Feature: Old School 1949 Dodge Power Wagon

- May 29, 2013

Winslow Bent says he’s addicted to Power Wagons and we have to agree. Why else would he have started a business restoring, refining and modernizing old Power Wagons? When we saw his 1949 Dodge Power Wagon, we were awestruck at the coolness of this classic rig and its modern upgrades. Winslow and his team at Legacy Classic Trucks do some eye-catching old school builds up in Wyoming. Fortunately for us, this truck made its way to Nevada for the SEMA show and we were able to capture it on film (digitally) to share with you.

1949 Dodge Power Wagon

The first thing you’ll notice is that this Power Wagon has four doors. Now, this was never a factory option. To make a classic Mega Cab Dodge required two donor trucks and a lot of work. A long-bed frame fitted with a four-door cab and a short bed worked perfectly. The hood, grille shell, fenders and other sheet metal are all stock items. You won’t find any fiberglass or plastic parts at all. The end result is clean and looks factory.   Of course, the frame required some work, too. The stock frame was modified to allow the use of cross-over steering and a modern PSC  power box, as well as a Legacy Classic Truck suspension. The factory front and rear leaf spring design was retained, but modern multi-leaf packs were built to Legacy specs to provide a more comfortable ride than stock, without giving up carry capacity. Bilstein 5125 shocks are the final component of this truck’s suspension. Of course, custom bumpers were made by Legacy to provide a rugged look that’s perfect for the package.

cylinder turbo diesel
This Classic Power Wagon is powered by a Cummins QSB 4.5L four-cylinder turbo diesel. This engine is a 16-valve, common rail motor that produces 459 ft-lb at 1,400 rpm and 170 hp at 2,500 rpm. Essentially, it’s a four-cylinder version of the Cummins 24-valve found in Dodge Ram trucks. An Allison 1000 automatic was also used for this build.

Modernized differentials were a must for this modernized truck. A Dynatrac ProRock 60 resides in the front and a ProRock 80 can be found in the rear. To distribute the torque to both axles, a 3.8:1-ratio Atlas II transfer case is mounted behind the automatic transmission. The best part of the driveline is the Cummins QSB 4.5L four-cylinder turbo diesel. This engine is a 16-valve, common rail motor that’s Tier III compliant on emissions. It features an air-to-air intercooler and produces 459 ft-lb at 1,400 rpm and 170 hp at 2,500 rpm; yep, more power and also quieter than the venerable 4BT and able to meet modern emission standards, too. The QSB 4.5L is bolted to an Allison 1000 auto trans to complete the perfect modern driveline package for this restored and revised classic Dodge. 

modern hydro boost brake system from a GM application
On the firewall, you’ll find a modern hydro boost brake system from a GM application that provides the power brakes. This booster mounts to a custom pedal set under the dash.


The custom square-tube bumper
Looking behind the grille, you can see the custom air-to-air intercooler. The custom square-tube bumper hosts a Warn 16.5 Ti winch and a set of Light Force lamps.

On the inside, we found custom leather upholstery from J.S. Custom Interiors in Salt Lake City, Utah, along with new gauges with a classic aircraft look that are Legacy-branded items, Carling switches, Grant steering wheel, Alpine stereo with CD player and a satellite radio. Of course, power windows and air conditioning are also musts for a modernized truck. The hanging pedals are a Legacy exclusive and work with the Hydroboost brakes and ididit steering column. The master cylinder is a GM dual-circuit setup that does a great job of pumping fluid down to the front and rear Wilwood disc brakes.

1949 Dodge Power Wagon
The original bell crank steering has been replaced with a Saginaw-style box from PCS and cross-over steering system. The front axle is a Dynatrac ProRock 60. Front and rear disc brakes are standard and use Wilwood calipers.
Bilstein 5125 shocks
The rear differential is a massive ProRock 80, also from DynaTrac. Here you can see the Bilstein 5125 shocks that are used at both ends. Other features are a rear-mounted Warn VR12000 winch and LED backup/work lights.

The Legacy Classic four-door Power Wagon is a truck for work more than play. Its top speed is only 90 mph, but it can crawl down, over and around obstacles all day on the farm or in the field. As outfitted—with 20×10 wheels sporting Continental “Mil Spec” 335/80-20 MPT 81 tires—it has a fording depth of 52 inches. That’s a sealed depth rating much like a military truck. However, you can bet that no military truck was ever this cool or comfortable.

The interior of the Power Wagon
The interior of the Power Wagon has been modernized as much as the rest of the truck. The gauges, AC, stereo, CB radio and more all look great and work perfectly.
1949 Dodge Power Wagon
The short bed has some nice classic wood in the floor that’s a perfect fit for this restored and updated classic truck. The bed box rides below the bed lip and essentially is hidden from view most of the time.

(Note: For more information on this and other cool Power Wagons, go to www.legacyclassictruck.com)

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