Tons Of Parts Included: 1948 Dodge Power Wagon

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We’re going to have to play a bit of Johnny Carson’s Carnac the Magnificent to get a grip on this next automotive topic for review. The clue is, “1948 Dodge Power Wagon”. And the hermetically sealed question is, “What looks like a survivor from a post-apocalyptic world and is located in Redding, California?  And that’s the extent of it. So with no further ado, let’s review this one ton, B-1-PW as it’s known; it’s available here on craigslist for $5,500. Thanks to Nevadahalfrack for this tip!

There was a time when I thought ’40s vintage Power Wagons were a pretty rare species. We have actually covered ten from the 1945-1950 time frame here on Barn Finds, this year alone. So either they’re not rare, or everyone who owns one has decided to recently sell theirs.

The seller’s lone comment regarding his Power Wagon is, “Clean title and tons of parts.” Really helpful. OK, so what do we know? The front bumper is very purposefully constructed, I’d love to have one of those so I could push left-lane bandits out of the way. Instead of having a boxed in cargo bed, it is a flatbed arrangement with stake pockets to accommodate what would seem to be a home-built stake-side arrangement. And the one on the driver’s side, assuming that there ever was one, is missing. Hard to say what that flower box looking thing above the cab-roof is for, a toolbox, perhaps? The steel body panels, as well as the frame, are in surprisingly good condition, they are straight and rust-free, except for some frame surface rust. One has to remember, this Dodge is 72 years old, almost three-quarters of a century, and it looks like it worked pretty hard all of its life.

Illustration only, not the actual engine!

As for running, I’d say probably not since it is on a trailer. There are no engine images (I’m running into that with increasing frequency!) but I have included a very clean, representative image. The powerplant should be a 230 CI, in-line, flathead, six-cylinder engine that develops 102 gross HP. Gearing is handled by a four-speed manual transmission, working through a two-speed transfer case. Unfortunately no word at all regarding operability.

The interior is about as spartan as they come and that’s to be expected – there’s nothing frilly or comfortably accomodating about this vintage Power Wagon, they were meant to work. The seat would appear to have been either reupholstered or is from some other vehicle entirely, it just doesn’t look correct for this truck.

It may take very little, or a whole lot, to get this Dodge roadworthy. The seller mentions that he has tons of parts, a picture would be worth a thousand words, so there’s no telling what are in those tons. And, are they necessary to make this truck driveable? Who knows, this is definitely an “Inquire within” kind of listing. Considering the state of one-ton trucks today, and how far they have progressed, one would want to consider a newish one for serious work. This example, however, would make a great business or film prop, or just a collectible old truck if that’s the buyer’s thing (and he has a place to keep it). What do you think, how would you use this Power Wagon?

Auctions Ending Soon



    “Tons of parts” That could only be a rear bumper and 6 spark plugs.

    Like 3
  2. JohnfromSC

    I scratch my head on this one. Without a pickup bed what do you use it for after you fix it up.

    I’m usually a purist, but with these Power Wagons ( the ones with PU beds) I lean toward a modern diesel, pulling out half the spring leafs or going to air bags, to make them more pleasureable to drive.

    This one maybe should go to a farm. I dunno.

    Like 5
  3. HoA Howard AMember

    I just can’t see the attraction in these lately. Clearly, people can’t be familiar with them, “it just looks neat”, and compared to the drek that’s offered today, they are right. However, upon actually driving it, they have got to be surprised at what 1948 must have been like. These were created for the very purpose of being useful, nothing else. I do like the timeless style, but without any updates, one trip to town, and I guarantee you’ll hate the world by the time you get there. Pulling a manure spreader in the lower 40,,,bingo.

    Like 5
  4. Will Fox

    If Nancy Pelosi were a vehicle…..

    Like 9
    • Nevada1/2rack NevadahalfrackMember

      Kind of a cruel thing to say about a truck, Will-unless you’re referencing a previous comment above…😳😁

      Like 1
    • Ken Jennings

      Please stop the political banter, I thought that was a no no here.

      Like 0
  5. Karl

    Come on guys comparing a FFPW to the PIG is about as low as it gets not to mention insulting to this once great truck!
    As far as the PWs starting to appear a lot more lately the reason is because the price on these old trucks has gone through the roof over the last few years! Suddenly that old dependable work truck is worth 10k! As far as driving them goes no they are not fast by any definition figure a cruising speed of 45 mph, very stiff suspension and all straight cut gears so double clutching is done both up and down, it’s the way it is! The magic of the old PW is take one driving around town and you will soon realize that everyone wants to look at it, ask you every question under the sun about it and tell you about the one their uncle used to own and what incredible feats that old truck was capable of. Everybody is instantly your friend! I have owned and own some pretty high end sports cars and half the world looks at you like some rich dork driving them. With the PW it’s 100 percent the opposite. These old trucks have a beauty that is way more that skin deep, these trucks represent honesty, hard work and great capability. I understand if some can’t see this and if that’s your case then these trucks are not for you, and that’s ok!

    Like 8
    • Ward

      Karl, please: no dissing on the Speaker of the House. She, at least, has no need of bragging about “acing” a cognitive ability test designed to detect onset of Alzheimers.

      Like 4
      • Ward

        Please excuse me, my comment was directed at Will Fox. I will refrain from any further posts re politics. See y’all on election day!

        Thank you, David Greenlees, for your excellent site!

        Like 4
  6. BGinAK

    I guess I live in old power wagon heaven as I see them on a regular basis. Everything from near original to fully refurbished with a Cummins 4BT and a lot in between including yard art.
    They are used for everything from beach sites for fishing to boom trucks for building log cabins.

    I guess the fact that hundreds of these made their way up the thousands of miles of the Alaska highway resulted in many being abandoned up here. As is true with the military everywhere, shipping equipment back was not a priority unless there was a need for it.

    Very rough writing in their natural form but extremely robust. All in all, a great work truck, not a pavement princess.

    Like 0
  7. Tom m

    I had 2 of these. A 1955 fire truck. And a 1968 pickup. 68 was The last year for that body style in the US. It even had a padded dash. Also had the 250 spitfire flathead 6. Wish I still had them.

    Like 2
  8. Chris LondishMember

    It looks like it has been used to transport livestock maybe horses with a feed bin or saddle box over the top of the cab the front bumper is pretty solid built for scrub bashing while hunting I like it but it’s not for the bitumen loving soccer Dads and Mums this is a serious off roader or it could end up as as restomod with 4BT and Allison auto whatever way this goes I just hope it doesn’t end up being scraped

    Like 0
  9. schooner

    This couldn’t catch up with Left Lane Bandits.

    Like 0
    • Nevada1/2rack NevadahalfrackMember

      I dunno, Schooner, these are rated for about 40 (?) MPH & some of the LLB’s I’ve gotten trapped behind in the #1 (“fast”) lane on I-80 were about 12MPH slower…

      Like 0
  10. Steve S

    If I had this truck I would find or build a bed for it. Then get a another 230ci straight 6 if it don’t have the original engine. Then find an original bench seat and have it redone if I can find one. Then get it running and take it to car shows

    Like 0
  11. Spanky

    Lots of parts means lots of things broken.

    Like 0

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