Stolen Valor? 1954 Dodge M152

The seller of this old Canadian military Dodge M152 touts it served as a radio communications truck during the Vietnam War and encourages potential buyers to take advantage of the opportunity to “own a piece of North American military history.”  There’s one rather big problem with that sales pitch: the Canadian government didn’t officially participate in the Vietnam War!  Up for auction here on eBay without a reserve price, active bidding has reached $511 Canadian dollars (approximately $385 U.S. dollars) for the truck at the time this post was published.  Shipping is offered worldwide from Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, Canada.

According to Wikipedia, approximately 30,000 Canadian citizens bravely volunteered to fight alongside U.S. troops during the Vietnam War.  And although the Canadian government’s stance during the war was one of “non-belligerence,” the country did sell plenty of wartime supplies to the United States.  I suppose it’s possible the seller has his facts wrong and this Canadian manufactured truck was actually sold to the U.S. government during the war.  However, it seems odd that a more-than 10-year-old-vehicle would have been purchased by the U.S. when President Johnson began sending American troops to Vietnam in 1965.

Photos of the truck’s cab are tightly cropped and too dim to appreciate the overall condition of its interior.  The M152 is based on the 4-wheel drive Dodge M37 3/4 ton military truck platform the company began producing in 1951.  According to Wikipedia, the M152 was listed as a “modified enclosed utility truck, Canadian variant.”  An interesting website offering lots of information about the Dodge M37 dubbed Military Collectors with Bob Redfern claims the M152 was primarily used by the Canadian military to haul special tools and equipment.

The seller reports the Dodge “L” head straight-six with a 4-speed manual transmission runs and the four-wheel-drive works.  New U-joints were installed recently and the truck comes with batteries that were purchased earlier this year.  Newer, oversized tires give this brute a decidedly rugged stance and perhaps a slightly more modern look.  Although 45 bids for the truck have been placed so far on eBay, bidding increments are quite low.  If this truck actually saw service in Vietnam, its claimed historical significance doesn’t seem to be influencing its value very much.  What are your thoughts on this truck and its military service?

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Comments

  1. geomechs geomechs Member

    Rode hard and put away wet, I would say. I’m somewhat skeptical that this truck saw service in Vietnam. I would want to see some documentation. Aside from that it looks like a fun truck to fix up and drive. If it’s a Canadian variant I’m curious if it has a Canadian engine. A Canadian engine has a longer block dimensionally but I’m not an authority. If Mark, from up at Calgary, is within earshot, he could give us some insight?

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  2. 86_Vette_Convertible

    I would be skeptical of any of the history statements on this one without absolute proof. If you want to bid on it, IMO bid on it as Dodge from Canada, nothing more.

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  3. Dutch 1960

    If this thing had been sent to Vietnam, it would have been ten years old or more by then. Which means it would have been highly likely to have been simply left there for the South Vietnamese to drive around, or for the Viet Cong to steal.

    It’s a cool truck in its own right, I don’t think anyone needs to puff up its history any, all of that takes away from the basic truck itself.

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  4. TimM

    Super cool and you got to love the technology and toughness of a truck like this!!! This is when stuff was built with pride!! The technology was simple and could be fixed easily!!

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  5. SusanOliver

    Most equipment sent there, was left there. Not to call the seller a liar, but if he is one, how much else what he says can you believe.

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  6. Arden Eby

    I can’t vouch for the truck obviously, but Canada contributed to UN peacekeeping force in 1973 designated to help enforce the Paris Peace Accords.

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  7. John

    Probably the seller got his wars mixed up. The Korean war was one in which Canada was heavily involved in. Would put these Dodge trucks in the right time frame. Canada did bring alot of the service vehicles back from foreign service whenever it could back in the day.
    The Canadian M152 was often called an “office lorrey” by the RCEME Corp members that worked on them. Most all that I have seen had been fitted with radio gear. More of a small mobile command unit. Single door in the back… 3 steps used to enter from the back door when set up on maneuvers. Radios common to these were the 19 Set and more commonly the C42 set well up into the late 1960’s and early 1970’s. A very nice and somewhat rare truck once restored.

    • Johnny

      The Korean War started July 3 ,1950 and ended in 1953 . Six years before this truck was built.

      1
  8. Chas H

    I owned a 3/4 back in Viet Nam. It took a friendly fire 50 cal round through the block. It was repaired and a few weeks after its return to me it was blown over by a IED-I wasn’t driving, the 2 men in the truck were only slightly injured but spent a night in the bush avoiding capture. The truck was repaired again, although the drivers windshield was missing and the doors would not stay closed. Still, it is one tough unit and just about the least likely to get stuck of any truck/jeep.
    Equipment such as this truck never returned to the States.

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  9. Mike

    50 bids and its just over $1,000 Canadian? A bidding war between tight wads with some 25 cent incremental bidding. Wow.

