1948 Dodge Power Wagon WDX Quad Cab - $229,900
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If you can afford such a thing, you will find that there are no better Power Wagons than those wearing the Precision badges and this one will not disappoint.

What we’re seeing in the Power Wagon market is the evolution of the species. Harwood Motors has sold more of these awesome Dodge pickups than almost anyone else and it seems that every time one shows up, it’s just a little better than the last. Right now, this spectacular 1948 Dodge Power Wagon WDX Quad Cab is the state-of-the-art in resto-mod 4x4s. It delivers an authentic old truck experience but it’s fast, comfortable, and capable at the same time. You already know we’re fans of Dan Mininger and his work at Precision Power Wagons, and this truck, with just over 500 miles since it was completed, is their best yet. And as I’ve mentioned before, if you want one that’s fresher, be prepared to stand in line and to spend another $75,000 for the privilege. If you can afford such a thing, you will find that there are no better Power Wagons than those wearing the Precision badges and this one will not disappoint.

Remarkably enough, the Department of the Interior was Dodge’s #1 customer for Power Wagons, with some estimates suggesting that as many as 40,000 of the 97,000 built went into service in our national parks system. That’s not hard to believe given how versatile these trucks were when they were new. Only a mountain goat could get to more remote places, and it would take a herd of them to carry what one of these could haul. They were configured with power-take-off devices like water pumps, oil derricks, and saw mills, equipped with giant water tanks for fighting wildfires, and pushed snow from the back roads and truck paths throughout the northern US. Nothing worked better for tough jobs than a Power Wagon.

The downside, of course, is that they were crude. In reality, a stock Power Wagon is really a tractor that merely looks like a truck. And for a while, the looks were enough—we were the first to sell a stock Power Wagon for more than $100,000. The look is undeniably butch, and if you really have hardcore work to do, well, they’re still ideally suited to the task. But for most guys, the reality is suburban streets, traffic, and an occasional excursion onto a dirt path. And for day-to-day living, well, the stock trucks just don’t get it done. That’s why you’re seeing prices of stock Power Wagons getting softer while resto-mods like this Quad Cab are the hottest trucks on the market. This truck sill sweats testosterone like a stock Power Wagon, still climbs through mud and up rocky inclines that would stall a Hummvee, and still dominates every event it attends, but also does it at 70 MPH in relative quiet, with A/C that blows cold, a killer stereo, and an automatic transmission, power disc brakes, and power steering which mean you AND your significant other can enjoy it equally. In short, it works like a modern truck but looks and feels like a vintage Power Wagon, and that’s the magic of a Precision build. All the flavor, none of the calories—isn’t that the goal?

To build a Quad Cab like this, it requires two standard Power Wagon cabs plus six doors, so it’s not like they’re plentiful. With a scant 97,000 being built and only a relative handful surviving the past seven decades, finding good base stock is none too easy. If you’re kidding yourself that you’ll have another chance to buy a truck like this, well, maybe that’s true but it probably isn’t. As a Gen IV build at Precision, finish quality is exemplary, with doors that fit better than if the factory had built it themselves, and the proportions are exactly right thanks to a 15-inch frame stretch and a custom-built bed. This sucker still looks the part of a Power Wagon even though Dodge never even considered building something like this. The Battleship Gray finish shines beautifully and gives the big truck a purposeful look that’s completely in-character. Forget those wonky Power Wagons with glittery modern paint, they never look right. THIS is how it’s done.

Of course, you get all the other Power Wagon gear, including the original Ramsey winch, which is now hydraulically powered and still rated at 10,000 pounds. There’s a brush guard, the standard split front bumper (these trucks never look right without that stuff), as well as original headlight buckets now filled with LED headlights that are better than those on your new Lexus. Drop-down running boards magically descend when you open the door and the black fenders are the only way to fly. Out back there’s a Class IV hitch, so this sucker will pull your boat or other toys. The bed is beautifully finished with fresh oak planks, probably too nice to actually haul rough stuff, but if you need it, this sucker will haul anything you can put in there.

