The Only Thing Drab Is The Paint
The difference between the average vehicle owner and the people who read 4WOR is that for most people a vehicle is just transportation from point A to point B. They pick it based on color, looks, and mileage. There is no passion in that. Joe McDonald built his '53 Dodge M37 over the past 18 years out of nostalgia for the Dodge Power Wagon he had used to explore the coast of Northern California when he was a kid. "We didn't have Nintendo back then," Joe explains, "or even a TV for that matter!"
While nostalgia is all well and good, Joe wasn't overly interested in messing with ignition points, a carburetor, manual steering, or drum brakes. He kept the vintage sheetmetal, blackout lights, and sparse interior of the M, but added modern conveniences like power steering, fuel injection, and an overdrive transmission. The result works so well that Joe uses the truck as his daily driver, snowplow, parts hauler, and trail rig. That sure sounds like passion to us.
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1953 Dodge M37 power Wagon
Engine: TBI 454ci Chevy V-8
Transmission: 4L80E four-speed auto
Transfer case: NP203 mated to NP205 with Offroad Design adapter
Front Axle: Dana 60 with 4.88 gears and ARB Air Locker
Rear Axle: Corporate 14-bolt with 4.88 gears, Detroit Locker, disc brakes
Springs & Such: Custom leaf springs from National Spring, Rancho RS9000 shocks
Tires & Wheels: 39x15x16.5LT TSLs on 16.5x9.75 Weld Super Single IIs
Other Stuff: Saginaw power steering, Hydroboost, Saginaw steering box, onboard air compressor, hot shower, 50-gallon fuel tank, PTO powered winch