1948 PW Project Update and Possible Sale (long post)

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Posted by Chris Davis [] on Thursday, February 18, 2021 at 20:47:15 :

I've restored a few Dodge trucks over the years, starting with a military M37 back in '98, followed by a WC53 and later a WC51. I downsized to a WWII jeep in 2010 and have kept that since. I did a few smaller vehicles over the years as time and space allowed (Series Land Rover, M38A1) but a rust free 1948 Power Wagon project found me in 2019. Since then I've been gathering parts for a Cummins Diesel repower (original engine was gone) and with a remanufactured 4BT + ZF5 overdrive transmission procured, now have the body and chassis ready for sandblasting.

I've also realized I'm stuck. All my past restorations have been military trucks, and while I've been proud of my work, minor imperfections in body panel or flat OD paint are not a big deal on a military truck. Solid trucks, clean restorations, but not concourse level stuff... I'm a hobbyist, not an expert. That said, the 1948 Power Wagon with Cummins upgrade would be worth considerable money if done right... considerably less money if done 'pretty good.' As I've worked to remove a few dents from the cab roof, I've been pleased with my progress, but also realized I'm not going to get it just right. Now it's fair to say 'Hey, it's your truck Chris, do what you want.' (Plus these were work trucks, some wear and tear would be authentic.) But I know any flaws will bother me (a couple minor ones bug me on my WWII jeep) more so when those flaws would significantly devalue the vehicle.

I've also been worried about paint. I'm not set up for two part epoxy so I got some quotes from reputable shops in the area. These shops could also clean up the imperfections in my body work... this expertise costs $ and while I'm at a point in life I can afford it, it greatly increases the budget I planned for the project. I would end up with a very nice truck that certainly would recoup the cost when sold, but I would almost certainly sell it at that point because I tied up too much $ in the restoration.

I have always enjoyed my time in the garage, but work continues to be extra busy, and I'm not getting any younger. I don't have the same energy at the end of the day... plus I'm blessed with a wife, kids, and now grandkids I like to spend time with. If I just hunker down and work in the garage on my evenings and weekends, I know my skills will improve as I go, but I'll miss a lot of life going on outside the garage.

I think I've come to the conclusion that now isn't the time for the Power Wagon project. If I had unlimited garage space I'd just sit on it until retirement, but I don't have that extra inside space and don't want to store a rust free example outside for years.

I have a little over $17K tied up in it and would like to recoup that. Clean Utah title, build card, Cummins 4BT remanufactured by Reviva, Direct bolt up ZF5-42 OD transmission (plus an extra T-19 transmission currently attached to the 4BT) rust free truck with straight bed sides, tailgate, front bed panel, front fenders, doors, cowl and hood. Cab roof is better than it was, but still needs some work (dents, not rust). Matt Tisdale reproduction running boards and rear fenders. Five combat rims and two split ring wheels. All light housings, windshield frame, etc... in great shape and rust free. Rolling chassis with transfercase, the rest disassembled for sandblasting. All hardware bagged and labeled. I figure I'd let the forum have first crack at it before I offer it to the Facebook crew. Oh, also a CNG boost system for the diesel (extra cost) if you want to add that to the mix.

I'm opening a photo classifies ad with Joe, but I can send additional photos on request.

Thanks again for all the help and advice on this project (and all of the others over the years) hopefully I'll find something again when work is less hectic and space is more available.

Chris Davis
Centerville, Utah

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