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Powerful Popular: 1959 Dodge Power Wagon 4×4

It’s astonishing how long some truck models were produced: the most popular models went on for decades. Many of these makes sprang from wartime designs. Dodge introduced its medium-duty Power Wagon in 1945, as a civilian version of its 3/4 ton WC military trucks (known as Beeps). The new Power Wagon was a robust workhorse for civilian users – far beefier than the light-duty Jeeps that also gained popularity. These trucks serviced utility lines, put out fires, and hauled rock, and production stretched to 1968, with very few visual changes from year to year. Here on eBay is a 1959 Dodge Power Wagon project for sale, bid to $7,400 with reserve met. You will be retrieving this vehicle – maybe with another Power Wagon to tow it – from McHenry, Illinois.

This truck is a project from tip to tow – uh, toe. On the positive side of the ledger, the brakes work, and the transmission moves freely into all gears. By 1959, Dodge was fitting this model with a synchromesh transmission and a two-speed transfer case. A couple of special features make these trucks even more useful – after 1958, they were equipped with a winch and a power take-off that could send power either to the front or the rear.  Also on the “plus” side, it has a new head gasket installed on the 251 cu. in. inline six-cylinder motor. The engine cranks but does not fire. This powerplant may be a transplant because, in 1959, this truck would have had a 230 cu. in. from the factory. The 251 came along in 1961. Aside from the engine’s reluctance, the fuel lines are not hooked up.

The interior is as simple as they come, but like the rest of this truck, needs work. Even the upper edge of the cab above the windshield is rusty. Hopefully, the buyer is handy with a welder. The seats and door cards are the least of the worries here, but they also need to be replaced.

Another significant challenge is the bed. It’s mostly … not there. But not to worry! I ran across a few beds for sale, which with some alteration might be made to fit. Or, you can buy a bed in bits and stitch something together with other bits. A third alternative is to build a flatbed for it. After solving the mechanical issues, making the interior serviceable, and giving it a bed, I’d spend some time trying to figure out who used this truck – there is a faint outline of a logo on the driver’s door. It would be cool to put this one back to company livery.


  1. Bluetec320 Bluetec320 Member

    Ebay shill bidders, 5***9 (1) and 5***6 (9), are really going to town on this one! Look out! it’s a “shiller” war, lol

    Like 2
    • gaspumpchas

      Yea Bluetec its more common than people want to believe. Plus the selller has one feedback. Run Forrest run…..


      Like 3
  2. Karl

    Just a couple corrections, the Civilian Power Wagon came to market in 46 and from day one winches we’re an available option. The engine you are correct was originally a 230 ci L head 6. Folks seem to be doubting the credibility of this add and I am no expert on that stuff but depending on what someone would want to do with this truck if they want to restore it to original let them be warned it’s going to start your check book on fire!

    Like 4
  3. chrlsful

    very few need this, lots want.
    Requires a specal place to work asit s-hould-be but dont bet on it.
    40 yrs of 1st gen bronco woods wrk help me see the potential for this but it’s not here (n.e. swamps’n woodlads).

  4. Squigly

    Never drove one, but have heard horror stories about how rough they are to ride in and how pretty much useless they are at modern highway speeds. These were meant for off road use. Always a cool looking truck though. I think they have like a 5+ rear axle ratio or something like that. Great for pulling tree stumps with a 100 HP L Head engine, but horrible on the highway. Too bad you can’t put a standard Mopar 3.23 in her, or maybe you can. I don’t know.

    Like 1

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