Incredible 6x6 resto-mod. Cummins turbo diesel, 5-spd, A/C, leather.
- Condition: Used
- Make: Dodge
- Model: Power Wagon
- SubModel: 6x6
- Type: Pickup Truck
- Year: 1947
- Mileage: 5,645
- VIN: 83904128
- Color: Green
- Number of cylinders: 4
- Power options: Power Seats
- Fuel: Diesel
- Transmission: Manual
- Interior color: Gray
- Options: Leather Seats
- Vehicle Title: Clear Want to buy? Contact seller!
1947 Dodge Power Wagon 6x6
There are a handful of vehicles that have seemingly exploded onto the market in the past five years, and none are as remarkable as the rise of the Dodge Power Wagon. Overlooked for decades, these heavy-duty off-roaders were regarded as little more than oversized tractors that had no real place in the collector car world. Well, that’s all changed. With more than a few six-figure sales of these awesome trucks, Harwood Motors has become the go-to place to get a Power Wagon, and our success is mirrored by auction results and the booming business of building resto-mod Power Wagons. And that, it seems, was what was holding the Power Wagon back; they were archaic and slow, so while you could go anywhere, it took a long time to do it. Modern technology has remedied that problem and if the build is done right, the essential mechanical goodness that is intrinsic to the Power Wagon survives intact. In short, the Power Wagon market has embraced hardware upgrades, just as long as they don’t castrate the manliest truck ever built.
Which brings us to this incredible 1947 Dodge Power Wagon 6x6, which is by far the most outrageous Power Wagon we’ve ever featured. Based on a Dodge troop transporter with a proper Power Wagon cab and a custom fabricated bed, it’s got an in-your-face look and attitude that are pretty hard to beat, I don’t care what you’re driving. The fact that it’s also fully functional as a real truck, one that rides well, has cold A/C and satellite radio, and actually pulls down more than 25 MPG on the open road, and, well, you have a truck that’s ready for anything.
This truck takes everything great about the Power Wagon and turns it up to 11. It’s impossible to miss a 7-foot-tall bright green pickup, and most folks do a double take when they see the tandem rear axles. They’re not quite sure what to make of it, but it talks to them on a visceral level. It’s also beautifully built, with great attention to detail that ensures that the doors fit well and click shut without a heavy slam, great gaps on the hood, and yes, that rear fender is custom made but sure looks like the factory could have done it that way. The color is a handsome light sage green, not minty and not too neon, although the lights in our studio make it tough to capture it correctly. Believe me, you will be the center of attention with this truck, and not because of the color. Black fenders always look right on a Power Wagon, and it retains all the awesome details that are part of the Power Wagon legend: an engine-driven PTO winch (with 100 feet of ½-inch stainless cable), a big brush guard/grille up front, and stand-up headlights that give the Power Wagon an old-fashioned look. Out back, the 8-foot bed is big enough to swallow a pallet of drywall and obviously the suspension underneath won’t even blink, so no worries about using this thing as an actual truck. The heavy-duty bed rails and roll bar with window cage were added to help with the industrial-strength look, and it was all covered in spray-on bedliner material to make it virtually indestructible. There’s also a Class IV hitch out back, just in case you have something to tow, like an ocean liner or a building or something.
The interior also keeps the original Power Wagon spirit alive while adding modern creature comforts. A pair of charcoal gray leather buckets replace the original vinyl bench, and while the upgrade makes this Power Wagon strictly a 2-seater, the improvement in comfort is tangible. Other smart changes include a tilt steering column with a pretty wood-rimmed wheel, powerful Vintage Air A/C that’s neatly integrated into the dash, and a touch-screen AM/FM/satellite/iPod/Bluetooth stereo system that folds out of the center of the dash. Those handsome gauges have a vaguely aircraft look to them and monitor all the vitals, including exhaust gas temperature and boost, among others. But the overall shape of the dash will be familiar to any Power Wagon owner and the glove box lid still includes the iconic shift diagrams and warnings about top speed in various gears (all of which are completely moot, by the way). Carpets help control noise and heat and give it a nicely trimmed look, and simple door panels and a standard fiberboard headliner keep the look 100% Dodge. There’s space enough for a six-footer behind the wheel and the commanding view means you’re eye to eye with semi-truck drivers. Nothing stands taller in traffic than this bright green Dodge.
In much of the collector car world, purists dictate terms, but with Power Wagons, upgrades in the horsepower department are not merely welcome, but almost expected. The original 96-horsepower flathead six was adequate because it was geared to the moon (hence the top speed warnings), but it also made the Power Wagon something of an anachronism. Very cool but tough to use in the real world. That’s neatly solved here with the installation of a 3.9-liter Cummins 4BT turbo diesel engine. It’s a neat fit in the Power Wagon’s engine bay, requiring no cutting or pushing back of the firewall, so interior space is unaffected. There’s a mountain of torque available at any speed, and it’s arguably the most reliable internal combustion machine you could ever devise: if fuel is going into the cylinders, it’s going to run. This was a brand new crate engine purchased just for this build and with just over 5000 miles on it today, it’s barely broken-in. In fact, its first test was a cross-country trip from Pennsylvania to California, a trek of nearly 3000 miles during which it averaged a little over 25 MPG. The tidy diesel powerplant shows traditional Cummins tan paint and neat packaging of the accessories tight to the block, so service access is still quite good. There’s a giant radiator up front with an engine-driven cooling fan, and all the delicate parts are up high so you really can take it off-roading without worries. These 4BT engines are a fascinating study in minimalism, as they have only an engine-driven fuel pump and no ignition system (diesels use compression ignition) so you have to do something pretty stupid to make one of these stop running.
This one is surprisingly smooth and driving is easy, and after a few miles, you’ll feel like you’re at the wheel of a much more contemporary machine. Thanks to a NV3500 5-speed manual transmission, it cruises effortlessly at 65-70 MPH in overdrive, and there’s a low first gear that idles at a walking pace but we’ve found that for ordinary driving, it’s easier to just start in 2nd. Of course, there’s also a remarkable 2-speed transfer case that has three output shafts, one for each axle, and in regular driving, only the two rear axles are powered. It’s actually pretty impressive to glance under this truck and see the details that went into that articulating rear suspension and because of it, the rear of this truck just hovers over bumps, giving it a better than expected ride. There are 4.11 gears in the pumpkins, so it’s plenty powerful around town and we’ve learned that most drivers are surprised that this big, ancient 4x4 is also so quick. Fortunately, you also have a giant disc brake behind each wheel—six of them!—so braking power is beyond impressive, especially with Hydro-Boost power assist. A custom exhaust system fits neatly underneath and doesn’t compromise ground clearance and gives it a bit of a big rig sound, especially with the blow-off valve on the turbo doing its thing. Stock Power Wagon wheels are really the right choice on a build like this, and they’re wrapped in a set of giant 11.00x16 Superlug off-road tires which, remarkably, ride pretty well.
This is a very impressive truck. Obviously we haven’t probed the outer limits of its off-roading abilities, but we’re pretty sure nothing else can touch it. We have experienced it on the road, and unlike its predecessors, it’s comfortable, relatively agile, and easy to handle, and doesn’t need any special considerations out on the road. It’s bulletproof reliable, fun to drive, and few other vehicles we’ve driven attract this much attention. This truck successfully blends the original Power Wagon DNA with modern performance, giving you the absolute best of both worlds.