HomePick of the DayPick of the Day: 1953 Dodge Power Wagon for the true off-road...

Pick of the Day: 1953 Dodge Power Wagon for the true off-road fanatic

Rugged military 4X4 is equipped to scale the roughest back-country terrain


Think you’re serious about off-roading?  Then a military-grade Dodge Power Wagon should put you over the top, in more ways than one.

The Pick of the Day is a 1953 Dodge M-37 Power Wagon, a 4X4 pickup truck in Olive Drab, with a convertible top, spartan interior and attitude a mile wide.


“One look at the camo-like green exterior, and we know your imagination is dreaming about the places you can go and the projects you can tackle,” says the Concord, North Carolina, dealer advertising the Dodge on “Owning a military-grade machine like this is about reaching beyond any limit you could ever imagine.

“That’s why there’s a strong winch up front, full-metal brush guard, and tow hooks front & rear. It’s even thoughtful in its functional layout with a bed-mounted spare, storage boxes built into the sides, and hooks & racks for your tools. So wherever you go, you get to haul all your gear, too.”

While unlikely to win a beauty pageant, this original-looking Dodge pickup is fitted with military-style off-road tires and wearing what looks like a battle-scarred patina. 

“Under the hood is more of that military-grade toughness,” the seller adds. “The flathead inline-six motor has been in production for decades. These motors date back to the time when these Dodges helped win WWII, but this one has had plenty of recent investments. A new carburetor, correct-style intake, and exhaust were all added within the last few months. This even has an electric fuel pump and runs a proper 12-volt system.

“So this motor is still just as strong as battle-tested soldier. It provides genuine stump-pulling torque so this could be a true workhorse on your land, or the four-speed manual and 4×4 transfer case might just make for the ultimate recreational vehicle. There’s even a new master cylinder, brake shoes, and brake cylinders for confident stopping power.”

The Dodge’s simple, unadorned interior has been updated for drivability, with turn signals, a keyed ignition and updated headlight controls, the seller says. 

“This is a tough-as-nails machine that is built to be reliable, and that’s why you want it,” the seller says. “The one major luxury is the new removable soft top. These can be pricey, and it’s nice to have the option of keeping the sunshine off your shoulders.”

The odometer on the simple speedometer – which goes to just 60 mph – says the Dodge has been driven only 37,384 miles, but no word whether that is correct. 


The asking price is $18,995, which seems like a fair amount for all this rugged capability.

To view this vehicle on, see Pick of the Day

Bob Golfen
Bob Golfen
Bob Golfen is a longtime automotive writer and editor, focusing on new vehicles, collector cars, car culture and the automotive lifestyle. He is the former automotive writer and editor for The Arizona Republic and, the website for the SPEED motorsports channel. He has written free-lance articles for a number of publications, including Autoweek, The New York Times and Barrett-Jackson auction catalogs. A collector car enthusiast with a wide range of knowledge about the old cars that we all love and desire, Bob enjoys tinkering with archaic machinery. His current obsession is a 1962 Porsche 356 Super coupe.


  1. In the early 1970’s a buddy of mine bought one of these, still with the 24 volt electrcial system .

    To be a proper 12 volt system it’d have an alternator .

    His had the ‘winter cab’ instead of the deafaening flapping canvas one .

    Good trucks if horribly slow .


  2. Sweet. To go play MASH with, or take to re-enactments of WW2 and Korea. Used these my own self on active duty.
    But, as Nate points out- slow. Horrifically, scarily slow unladen. Fill ‘er up, grab a trailer, head for the highway? Yer gonna die. Either from being run over by a semi, or shot by a road rager that would like to actually do the 70mph limit.
    Oh, Nate, there are several companies that disguise 12v alternators as generators for the restomod market, so it might really be a 12v system.

  3. A colleague of mine bought one of these in very good condition back in the late seventies. In our secondary school on a stand in the shop was an unused V8 Chrysler engine. Pat and Graham, the auto shop teacher, cooked up a deal whereby they would swap the six in Pat’s truck for the V8, which wouid be put to to work towing canoes and other tasks for the phys ed. department. When I moved to another school after ten years, Pat’s truck was still going strong.

  4. this is like the MASH AMBULANCE.. nice to look at butt , a pain to operate on open road.. a hippie friend bought an ambulance & never took it out on the open road… I had a 53 Dodge 6cyc 1&1/2 ton and traveled alover the country side , with home made built on camper , still a little slow up,hill but , we had a lot of fun with her..


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