This Power Wagon has a number of significant upgrades inside that aren’t the usual Precision Power Wagon fare, starting with those gorgeous Recaro bucket seats. They’re power-actuated with heating and cooling, and they keep you in place in the rough stuff. Of course, the rest is beautifully finished with lots of sound deadening, and this is currently the smoothest, quietest, most sophisticated Power Wagon we’ve ever experienced. Other important details include the Momo wood-rimmed steering wheel on a tilt column, an array of custom Precision Power Wagon instrumentation, a powerful HVAC system, full LED lighting, and a AM/FM/satellite/iPod/navigation system with back-up camera in the center of the dash. Perhaps most significantly, this is the first resto-mod Power Wagon we’ve ever had with an automatic transmission, and it works extremely well in this application, making this a truck you could drive every day. You also get power windows, 12V power points for your phone and other electronics, and even a crank-out windshield for the days when you don’t quite need the A/C. Like I said, this is a no-compromises truck.

We’re convinced that the 3.9-liter Cummins 4BT turbo diesel is the best choice for your Power Wagon resto-mod. It fits without modifying the firewall, so interior space is unaffected. It’s bulletproof reliable (it powers just about every delivery truck in the world), and it makes a big, fat wallop of torque that gets this massive truck moving without any effort at all. All the modern hardware is in place under the hood, so it can be serviced by anyone who services the aforementioned delivery trucks, and service access is still excellent thanks to the butterfly hood. Precision adds some stainless tubing to dress up the engine bay, but we like the very OEM appearance, which we find preferable to hot rod chrome and goofy aftermarket dress-up. It’s almost as if the factory built it this way. It starts with a push of the dash-mounted button and feels very much like a big rig with the big diesel idling away. On the road, it’s surprisingly smooth and with more than 400 pounds of torque available just off idle, even this 7000-pound monster feels punchy around town. It cruises at highway speeds without effort and you may not be thrilled with the fuel economy, but you won’t be disappointed, either. This sucker just works like a truck is supposed to work.

The most significant upgrade on this Power Wagon is the Allison 4-speed automatic transmission, which makes this truck incredibly user-friendly for any driver. It’s designed for use in heavy-duty applications and is very tough, making it the right choice in a Power Wagon that’s going to see some action. It’s linked to a NP205 transfer case that distributes power via custom driveshafts and heavy-duty U-joints—the rear driveshaft is the size of your thigh! The front axle is an indestructible Dana 60 (you know, the one they used in drag racing HEMIs) while the rear is a giant GM 14-bolt full-floating axle from a 1-ton pickup, and you’ll note that the housing has been extensively reinforced for use in the Power Wagon. Inside there are 4.56 gears with 30-spline axles that don’t mind the giant tires hanging on the ends. There are also massive disc brakes at all four corners, an upgraded 4-link rear suspension with coil-over QA1 adjustable shocks, so ride quality is quite good, particularly for a Power Wagon. Of course power steering is part of the package and there’s a custom fuel cell hanging out back. Beautiful TR beadlock forged aluminum wheels not only look awesome but are over-built for the rigors of off-roading. With those massive 40x13.50-17 Pro Comp radials, the truck looks right yet rides and handles rather well for such a beast.

This is as good as Power Wagons get. You can spend more, you can wait years for another shop to finish your truck, but it won’t be any better than this truck, which you can have right now. It’s as easy to drive as a new Suburban and we guarantee you’ll never go someplace and not be the center of attention. If you can afford the best and understand why Power Wagons are special, this truck absolutely delivers on all the promises that its outrageous looks make. Fast, fun, comfortable, and surprisingly practical, this Power Wagon does it all. Call today!

Harwood Motors welcomes and encourages personal or professional inspections of any vehicle prior to purchase.

Vehicle: 1948 Dodge Power Wagon WDX Quad Cab
Price: $229,900
Stock Number: 116062
Mileage: 528
VIN: 83908819
Engine: 3.9 liter Cummins turbo diesel
Transmission: 4-speed automatic
Gear Ratio: 4.5599999999999996
Wheelbase: 141 inches
Wheels: 17-inch aluminum wheels
Tires: 40x13.50R17 Pro Comp radial
Exterior Color: Battleship Gray
Interior Color: Charcoal leather
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