Ready For Adventure: 1977 Dodge Power Wagon

When it comes to trucks, crazy options, bright colors and 4 wheel drive add up to equal a desirable rig. Well, this Dodge Power Wagon offers all of those things crammed into one beast of a truck! The color combo is awesome, it was optioned as a W20 Club Cab Adventurer with plaid seats and it is a 4×4. Oh and did I mention it’s a survivor? The only way it could get any more interesting would be if it were a diesel. You can find this Dodge here on eBay in Manheim, Pennsylvania with a current bid of $6k.

What a beast of a truck! The combination of the Club Cab and increased ride height from the 4×4 system gives it an impressive look. The seller states that it runs and drives great and from a distance, it looks great. Once you take a closer look though, you notice that it does have some scratches, dents and dings, but nothing serious. There is some rust right in front of the driver’s side door and some surface rust on the frame, but the seller points the issues out in their description and provided plenty of photos of the problem areas. Other than that one spot, I don’t see any other serious rust, which is quite surprising given how often these trucks have rust in the cab corners. The frame is still wearing some of its original undercoating, so that is hopefully.

If the red and yellow paint scheme isn’t crazy enough, take a look at these seat covers! I love weird colored plaid seats, it’s right up there with houndstooth in my book. It looks original in here, but it could use a little work. I see some missing trim pieces and there is a hole in the dash where I assume the radio goes. I’m going to guess someone upgraded it to a more modern head unit, but decided to keep it when they sold the truck. I’m sure an original unit could be hunted down for it. The odometer is showing 65k miles, but it’s hard to say whether that’s accurate or not.

Power comes for a 360 V8, which should provide plenty of grunt for most of us. There appears to be an oil leak or two on the front of the engine, but the seller provides images of the problem area and it doesn’t look to be too hard to get too. The radiator is said to be new and everything is working as it is suppose to, so you could probably drive it until you have the time to fix it.

If I were in the market for a 4×4, I would be seriously considering this one. Yes, it needs some work, but it looks to be in decent shape. I would want to treat the frame with POR just to be safe, fix the rust be the door, swap the newer rims for a period set and replace the seals on the front of the engine but those are all things you can do as time and funds allow. Given the color combo and features, I have a feeling this truck will only go up in value, especially after you fix a few things!


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  1. 68 custom

    odd color combo but its a 3/4 ton with four wheel drive so it ought to be rugged enough! to bad it does not have A/C. and the wheels should stay they look great!

  2. Rod

    Looks like a decent truck. Only real concern is with the box alignment on the driver’s side. Some other minor things can be repaired while it is used. Tires is first on the list.

    • seth karpen

      look at both sides bed alignment!
      Also those odometers only went to 99,999

  3. Howard A Member

    It was nice of the seller to include such graphic pictures of the truck. Pretty much tells the story, this truck has a lot of miles.

  4. 86 Vette Convertible

    I had a 76 3/4 ton Powerwagon. Watch the floorboards, inner fenderwells, box over the rear wheels for rust. Even though it had a rustproofing job done to it by the dealer and I bought it new, rust ate it up. Also had a tendency to chew up ballast resistors. It was a 360, automatic with fulltime 4wd.
    Mileage is possible, mine had under 90K in 23 years, mainly because it was a gas hog. I changed the 2 bbl carb for a Carter AFB and Edelbrock manifold just to get a little better mileage and then it was 10mpg, town or country.

    • seth karpen

      had a ramcharger with similar power train. 10 mpg is good for that vintage of a vehicle

      • RS

        I had a 79 TrailDuster, same as a Ramcharger. 360 and 4 speed, it averaged 10mpg city, and an absolute best of 15mpg highway under optimal conditions. Still a very nice truck but so sad that it didn’t make any power while costing me $50 a week for gas and that was 38 years ago. I disconnected the smog pump and plugged the lines, and busted off the idle screw limiter caps to make it idle better. BTW it was pretty loaded and the sticker was $11,220.

    • CJay

      Ballast resistors, are those the white ceramic about and1 1/4 x 2 inches in size? I remember my Uncle and Grandfather carrying an extra in their Dodges.

      • JW

        Yes, they are known to crack and keep you stranded on the side of the road so most people carried a spare.

    • Leon

      My 74 Dart ate up ballast resistors and ignition modules over the years

  5. JW

    I had a 78 one of these given to me by my father inlaw, what a workhorse. If I was to buy this truck I would fix the oil leaks then drive it and use it as intended as a pickup truck. Forget any imperfections as it’s not a show vehicle.

  6. glen

    What is the square tubing for? I can see that getting hung-up on something.

    • 86 Vette Convertible

      I suspect that was a leftover from a camper hold-down if it’s what’s below the box you’re referring to.

      • glen


  7. Dan

    This Truck was used to haul a slide in camper. That is what the square tubing is for to secure it into the bed. I also am a little concerned about the rust on the dash board indicating the windshield leaks. It appears that the roof is rusting over the windshield. This is comman on these old dodges and is a pain to fix because of the windshield needing to be removed for a proper repair. Still I think this would be a great truck for the money.

  8. olddavid

    Believe or not, the club cab had an average of 170 plus days in inventory when these were new. Seeing what sells now, would you ever have believed these were sale-proof?

  9. Kenny

    Would love to have the money to buy it and eventually swap in a 5.9 cummings.wishful thinking,lol

  10. seth karpen

    Easier to find a 1st generation Cummins than doing the swap

  11. Dave Wright

    No power steering either……….these are a bear with out it……

    • Dave Wright

      I found it……..

  12. angliagt

    A Friend of mine bought one of these new,in 4WD.
    I rode in it,& every time we hit a big bump,the seat belts would tighten
    up.Not what you want when you’re four wheeling.

    • seth karpen

      3/4 ton trucks are like that empty, know several people who ran the tires with less air than recommended to make them easier on their backs

  13. CJay

    Those do not appear to be factory correct pop rivets on the VIN plate. Mopar fanatic’s should those not be 5 sided?

    • CJay

      Like these rivets or similar?

      Like 1
  14. sparkster

    Never seen rust on a dash board before. Little TOO much rust for me. Bed alignment on drivers side being off is strange. I think gas mileage claims are true from friends having owned these. No idea what a ground up restoration would cost with newer drivetrain perhaps a hemi or 6.7 diesel. And ofcouse A/C

  15. DrinkinGasoline

    I like this beast. Even though I’d have to sneak up on it wearing Cheap Sunglasses to get near it. My 73 Power Wagon was darn near bullet proof, and yes, the bed mounts went south like most did. I would have to ditch that yellow, electing for a tad lighter shade of copper or bronze.

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