The Dodge Power Wagon was the 4×4 of choice for military operations in the late 1940s and beyond. A direct offspring of the Dodge 3/4-ton WC series military trucks, the Power Wagon was powerful, attractive and sturdy. When they returned from the field, many of the soldiers looked to Dodge to provide them with a civilian issue of their favorite military truck, and many Power Wagons were found on farms, ranches and mining operations throughout the country, helping rebuild America after the efforts of war.
In 1980, the Dodge Power Wagon was discontinued, and because so many of the trucks were work trucks, the remaining vehicles languished on farms around the country, rusting out and providing little more than a testament to the work they once performed. Yet for those that remember the Power Wagon with fondness, Legacy Classic Trucks is ready to help. Legacy Classic Trucks finds, rescues and restores the trucks to deliver them, fully restored and improved, to retro truck enthusiasts across the country.
Legacy Classic Trucks’ Passion for Power Wagons
Legacy classic Trucks is located in Driggs, Idaho, and scours the country looking for Power Wagons that owners are willing to donate. The trucks are often simply just an eyesore on the farms where they sit rusting away, so the restoration company is able to get them easily. If the cab of the truck is in fairly good shape, the company will snatch up the trucks and go to work to create a custom, retro truck for waiting buyers.
The Restoration Process
In most cases, the trucks do not have usable beds, so they are fitted with retro-styled beds and tailgates commissioned specifically for this restoration project. Legacy Classic Trucks manufactures its own fenders for the restoration project. Everything from the cab back is replaced, but the original forward section and engine cowl remain in place to give the truck its distinct, retro look.
Legacy restores the trucks’ original frames, but boxes them from the front to mid-section to make them stronger. They improve the leaf-spring design and shocks for a more comfortable drive, and add a new steering system, axel and wiring. To make it easier for the owners of these trucks, all lighting is off-the-shelf and easily replaced when needed.
The Power Behind the Restored Power Wagon
The Power Wagon is more powerful today than it was 50 years ago, thanks to a modern powerplant and drivetrain added. This allows the trucks to perform as if they were new, while delivering the retro look collectors crave.
Those interested in purchasing a Dodge Power Wagon can choose from a few different engine options: a 6.2L GM fuel-injected LS3, which offers 430 hp and 420 ft-lbs, a 6.2L MG supercharged LSA, which offers 585 hp and 580 ft-lbs, a 7.0L Chrysler fuel-injected 426ci V-8, which offers 430 hp and 500 ft-lbs, or a 3.9L Cummins turbo-diesel that offers 170 hp and 480 ft-lbs. The diesel engine and the V-8 have five-speed manual transmissions, while the remaining engines have a four-speed automatic.
These trucks also feature all-new axle hardware and brake systems, with ARB air-lockers, Wilwood 13.25-inch disc brakes with dual-piston calipers and 4.56 ratio ring-and-pinion gears. Because these trucks are restored from the ground up, customers can easily tailor them to their exact specifications. The standard option has 37-inch Toyo Open Country M/Ts around 17×9 Trail ready aluminum beadlock wheels for a true off-road package. Finally, the trucks are often equipped with a 10,000-pound capacity winch on the rear in addition to the 16,500 pound Warn on the front bumper, allowing it to remain a true work truck.
Performance of the Power Wagon
So how does this massive, restored vehicle perform? On-road, it handles as well as any modern full-size pickup truck, with power and grit but a fairly smooth ride. Off-road, it has plenty of power for high climbs and the large tires and 4×4 capabilities for uneven surfaces. Overall, it is the ideal work truck housed inside a retro body that is sure to please its new owner.
Image Source: Four Wheeler Network