1946 Dodge Power Wagon

1946 Dodge Power Wagon””

The Power Wagon name is an icon, having been tied to some of the greatest and most utilitarian pickups of the last 70 years. Even today, the Power Wagon name lives on under the Ram brand and boasts some of the most hard-core off-road equipment found on any showroom floor.

It all got started after WWII when Dodge started producing a civilian version of its military WC Series trucks. Debuting for the 1946 model year, the first Power Wagon brought 4WD to the masses. Sure there was the Willys Jeep , but the Power Wagon was more useful around the farm and for businesses that needed to transport product. The truck’s eight-foot bed and heavy-duty suspension gave the truck the ability to haul upwards of 3,000 pounds.

These early Power Wagons were powered by old-school flat-head inline six-cylinders. The early 230 cubic-inch examples and later 251 cubic-inch mills produced adequate power for hauling such loads, though they pale in comparison to modern engines, including the current 6.4-liter Hemi V-8 used in the 2014 Dodge Ram Power Wagon . Still, the Power Wagon made a name for itself in those early years.

Production of the original Power Wagon lasted through 1980, though a redesign in the mid 1960s brought a more modern, less military look and added more creature comforts. After 1980, the Power Wagon name laid dormant until Dodge revived it on its trail-ready Ram Ram 2500 model for 2005. Nowadays, Dodge has given way to the Ram Trucks brand while the Power Wagon name thankfully lives on.

Still, of all the Power Wagon variations that came throughout the years, it’s those early flat-fender workhorses that earned the Power Wagon name a spot in automotive history.


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