Real Dodge Power Wagons

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by HoughMade, Nov 26, 2008.

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  1. HoughMade

    HoughMade Guest

    I have attached some pictures my friend e-mailed to me yesterday. Most of the pics are old ones he scanned. He still owns 1 Dodge Power Wagon (the old Army-Truck style, not the orange '70s style), but over the years, he has owned 6 or 7...and he USED them. The one he still has he uses for general work on his property and plowing the considerable snow in SW Michigan. they were slow- top speed around a screaming 50 mph, but you just could not stop them.

    More than one had a PTO powered winch that we used to uproot trees to clear paths through the woods (well over 1 foot thick trees). We had to chain the back of the truck to several other trees and pulled with the winch on the front. That will give you an idea of the strength. They made these things for the civilian market from about '46 to '66 (or thereabouts).

    Thought some of you gearhead types would like to see something different. Not shiny, not pretty, but dead on cool.

    Attached Files:

  2. HoughMade

    HoughMade Guest

    Here's a good "working" pic and a more recent pic of his remaining Wagon.

    Attached Files:

  3. bluegoatwoods

    bluegoatwoods Well-Known Member

    Yeah, I remember those. Though I never got very familiar with them. But it doesn't surprise me to learn that they were workhorses. I once had a 1974 Dodge 3/4 ton pickup. 360 " engine and 4 speed. One of the ugliest trucks I've ever seen. And it was full of annoying quirks. But it was also simply indestructible.

    And that description above fits a whole slew of Chrysler products from, say, 30-50 years ago. For those who value valor above "flash", Chrysler was the automaker to turn to.

    I'm gonna miss those guys.
  4. JemmaUK

    JemmaUK Guest

    Of the three companies in the US at the moment Chrysler are actually the best placed to weather this. While its true they have smaller per unit than Ford or GM did - they have held their sales while the other two have plummeted... thats not to say they are in a good place, but they are more viable than GM and Ford especially... the latter having made more mistakes than correct decisions.. mainly in Europe (who can forget the frog-eye Granada?).

    The best decision that could come out of this is that GM & Ford merge and Chrysler remains as an independant - protected from the GMfo behemoth by monopoly laws - since the vehicles produced by Chrysler are more fitted to todays market - and the GMfo merger would make for a freeing of resources to make better suited vehicles.

    This situation is what *should* have happened in the 1970s, it didnt because the Govt of the day stopped it... unlike in the UK where the industry was brought to its knees and was forced to follow the market and not try to make the market..

    Jemma xx
  5. bluegoatwoods

    bluegoatwoods Well-Known Member

    Well, I appreciate the optimistic view, Jemma. But I still have doubts about Chrysler's ability to ride this one out. They've been weakened for some time now. With all of the automakers either fearing extinction or cutting back at the least, it would seem that this particular one is in the weakest position.

    But we can hope for the best, right?
  6. JemmaUK

    JemmaUK Guest

    Its true they took quite a pounding relating to the MB merger/takeover.. but since then they have upped their quality and in most respects have quality models in each range zone.

    What we have to hope is that the US government dont do what the British one did in the 60s-70s and wipe out a smaller company which had better products and bankroll one that was bigger but built such garbage as the Allegro and other horrors... which went bust recently - 35 years after in all honesty it should have been let die.

    Its also interesting that it was a Chrysler product - namely the Challenger which came out on top of a UK TV review... and american cars are almost universally panned as a matter of course.. a car which is powerful even with a base model 3.5 litre... and would be perfect for the UK market with a licenced Subaru impreza engine of about 400hp - would give them good market share in the sports/sports sedan area.

    The problem is making the accountants and the econotards realise that what is sitting in a showroom now can be changed fairly easily into something very profitable with just minor tweaking...

    To be frank the only thing Ford has going for it is the name in the UK. Its dead in the water in the upper exec level, sinking fast in the MPV market, a week old corpse as regards 4x4's and non existant when it comes to light pickup/trucks. The only area of the market where they are ok is superminis and small family cars. The Mondeo (Mundano) has died a slow death... to the point they have cloned the Renault Laguna to try and steal sales...

    GM/Vauxhall are doing a little better - but they have been dead in the upper exec/exec since the Carlton/Senator range went south. The Corsa/Astra/Vectra ranges have been doing fairly well - but have made losses over time.

    Since chrysler dont have a presence in the UK and Europe to the same sort of extent and have an attractive to EU range at the moment, they would be well placed to move into new markets.. which gives them a better survivability in the current situation as compared with the other two of the big three..

    The problem is - whether the accountants and bean counters in the banks and govt will understand this.

    There has been already two companies in the UK gone to the wall this week not because there wasnt a profitable organisation in the ruins.. but because the banks have been so terrified by the econotards and media idiots that they see unsurmountable risks everywhere they turn...

    Jemma xx
  7. SimpleSimon

    SimpleSimon Active Member

    I got a 1946 Dodge PowerWagon surplus from the State of Oregon for a total outlay of $28 in 1972. Found it in a back building of a state forest service fire station which had been closed since 1962. Got the numbers off of it and requested a title search ($8), and it came back as "abandond in place" in 1959. So, I talked to forestry service guiys, and for $20 I got a title to it, and an escort to the fire station to recover it with my other Dodge pickup and flatbed trailer.

    Once I got it in the shop I found that it was US military surplus that had been given to the State of Orgon by the Army. Had to replace all the wiring, strip it down and replace many seals, lube everything, but didn't rebuild the engine - I just poured 3 gallons of Marvel Mystery oil in it, cranked it over by hand a few times and let it sit while I did the rest of the repairs, then drained it. New oil, new battery (6 volt), new plugs, and it fired up and ran fine with choke and carb adjustments.

    Best thing about it was the convertible half-track kit that was in the bed when we recovered it. Two tracked belts that fit around the rear wheels and tires, with the running boards removed, and ran on an idler bogey wheel under each side of the cab, which could be removed with 8 bolts.

    In half track mode that truck would go anywhere. Put it in compound low and if it had traction it would climb it - it didn't matter how steep it was. Just running on the tires it would darned near do the same. Like Hough said, it wasn't fast, but it would get you there, guaranteed. Left it with my folks for my Dad's use, and in the fall of 1981 he rode it down a mountainside about 800 feet of a 70 degree slope when the old logging road he was on crumbled out from under him. He was banged and bruised up, but the truck was about demolished. He went back up there with a crew of guys a week later to salvage it - once they got it out of the mass of boulders onto the river bank they could see both axle casings were shattered and the tranny was junked - they pulled it up above high water and left it.
  8. bluegoatwoods

    bluegoatwoods Well-Known Member

    A sad fate for such a neat truck.

    I like a neat or good looking or flashy vehicle as much as anyone. But I'm also a real sucker for the "ugly ducklings" that have quality beneath. I've always felt that many Chrysler products fit that description and these power wagons are clearly a good example.