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  10. Bob S

    Even knowing its limitations on the highway, thank goodness that it is a long way from here, or I would be tempted to buy it. I would still like to own one. I don’t believe for a second that this truck went to Vietnam, and it was built too late to go to Korea. That doesn’t detract from the fact that they were excellent trucks and saw a lot of hard use.
    I was familiar with the Canadian Army version of these trucks, but didn’t even know that the Navy even used them.
    Bob

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  11. Howard A Member

    Well, it’s clearly a military truck, maybe I’m missing the boat, but during the war, they might have had all kinds of assembly plants sending stuff overseas. This one just happened to come from Canada, hey. Regardless, it’s destined for a resto-mod, and that would be cool too. You could actually use it for something besides slogging through a rice paddy.
    Stuff like this brings up many memories for some and not good ones either. I just missed the Vietnam War, but am grateful for those that did go, and
    thankfully,,came back. Like Chas said, I doubt this saw any action, was just surplus, as most of the stuff never came back.

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    • Howard A Member

      Oh, anybody else see the old Skidog Olympic in the background? THOSE were the back killers and a tow rope was standard equipment.

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  12. Karl

    I have owned two and still own one of these trucks there is a long list of things this truck is going to need hopefully the fuel tank is ok because there are no replacements. Carb overhaul, full electrical and it’s all water sealed. Full fuel system, full brake systems from the master to wheel cylinders, bearings and seals on everything. The engine is at best able to be overhauled. The gear ratio is a 5.89 so your top speed is 50 mph and when all said and done in perfect road conditions it’s worth maybe 10k? Good trucks but this is likely to far gone

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  13. Jim

    This truck never left Canada. We produced around 4,500 of our own version of the M-37 family up here with some specific “Canada-only” modifications such as a more powerful engine, different transmission, hard cab tops and some body variants (like this one) which are unique to Canadian production. This M152 was mostly used as a Command Post (more radios and a map table) or a repair truck for technicians for radios and such. It is similar to the ambulance except it has only a single door in the rear and small windows with expanded metal cages over the windows. They are a very tough truck but slow and not very fuel efficient. Lots are available up here and this truck is definitely bottom of the barrel. We did not use the M37 in Vietnam as part of the UN mission and the US certainly had no need for Canadian trucks as they had plenty of their own . This guy is just trying to shine a turd.

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  14. Johnny

    I drove one in Viet Nam. They made it into a gun truck and had Tennesse Highway Patrol painted on the upper side of the metal –above the regular bed. Had 2 my 60,s mounted on it and we ran the beaches and harbor at Qui Nhon –1971-1972. I remeber one night/ This fng from Arkansa wanted to drive it. He didn,t make it to 3rd gear and PULLED the gear shift out.hahaha It took me the rest of the night to get it fixed. Then he asked if I wanted him to drive.I told him hell no.He didn,t over to help fix it. Had some good friends on it with me. One–Frank Waters from Wrythville Beach N.C. was alot of fun and Ralph Hodge from Kodak,Tn (now deseased) They were geared low and go through the sand good. We,d pulled up on the beach and take care of the sanpans who tried anything.Good thing they never had any rpg,s.

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    • Jay B Jay B Staff

      Johnny & Chas H, you’re stories about serving in the war are amazing and I’ve read each of them three times over. Thanks so much for sharing.

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      • Johnny

        Well I thought that maybe someone would get some information on trucks like this. My first tour I drove a fuel tanker. It was slow until I took the bolt out from under the fuel pedal. Then it ran ALOT better. My shot gunner (s) and I had alot of good laughs in that truck. I still talk to one from Simi Valley,Ca. Tim Engle. He,s a great guy

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  15. David G

    Likely a radio communications truck in the Canadian military during the Vietnam war, but not IN Vietnam. Cool trucks and fun to drive off-road. Will be nice to see this one get restored.

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    • Johnny

      Then you had to put some muscle behind the wheel . If you were stopped and had to take off making a trun,but after that it was alot better. Oh before I forget. For those who lives in cold climates and have a 2 1/2.s. You can make the inside of the cab alot warmer. If you look in the floor–under your lages.You will see a plate with 2 bolts. Take one out .Loosen the other one and move the plate around and tighten the other one down. You get heat off the exhaust pipe and it gets real warm inside. I learnt that while I was stationed at Ft Hood,Texas.

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  16. Lance Nord

    I would stake a paycheck this truck has never been in Vietnam. Might be a fun truck to restomod.

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    • Johnny

      Your more then likely right. One way would be is take a good close up look at the bumpers and check for units–on the left and right –both bumpers and the serial number on both sides of the hood..Plus the metal information tags on the dash.

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  17. Karl

    I found a M37 online that a fellow was selling it had a full drag race tube chassis with a blown injected 632 under the hood but the body entirely still an M37. I didn’t know if it was a waste of a really nice drag car or a pitiful waste of a nice M37?

    1
  18. Johnny

    Their was one on Craigslist near Beckly ,W.Va. The guy was asking $1,950. It looked pretty descent. The reason I remember the price was. It was the year I was born.

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