King of the Ranch: 1948 Dodge PowerWagon

The Dodge PowerWagon was introduced just after the end of World War II as an alternative to the military Ford 4×4 trucks, and was the first military style 4×4 to be sold directly to the public. A nicely restored PowerWagon is a cool piece of machinery, but power and suspension technology was primitive in the 1940s, so the driving experience won’t be particularly noteworthy, unless someone drops the classic PowerWagon body on a modern chassis.  Find this 1948 Dodge Powerwagon here on eBay bidding for $37,800 reserve-not-met with 4 days to go, located in Meridian, OH.

This is all the money and then some, for a classic pickup truck, even something as cool as the PowerWagon, but it is a good assumption that bidding is only a fraction of the amount the builder put into this beast.  The seller says this thing cost at least $80k to build, so why not spend some of the other guy’s money.

The entire PowerWagon body is sitting on a 1998 Dodge 2500 4X4 frame, so expect ride comfort similar to something with a decent chassis and suspension.  Powering it is a fuel injected 5.9 Liter Magnum V8 engine (yeah, I was fooled by the air cleaner too, woulda sworn this was carburetted) that won’t pull as hard as a diesel, but is a huge upgrade over the original boat anchor engine.

The car is extremely well presented on the outside — looks great with blacked out chrome & trim– and the interior looks to have had similar levels of attention.  I hate to second guess another guy’s build, but I would have avoided the cliché hot-rod gauge setup and the big monitor (stereo/back-up camera) looks way out of place..but is likely very handy.  However, these are small things that a new owner could easily fix with some time and cash.

See a cooler way to drive a big pickup and look cool at the same time?