As restomods go, you’d have to agree that this 1945 Dodge Power Wagon hiding a turbocharged 5.9-liter Cummins diesel engine under its hood is pretty insane. It looks absolutely rad going down the street with its military-industrial design and uses the modern mechanicals out of a 2003 Ram 2500 pickup. This is hands down one of the coolest Power Wagon restomods that’s out there. P2 Fabrications have put a ton of work into transforming it from its origins as a military communications vehicle to a striking truck that’ll look at home cruising down the Las Vegas strip.
Frankie from P2 Fabrications talks to Shawn Davis from AutotopiaLA and shares all the exciting details about his incredible build in a video uploaded on the latter’s YouTube channel.
Part Ram 2500, Part Power Wagon With A Mighty Cummins Diesel
The customer for whom P2 Fabrications made this Power Wagon bought the donor vehicle at an auction and dropped it off at their shop in a stock configuration. The original motor on the Dodge was relatively underpowered, and the team immediately knew that swapping it with a Cummins diesel was the obvious way to go. So the old engine made way for a 5.9-liter turbocharged diesel producing bucketloads of torque and a sweet note from its intake on acceleration.
But the folks at P2 Fabrications didn’t stop at giving this 80-year-old Dodge truck a new motor. Instead, they went a step ahead, completely overhauling its chassis, and gave it new mechanicals to bring it into the modern era.
They bought a 2003 Ram 2500 pickup, took its chassis out, chopped off its rear end, and bolted it onto the body of the Power Wagon. So now this Dodge truck shares most of its mechanical bits with the Ram, such as its frame rails, front suspension, transmission, brakes, differentials, and a ton of other things.
The team decided to cut the chassis before the rear tires because they didn’t want to use the leaf springs out of the Ram pickup. They’d have had no use in the Power Wagon as the customer does not plan to use it to carry or tow anything; it’ll just be a weekend cruiser, ferrying his family and friends around.
Instead, they fabricated a custom rear end for this truck and gave it a triangulated four-link suspension setup focused more towards off-roading. They also used ADS shocks to ensure the truck had a nice ride. Though it’s meant for cruising, this 1945 Dodge Power Wagon is still quite capable, with up to 10 inches of suspension travel all around.
It uses 37-inch tires on all four corners wrapped around Black Rhino wheels with a Beadlock pattern. Frankie explains that the truck uses conventional wheels they bought off the shelf but took all the fake plastic Beadlock stuff out and custom fabricated the bolts onto the rim to make it look more authentic. Credit where its due, the 37s, with the custom wheels, does look pretty slick on this Power Wagon.
This Power Wagon Gets A Period Correct Interior
Though there isn’t much of it, the interior of the Power Wagon remains completely stock. It still has its original steering wheel and uses actual gauges on its metal dashboard. However, the team at P2 Fabrication did do one major upgrade with this Power Wagon, and that’s to extend its wheelbase by 16 inches. They had to push back the rear wheels to make more room in the second row, as getting in and out was difficult in the truck’s stock configuration.
For this, the team had to cut and then re-fabricate the rear quarter panel of the Dodge. Extending the wheelbase made more space inside the second row and significantly reduced the rear overhang. That made this truck look more proportionate than before. However, with this Dodge being more than 80 years old, it still had a few wooden frame components that had to be replaced with pieces made from metal.
This Dodge Power Wagon Is The Perfect Street Cruiser
In his short drive with Frankie in the Dodge Power Wagon, Davis mentions that it offers a pretty high seating position. He was a little nervous getting into the truck that only had lap belts, probably because of his gruesome Mercury Comet crash. But he still went on for a ride as he trusted the workmanship of the folks at P2 Fabrications.
As Davis points out, thanks to the truck’s massive 37-inch tires, and an amazing suspension setup, it practically glides over all the bumps and potholes on the road. It is very comfortable to ride in and is not overly shifty or bouncy on the street, as it is pretty stable and drives like a tank.
There is a ton of torque on offer, thanks to the turbocharged Cummins diesel, and has plenty of grunt to easily reach speeds of 75 MPH.
Source: AutotopiaLA – YouTube