Great Looking 1948 Dodge Power Wagon Pickup / Photos, Specs, Model History

This article features a great looking truck icon, the 1948 Dodge Power Wagon Pickup.

Of significance is the fact that the Power Wagon was the very first 4×4 medium duty truck mass produced by a major automaker in a civilian version. It’s also a fact that  Dodge had been building 4×4’s exclusively for the military since 1934.

1948 dodge power wagon
1948 Dodge Power Wagon










The Storied History of Dodge Trucks

The history of Dodge trucks begins with a fascinating journey dating back to the year of 1918 and World War One. The vehicle the Dodge Brothers would produce was called the Business Car and it was produced for commercial use. The truck was advertised at the time with the slogan “Dodge Brothers’ Business Car.

The Dodge Brothers Business Car was received very well. The public liked it’s more  modern appearance. For some owners, it was a good way for hauling and offering great travel and transportation service needs.

The Dodge Brothers designed the business car in the early days of World War 1. Their reasoning was this. Dodge had decided that individuals and corporations would want to  design their facilities around truck transportation. Trucks would be a key factor in building and expanding their businesses. Dodge would go on to build some of the finest trucks in the industry.

The Introduction of the Power Wagon

Probably one of the biggest brand names to come out of World War 2 was the Jeep. Jeep of course would go to be one of the best selling brands for decades and decades and would evolve from the CJ-5 to the SUV. Another big name but perhaps without the same fanfare as the Jeep was the Power Wagon. The Dodge Power Wagon would become another brand name that would go on and have a very long and successful history.

The Dodge Power Wagon debuted in 1945 and was based on the Dodge 3/4 ton WC truck made for the military. This civilian model was popularly referred to as the “flat fender” Power Wagon. The civilian trim was built off the original ¾ ton military Dodge truck.The WC series chassis came in dozens of configurations, and served as troop transports, command cars, ambulances, panel vans, and radio trucks. Some would say that the Jeep was a mighty fine vehicle for war transportation but the Power Wagon was the powerful workhorse with great off road capability. When the Power Wagon went on sale after the war it had virtually no similar competition.

48 power wagon









Power Wagon production continued from 1946 through 1980. During this time the Power wagon went through many changes and remodeling. In 1981 the Power Wagon was replaced by the Dodge Ram 4×4 models. These were marketed as Power Ram models  through 1993.  The Power Wagon name would come to life again in 2005 and was seen as the Dodge Ram 2500.

1948 Dodge Power Wagon Specifications

The 1948 Power Wagon was built with a  230-cubic-inch L-head straight six producing 95 HP. 

Transmission is a four speed manual.

Brakes are four wheel hydraulic drums.

The 1948 Dodge Power Wagon has a 126.0 inch wheelbase. The rear area included an eight foot cargo bed.

New vehicle base price for the 1948 Dodge Power Wagon was about $1,700.

Related Auto Museum Online articles are on the links below..

1946 Ford Half Ton

1947 Chevy Thrift Master Half Ton

Reference material for this article includes..Collectible and Classic Vintage Truck Book by Don Bunn..World War Two Military Vehicles : Transport & Halftracks by Nick Geogano and G.N Geogano.

The Popular Dodge Power Wagon Collector Truck

The Dodge Power Wagon is a very popular collector truck and has been for some time. The Power Wagon is of historical significance with its roots coming out of World War Two. The ruggedness and versatility of the four wheel drive Power Wagon impressed many a GI and after the war’s end many wanted to own one.

1948 power wagon









Another historical attribute of the Power Wagon is that it was the first totally civilian truck produced with four wheel drive. The 1948 example featured here was a part of the Power Wagon’s first generation which is also significant for the collector.

Current sale prices and auction results for the 1948 Dodge Power Wagon differ widely based on the overall condition of the vehicle, originality and degree and age of restoration.

While there are examples found in the $40,000 to $90,000 range, the high range of sale prices for the 1948 Power Wagon in excellently restored condition can range from $100,000 to $200,000 plus.

(Article and photos copyright Auto Museum Online)