Live Auctions

Post-War Project: 1948 Dodge B1-B Pickup

Like most auto manufacturers, Dodge carried on in the years immediately following World War II with mildly updated versions of vehicles that had rolled off the production line before the commencement of hostilities. However, that changed in 1948 when the company released its B-Series commercial line. It offered several variants, and our feature vehicle is the B1-B ½-ton Pickup. It is complete and unmolested, although it is overdue for a refresh. It would make a satisfying restoration and should stand out once finished. The seller has listed it here on eBay in Hampstead, Maryland. They’ve set what appears to be a No Reserve auction to open at $2,500, but there are currently no bids.

Dodge released its B-Series range of commercial vehicles in 1948, and our feature Pickup is from the first year of production. The exterior carries plenty of touch-ups, but evidence remains of its original Patrol Blue paint. It needs a cosmetic refresh, but the new owner will commence work with a candidate that is surprisingly straight for a workhorse of this vintage. The panels show no evidence of significant dings or dents, although there is rust requiring attention. It isn’t severe and should represent straightforward repairs. Unsurprisingly, some of this is in the floor pans, but there are also minor issues in the lower inner door corners. There are spots visible in the outer corners of the driver’s door and heavy corrosion on the rockers. However, they haven’t deteriorated to the point of penetration. The owner may elect to patch the doors, but the floors will probably require replacement. The bed looks solid, and the frame has no apparent issues. Some of the glass is cloudy on the edges, and the chrome requires a trip to the platers.

Powering the Pickup is a 218ci flathead six-cylinder motor that produced, in its prime, 95hp at 3,600rpm and an impressive 175 ft/lbs of torque at 1,600rpm. Buyers could select from a three or four-speed manual transmission, but it is unclear which this Pickup’s original owner selected. The combination didn’t make the Dodge a high-speed open-road cruiser but allowed it to carry its full payload effortlessly. The seller supplies limited information on the vehicle’s mechanical history or how long it has spent in hibernation. They say the engine tries to run, but they haven’t coaxed it back to life. It sounds like getting it running may not be difficult, although budgeting for a rebuild might be a wise strategy.

As with the rest of the vehicle, this Pickup’s interior is complete but requires restoration. The upholstered surfaces are beyond salvation, meaning a seatcover, door trims, and a headliner will go on the buyer’s shopping list. Alternatively, they could source the correct materials and utilize the existing pieces as templates to produce the parts themselves. That would save some money on the build, which they could use elsewhere on the vehicle. The wheel is cracked but hasn’t deteriorated beyond repair. The gauge lenses are clear, and the bright trim pieces look like they would respond to some old-fashioned elbow grease and a high-quality polish. One attraction to interior restorations on Pickups of this age is that the owner can easily dismantle them. That allows them to perform the restoration work, which is enormously satisfying.

We see plenty of classic Pickups at Barn Finds, but the majority have rolled off various production lines of Ford or General Motors. This 1948 Dodge B1-B offers something for the enormous group of Mopar enthusiasts who visit our site. It needs some TLC, but the new owner will commence that process with a complete candidate that appears unmolested. It deserves a close look, even if you aren’t a Mopar enthusiast. The lack of auction action opens the possibility that someone could score an affordable project with a single bid. Does that thought motivate you to pursue it further?


  1. RoughDiamond Member

    I love the styling on these and have seen them in far worse shape than this one. Interesting comment by the Seller “Engine turns over, wants to run!”

    Like 5
  2. JohnftomSC

    I am in lust. If I didn’t already have my International D-2 I’d certainly bid on this Pilot House. Great for a restoration back to original.

  3. RKS

    I had one and put a Volare clip in it with a built 340. That was a fun little truck. Being young and stupid I got myself into some legal problems and had to sell it.

    Like 1
  4. Charles

    Usually the floor mounted shifter is the 4 speed and the 3 speed is on the column.
    So this truck should have the 4 speed transmission.

    Like 2
  5. geomechs geomechs Member

    These have got an appeal all their own. I liked Dodge trucks but I do have to admit that my attention was always on others first. Just the same their popularity is increasing and people are becoming more aware and thus willing to pay more. I hope this one goes to a good home. Incidentally, I think this truck is sporting a T-9 crashbox. Get used to double-clutching…

    Like 1
  6. Gary

    The truck is nice, but I want that 39/40 Ford coupe

  7. Craig

    My parents used a truck just like this to build our home. My dad would cut the trees down and my mom would drag them to the road where the mill would take them to saw them up. Would love to have it but $2500 is more than I can pay. Nice old truck.

  8. Michelle Rand Staff

    Great truck, I love its stance. Looks like it means business.

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