Here’s what Legacy Trucks sent us about the Dodge M37 Power Wagon, it is loved by a lot of the truck communities worldwide because of its great reputation for tackling tough jobs.
The Dodge M37 Power Wagon is beloved by truck enthusiasts worldwide for its legendary grit and reputation for tackling tough jobs. But many don’t know that the Power Wagon holds an incredible place in US military history alongside icons such as Jeep. Early Power Wagons fought in World War II, serving as recon vehicles in the African desert fighting Rommel, troop transports, ambulances, and more. After World War II, the Power Wagon continued its proud service to the US Military serving in numerous theaters, including the Korean War.
This is what the legendary Dodge M37 vehicle looks like.
Legacy Classic Trucks (www.legacyclassictrucks.com
) Founder and Truck Historian Winslow Bent recently had the opportunity to get behind the wheel of a Cummins-Powered Dodge M37 Military ⅗ 5/4 ton 4×4 truck on his new YouTube series This Old Truck
. Recognized as an early military predecessor to the modern-day Ram Power Wagon, Bent takes viewers for a ride in the M37, which was built from 1950 up until 1968. Unfortunately, only about 115,000 M37 were ever made. Even fewer exist today.
The dash of the Power Wagon.
Bent’s goal is to help viewers understand the significance behind the vintage trucks that worked so hard in service to the U.S. through the military, the construction of public works, and in heavy-duty civilian industries such as mining, logging, and more. His new series This Old Truck explores the best in vintage trucks, helping preserve their important place in history. In this episode, Bent pushes the Diesel Swapped M37 to its limits in Idaho’s National Forest, simulating what it would have been like operating the rig during military operations.
Dodge M37 was originally designed to be a multipurpose vehicle with the capability to carry heavy loads of ammunition.
“My passion is for exploring the history behind the trucks that helped build this country, and the M37 is such a great piece of American history. What’s remarkable is that even after all these years, the M37 truck is still very comfortable to drive,” comments Legacy Classic Trucks Founder Winslow Bent. “I can sit in this cab all day long wheeling and drive the highway with no problems. As a civilian rig, I suppose the vintage M37 is the preferred convertible for the truck guy, and as a military truck, it has endless uses.”
According to the Dodge M37 specifications, the military vehicle can reach a high rpm of 3,400. The Maximum horsepower of the Power Wagon can reach 79.
The M37 originated from Dodge’s WC Series 4×4 trucks that were primarily used in WWII as high mobility multi-purpose vehicles ranging from weapon carriers, ambulances, mobile emergency/field workshop trucks, and radio command cars. Over time, the WC series needed to be upgraded to keep up with the ever-evolving modern technology in all military vehicles. Dodge kept everything working well with the WC series 4×4 and added some necessary upgrades to create the rugged M37 layout that is still seen throughout the U.S. military today. This truck driven by Bent was used during the Korean War, but the Dodge M37 was gradually retired from service and sold to civilians around the country later.
Photography courtesy of the Estrella Warbird Museum. Variants of the multipurpose truck include: M42 command truck, M43 ambulance, M53 cab-chassis, M56 tool truck (has a bumper-mounted winch), MB2 Fire and Rescue Truck, R2 airfield rescue truck, M152 modified enclosed utility truck, M201/V41 telephone maintenance vehicle, M283 Long Wheel Base Cargo Truck, M506 truck and V126 truck.
Bent’s M37 has been warmed up with 105hp 4BT Cummins Turbo-Diesel, and oversized Bias-Bly Tires. The result is a “go anywhere” and dependable truck with a 24v electrical system, 4-speed manual transmission, original NP200 t-case, and manual steering and brakes.
A look at the interior of the M37 Dodge.
This Dodge has improvements to the steering compared to the WWII trucks that allow for a more secure and comfortable ride when cruising at speeds up to 40 – 50 mph. With 2X and 4×4 drive capabilities, the M37 was a rough and ready beast of a truck that could activate either drivetrain immediately, depending on the terrain in its path. This versatility was important in wartime conditions where the Dodge M37 served in the Korean War.
The port side view of the Dodge M37 Power Wagon.
Typically, this truck comes with a canvas top and/or an arctic fiberglass top. Inside, the cab of this M37 is period correct with knobs, switches, and gauges that have stayed in the same era the truck was founded. The simple, universal design of the M37 lent itself to soldiers being able to operate the truck quickly without hesitation. Additionally, this vintage M37 features a 6 ½ foot truck bed that could hold 8-10 soldiers in the back for transport.
Power Wagon was used during the Vietnam War.
To see Winslow Bent trying his luck with the M37 off-road up the steep trails of Idaho’s National Forest, check out the newest episode of This Old Truck on YouTube.
The experimental variants of the World War II vehicle include an experimental bomb service truck, and an enclosed utility truck used by the United States Air Force. That makes the Dodge military trucks a good technical vehicle in our opinion. What say you? Would the M37 Dodge (and its many variants) appease the aspiring warlord?