15k: Giant Pez Dispenser: 1956 Powell Sport Wagon

From 1954 to 1957 a small enterprise in Compton, CA called Powell  Manufacturing Company built a vehicle called the Sport Wagon.  It used a 1941 Plymouth chassis…no really, each Powell was built on a used 1941 Plymouth chassis that had been reclaimed from a junkyard with a new steel body was plopped atop the used chassis.  You won’t find many Powells just sitting around on your local craigslist, but when you do come across one they can be fairly affordable for the level or rarity and coolness.  Find this 1956 Powell Sport Wagon (and potentially a scooter as well) offered for $14,999 via craigslist located in Hoover, AL.

The Powell Sport Wagon is an interesting piece of El Camino history – since is was arguably the first pickup truck on a car chassis.  The construction materials used in the Powell are also novel, with a fiberglass nose piece and a varnished oak front bumper. It may look like someone randomly used a 2×4 for a bumper on this car, but that is a factory original piece.

This Powell is offered with a P-81 scooter, another Powell built classic from the 50s, but it is not clear if that is part of the package or a separate item.  The Powell brothers built scooters before branching into the truck market, and this would make a great addition for anyone looking to collect cars/bikes built in Compton. 

Under the hood is the original 1941 Plymouth inline-6 mated to a 3-speed manual transmission.  The 3.3 liter flathead six is good for 81 horsepower and 161 ft-lbs of torque. It is a basic engine but at over 70 years old it will require specialist help when it comes time to rebuild, but with some knowledge and a small machine shop you should be able to fix anything that breaks. 

The interior of this Sport Wagon has been reconditioned (recently?) and items like seat belts are welcome upgrades.  However, the strangest thing on the entire vehicle is the extendable storage box located in the passenger side rear fender.  You just need to find some giant Pez to build your own life-sized Pez dispenser. 

See a stranger or cooler old pickup? tips@dailyturismo.com

Click here for a great article on Powells, or click here for the Powell registry.