Vintage Power Wagons have become popular in recent years, in no small part due to the stunning vehicles that Legacy Conversions has been producing. Trucks like the six-wheel-drive Power Wagon on the cover of our Sept. ’15 issue have all of the conveniences of a modern vehicle with vintage looks and style. Hand-built trucks from Legacy Conversions also come with a six-figure price tag, so when it came time to build the Power Wagon of his dreams, instead of cashing in his 401k, Richard Warf headed to the shop and got dirty.
Richard started with a rough ’43 Dodge Power Wagon and also picked up an ’86 Ford F-350 that served as a donor for much of the drivetrain. The Power Wagon came from the Carson-Tahoe Fire District where it served as a workhorse with a plow on the front and a flatbed out back. Rather than being nickel-and-dimed over every little thing to get the Power Wagon road worthy, Richard was able to source many of the components that he needed from the donor Ford, including the transmission, transfer case, and axles. Richard had different plans for the engine though, sourcing a 4BTA four-cylinder Cummins diesel from a bread truck. Most of these trucks come with VE rotary-style injection pumps, but Richard held out until he found an engine with the legendary P7100 injection pump since they are much easier to get big horsepower out of.
The only thing left to combine the two trucks into one head turning 4x4 was a lot of sweat equity. Richard did nearly all of the work himself, including all of the metal fabrication, wiring, bodywork, and paint. “The only things I farmed out were shortening the driveline and the new glass,” he explained. The hard work paid off with a vehicle that gets compliments everywhere it goes thanks to the beautiful paint and body, the perfect stance with the big Michelin military tires, and that famous Cummins clatter under the hood. “I worked on this thing every spare moment for two years,” Richard confessed. “I would be out in the garage from 6 a.m. until 7 p.m., just chipping away at it.” All of sudden those Legacy Conversions Power Wagons don’t look so expensive!
Vehicle: 1943 Dodge Power Wagon
Owner: Richard Warf
Stomping grounds: Reno, Nevada
Build time: Two years
Engine: 4BTA Cummins diesel
Transmission: T-19 four-speed manual
Transfer case(s): BW1345
Low range ratio: 2.69:1
Crawl ratio: 69.7:1
Front axle/differential: Dana 60 w/ 4.10 gears
Rear axle/differential: Sterling 10.25 w/ 4.10 gears
Front: Chevy 3/4-ton leaf springs, gear-and-oil shocks
Rear: Factory leaf springs, gear-and-oil shocks
Steering: Ford F-350 steering box and linkage
Tires: 325/85R16 Michelin XMLs
Wheels: 16x10 black steel spokes
Armor: Custom box tube front bumper, custom flatbed with wood inserts
Cool stuff: Headache rack doubles as exhaust stacks, restored sheetmetal, LED lights, Wilwood master cylinder, Autometer gauges, K&N intake, Painless Performance wiring