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The Dodge Power Wagon, Coast Guard Rescue Unit, 1950

November 26, 2014 in Diorama

Four wheel drive vehicles are common place today but in the post WWII era they were a novelty in the motoring world. Companies like the Willys Motor Company were quick to seize the importance of their famous “JEEP” in the civilian market place, selling both civilianized two and four wheel versions. The Dodge company also saw an opportunity to enter the civilian light truck market with a consumer version of an Army four wheel drive ammo carrier. The Dodge “Power Wagon” was an immediate success in the commercial market, being purchased by farmers, construction crews, oil companies and fire fighting departments. In addition the US government was a customer for this truck, serving the Post Office, Forest Service, Department of Agriculture, as well as the US military. The US Coast Guard was an operater of this rugged truck. Found at every shore station, the power wagon traveled easily on paved roads as well as sandy beaches. Easy to operate and maintain, the Coast Guard operated different models of the Dodge power wagon well into the late 1960’s.

The 1:25 scale model started as a Texaco service truck, manufactured by Matchbox. After dis-assembly I stripped the paint off using brake fluid. It was primed with rustoleum primer and airbrushed with Testor’s MM paint, the CG decals were made on my computer printer. I scratch built the siren, winch, jerry can, and all the items in the box bed. I added the red “gumball machine” light, spotlight, and whip antenna. The rescue boat(dory) is scratch built of wood, and it’s trailer is made from brass tubing. The rest of the items are out of the scrap box.
I had the chance to drive a 1962 power wagon at my station and they were a simple affair in terms of driver comfort, no a/c or power steering. But the truck had an ash tray, try to find one in todays government owned trucks!

7 additional images. Click to enlarge

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13 responses to The Dodge Power Wagon, Coast Guard Rescue Unit, 1950

  1. Beautiful job ob the scratch-building accessories – the truck’s nice too 🙂

  2. that is too sweet…and good timing too

  3. Mike,
    It’s been awhile since you last posted. It was worth the wait- stellar work all-around.

  4. Mike, an absolutely cracking model. The boat is beautiful.

  5. Very sharp Mike. Is this plastic or metal? I can’t place the kit.

    • Al
      I forgot to mention its a metal (diecast) model. Another diecast version of a power wagon was offered by First Gear (in a smaller scale, 1:34 I think), they were depicted in a variety of paint schemes. Thanks for the kind words.

  6. Mike, great job on the rebuild and the scratch building. Good to see a “work a day” subject.

  7. Brilliantly thought out and executed, Mike, you are definitely a “real modeller”!

  8. A great example of modelling and well presented. Looks the part !

  9. You have to love these Power Wagons. Good stuff Mike.
    California Steve

  10. That is sooo cool! A great example of “modeling art” too! I’d love to have a full-size truck just like it. 🙂

  11. Where was the photo of the power wagon in front of the old lifesaving station taken? There are very few of those structures left standing. It looks familiar but I can’t place it. Thanks, David

    • Cancel, cancel. It is Fletcher’s Neck where my father was officer-in-charge in the late 1950s. I have stayed at that station on many occasions and ridden in that same truck from the station to the wharf and once on a trip to haul a trailered boat back from CG Station Portsmouth with some other stuff we “borrowed” from their supplies.

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