1958 Dodge Power Wagon - $199,900
     
  • Overview & History
  • Specifications
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The wondrous thing about this Power Wagon is that it’s a modern truck.

Power Wagons have gone from forgotten farm tool to red hot collectable and the most capable trucks on the trail today. We’ve sold more of them than almost anyone else, stock and modified alike, but we’ve never had one quite like this gorgeous 1958 Dodge Power Wagon. Most resto-mods are based on stock Power Wagon chassis with upgraded engines, transmissions, and axles. They’re extremely impressive—civilized, capable, and still 100% Power Wagon. This one, however, travels a different path by taking a late-model Dodge Ram 3500 and placing a Power Wagon cab and bed on top. And while others have tried that formula in the past, we’ve never seen one that nails the Power Wagon look as perfectly as this one while adding a whole new level of polish and sophistication. Built by an experienced professional rod builder and a retired NASCAR fabricator, it’s definitely a game-changer.

Hard to know where this one started, with the chassis or the truck. A low-mileage 2007 Dodge Ram 3500 extended cab chassis looked too good to pass up, and it seemed like a natural to park it under a Power Wagon. A super-clean 1958 Power Wagon was sourced from a naval base out west where it served as a fire truck for decades and was then just parked in the 1970s, so there was no rust and no body issues beyond a ding in the cab behind the driver’s door. It also included the grille, hood, and front fenders, which were also in first-rate condition. The cab came off the frame and the mock-ups started, beginning with sectioning the 160-inch late-model chassis down to a Power Wagon-sized 126 inches. They had to trim the front frame rails to get the proportions right (nailed it!) and create new heavy-duty bracketry to support the Power Wagon front fenders above the Ram’s original front suspension. In back, an all-new bed, rear fenders, and running boards from Tisdale Coachworks were refinished and slightly modified to give the truck better proportions (the bed is about two inches taller than stock). All the Power Wagon body panels were stripped to bare steel and finished to show standards before being covered in light Sage Green paint that is just gorgeous in person—the subtle color contrasts brilliantly with the in-your-face Power Wagon attitude. Familiar Power Wagon front bumpers were reinstalled along with a heavy-duty Smittybilt electric winch. Please note how neatly it all fits together with everything in the right position—that’s not easy to do and there are some downright awful-looking Power Wagon conversions using late-model chassis because guys have a hard time getting this part right. The thing just looks right.

The interior is the most stunning Power Wagon driver’s compartment we’ve seen yet, beautifully crafted by Johnny Miller, whose work is legendary in the hot rod community. Black and green leather that’s just a shade darker than the bodywork is stitched onto aluminum sub-structures custom built just for this truck. Two layers of sound deadening insulation make the cab quiet and comfortable and a custom Glide bench seat was reworked to add legroom to the compact cab. A tilt steering column painted to match carries a modified 1940 Ford steering wheel with a leather-wrapped rim and a tall Lokar shifter looks like a vintage lever for the original 4-speed. Bright Auto Meter gauges are set into a leather gauge panel with more beautiful stitchwork and a matching panel on the passenger side houses the entertainment system with Bluetooth connectivity. Note the POWER WAGON emblems, which are stitched, not decals, and the subtle LED fixtures under the dash that provide awesome ambient lighting. A factory shifter for the 4-wheel-drive transfer case was modified to tuck in tight to the transmission tunnel and stay out of the way and even the pedals from the original Ram were retained, so it feels very OEM. Of course cold A/C and power windows are part of the package. Other details you might have missed: the Vee’d windshield, the custom panel that hides the A/C ducts, and the beautiful sculped headliner. It’s very impressive.

The truly wondrous thing about this Power Wagon is that it’s a modern truck. It isn’t an old truck with improved capabilities, it’s a late-model Dodge Ram. Power comes from a fuel-injected 5.7 liter HEMI V8 with factory engine management, distributorless ignition system, and all those other technical things that make modern vehicles so effortless to drive. It fits neatly in the Power Wagon’s engine bay and wears all its original accessories, so you get power steering and 4-wheel power disc brakes, in addition to the aforementioned A/C. There’s a giant custom radiator up front cooled by a heavy-duty fan with a modern clutch so it’s efficient, too. The goal was to make it look like a factory-built piece, so all the OEM markings, decals, fasteners were retained wherever possible. The only notable deviation from stock is the power brake booster and master cylinder, but the system feels so natural you’ll never notice. Turn the key and it starts instantly and idles perfectly, every time, thanks to the miracle of fuel injection. In fact, after driving so many diesel-powered Power Wagons, the soft start on this one is quite refreshing.

The chassis was extensively modified but the goal was to keep it as OEM as possible. So while it was shortened and reinforced, it retains the original suspension, brakes, steering, axles, and other hardware. In fact, the factory-fresh mission even extended to sourcing a gas tank from a regular cab Ram and modifying the original exhaust system to accommodate the shorter wheelbase. Impressive! The 545RFE automatic overdrive transmission is the same one that serves so reliably in the heavy-duty 3500 Rams and with a deep overdrive gear, it makes this Power Wagon an effortless highway cruiser. Front and rear axles are stock Ram 3500 as well, an AAM 9.25-inch Chrysler unit up front and a monstrous 10.5-inch AAM Chrysler axle in back, all fitted with 4.10 gears. In between there’s an NV271D transfer case with shift-on-the-fly capabilities (you’ll note this truck does without the pesky manual locking front hubs) and factory driveshafts that were custom shortened to work on the shorter wheelbase. With factory shocks, springs, and bushings, ride quality is exceptional for a Power Wagon yet it’ll still haul stuff like a 1-ton pickup (although the bed is just so beautiful, its hauling days are probably over). Steering is light and effortless and even with the giant 37x13.50-18 off-road tires, it tracks beautifully on the highway. Even the factory Class IV receiver hitch made the conversion intact, so this truck can pull far more trailer than its ancestors.

Best of all, this truck can be serviced at any Dodge dealer and parts are still commonly available over-the-counter, so maintenance is a snap and reliability should be bulletproof for many, many years.

We’ve never experienced a Power Wagon quite like this. It’s civilized and incredibly easy to drive. It’s quiet and smooth and polished. And the list of custom parts is short so you can maintain it with a factory shop manual for a late-model Ram. The combination of OEM engineering and reliability with an authentic ultra-butch Power Wagon look creates what might just be the most modern-feeling Power Wagon we’ve ever driven. It took an astounding amount of work to create this truck (it’s a lot more than just removing one body and bolting another one on) but the finished product is so effortless that it literally feels like the guys up Auburn Hills built this one themselves to put on showroom floors. An extraordinary effort that pays extraordinary dividends. Call today!

Harwood Motors always recommends and welcomes personal or professional inspections on any vehicle in our inventory prior to purchase.

Vehicle: 1958 Dodge Power Wagon
Price: $199,900
Stock Number: 117031
Mileage: 241 (since built)
VIN: L6W3M126211
Engine: 5.7 liter HEMI V8
Transmission: 5-speed automatic
Gear Ratio: 4.0999999999999996
Wheelbase: 126 inches
Wheels: 18x10 polished alminun wheels
Tires: 37x13.50-18 off-road radials
Exterior Color: Sage Green
Interior Color: Light green leather
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