just buy it already, what’s the worst that can happen?

    Like 1
  6. John

    To lazy to clean it up but than it would be junk, or not

    Like 1
  7. FOG

    Luckily, I have a weak spot to start the path to making this truck roadworthy. Certainly a challenge for those inclined to try. Maybe I should take a couple hours drive to look closer ?

    Like 0
  8. Pete

    I think you would have to CANVAS a lot of antique parts guys to get this thing up and running. Yuk Yuk Yuk

    Like 1

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