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To be truly accurate, the term, "POWER WAGON", applies only to those civilian four-wheel-drive Dodge trucks built from 1946 through 1968 in the original military style (left) and to the "W" series  Dodge four-wheel-drive trucks built from 1957 through 1980.  (below)




Within the POWER WAGON community, the original military style truck is referred to as a "flat fender" POWER WAGON.  It was introduced as a 1946 model.  From 1946 to 1956, the "flat fender" POWER WAGON was the only four-wheel drive light truck available in a dealer show room. 

It and the "Jeep" utility vehicles were built as civilian versions of their military predecessors.  Unlike the "Jeep", the "flat fender" POWER WAGON was never built in a two-wheel-drive version.  That makes the "flat fender" POWER WAGON the only true factory built and dealer showroom delivered American four-wheel drive light truck.  Without exception, the first comment folks make when they see a "flat fender" POWER WAGON for the first time is that it looks like it will go anywhere - and get back.    

Click here for a detailed history by the Auto Editors of Consumer Guide

The "W" series POWER WAGON shared the bodywork of the "D" series two-wheel-drive Dodge light trucks.  Their introduction in 1957 gave the American truck buyer a second choice of full size, four-wheel drive trucks, both of them from Dodge.  (Ford and Chevrolet/GMC were yet to introduce theirs.) 

The "W" series trucks were produced in various weight capacities with a full range of engines, transmissions, cab configurations, cargo bed styles, and optional equipment.   A relatively large collection would be required to give all these vehicle combinations adequate coverage.  There are several excellent web sites that cover various of these later versions of the POWER WAGON.   Recently, the Museum acquired a 1967 W100 which will be restored to represent all these other Dodge four-wheel-drive trucks. 

The Museum also recognizes that the POWER WAGON family of vehicles includes those sold using FARGO and DESOTO brand names. 

In 2005, Dodge resumed production of the POWER WAGON.  The new model, like the 1957 - 1980 "W" series POWER WAGON, shares the standard Dodge pickup bodywork.  However, the new POWER WAGON differs from current models of the "regular" Dodge four-wheel-drive light trucks.  It has a different frame and many unique engineering features that make it more capable in an off road situation - just like the original POWER WAGON.

The Kempner POWER WAGON Museum collection and the reference library primarily focus on the military trucks and the military styled "flat fender" civilian model Dodges. 


MILITARY DODGES