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Desert Power Wagons Unveils a Bespoke-Built 1952 Dodge Power Wagon Restomod

  • May 16, 2024
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Desert Power Wagons Unveils a Bespoke-Built 1952 Dodge Power Wagon Restomod

An evolution of the marque’s 3/4-ton WC series WW2 military rigs, the Dodge Power Wagon is a rugged medium duty truck, first introduced in 1945 and built until 1980 — before being revived again in 2005. With its jail-bar grille, splitscreen windshield, and fender-mounted headlights, the Power Wagon sports a super iconic appearance that’s still appreciated today. As far as the truck’s comfort, safety, and performance are concerned, the thing leaves a lot to be desired — at least when viewed through a modern lens. In an effort to offer the best of both worlds, North Carolina’s Desert Power Wagons was launched in 2017 with the goal of thoroughly modernizing Dodge’s vintage Power Wagon while retaining much of its character, appearance, and original DNA. 

For DPW’s latest one-off work, the Castle Hayne auto shop has meticulously crafted a 1952 Power Wagon restomod with a contemporary frame, suspension, powertrain, and cabin. 

The Basics

Painstakingly scrutinized inside and out, this 1952 Power Wagon project received an enormous amount of work in order to bring it to its current state. Born out of more than 3,500 expert man hours of labor, the build was completed in April of 2024. Rather than building this elite restomod atop the 1952 donor’s original frame, the team at DPW at instead opted to base the entire project on the chassis of a new Ram 2500 SLT 4×4 which has also revived a new powder-coated finish. 

Up-Spec’d Suspension

The 2500 series chassis has been fitted with a custom four-link suspension setup with Eibach Race Off-Road 3” coilover springs up front, King Shocks 3” performance racing internal bypass coil-over adjustable shocks in back, plus Rancho steering stabilizers, an adjustable Moog track bar, and heavy-duty front and rear axles fitted with 4.56:1 Yukon Gear high performance ring & pinion gear sets. 

Wheels & Brakes

This 1952 Power Wagon restomod rides on a set of brushed-black 20” 4Play 4P70 wheels shod in massive 37” Maxxis Razr MT mud-terrain tires with armored sidewalls. The wheels have also been paired with a top-of-the-line set of Wilwood Tactical Extreme TX6R brakes with radial-mount six-pot calipers chomping down on huge 16” GT-60 directional-vane Spec-37 alloy rotors. The whole braking setup is mated together using steel-braided lines as well. 

Black Pearl Perfection

Rather than dropping the donor’s original shell onto the build’s new 2500 series framework, the Desert Power Wagons team instead opted to treat the project to an an all-new body. Decked out in a fresh coat of black pearl paint, the body boasts a new vertical grille and radiator surround, new bumperettes, LED flooring and Bedwood stainless steel bed slats. The exterior has also received Amp Research PowerStep XL powered side steps and all new doors, including a new set of suicide-opening rear doors.

Under The Hood

At the heart of DPW’s latest bespoke build is a bulletproof 5.9-liter Cummins turbo-diesel inline-six bolted to a 48RE 4-speed automatic transmission. Also benefitting from a heavy-duty NV271 manual shift-on-the-fly transfer case, this turbo-diesel mill puts down a very respectable 305hp and 555ft-lbs of stump-pulling torque. The entire thing also ejects spent fumes from a custom stainless steel exhaust. 

Custom Cab

Trimmed in bespoke distressed “Pinecone” leather upholstery, the interior of this Power Wagon one-off also features a generous slew of bespoke elements and high-end aftermarket parts. This includes heated, electronically-adjustable front sport seats, a three-passenger rear bench seat, a charcoal Alcantara headliner, and a GT Performance GT-9 Retro Cobra wooden steering wheel that’s mounted on the Ididit tilt steering column and set just in front of a new set of Dakota Digital RTX gauges. 

What’s more, the cabin also gets a Vintage Air Gen II heating and AC system, a Viper keyless entry system with remote starting, a leather-wrapped center console, power windows, aluminum cup-holders, a deep storage cubby, LED ambient lighting, a 360° camera system, enhanced sound deadening, and an Atoto S8 Android-based 7” capacitive touch-screen head unit paired with a premium audio system complete with a Rockford Fosgate Punch P3S 8″ dual voice coil subwoofer and a Kenwood® eXcelon X802-5 5-channel, Class-D 1600 watt amp. 

Standing Out From The Crowd

Though I could drone on and wax poetic for hours about all the impressive details that have gone into this Power Wagon build, what really sets this ’52 specimen apart from other Power Wagons is the build’s ability to modernize just about every aspect of the trucks’ performance and user experience without compromising its looks or durability. What’s more, these changes afford the build with much of the capabilities of modern high-performance pickup models like the F-150 Raptor and Ram 1500 TRX.

Pricing & Availability

Though this particular project is already spoken for, Desert Power Wagons is currently accepting commissions for future builds, with prices starting from $385,000. 

Desert Power Wagons 1952 Dodge Power Wagon Restomod

North Carolina’s Dodge Power Wagons rolls out a bespoke-built ’52 custom that’s crafted around a modern Ram 2500 frame, fitted with an enormous host of contemporary upgrades, and powered by a 5.9L Cummins turbo-diesel inline-six making well-over 500ft-lbs of torque.

1952 Dodge Power Wagon Restomod By Desert Power Wagons 0 Hero

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