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The Story on the 52 and the Beginning of the Build

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  • The Story on the 52 and the Beginning of the Build

    Glad to be here folks.

    30 years ago, at 17, I’d saved up 2 years of hay field money and bought an old 1950 ford. $1,250.00! No idea what I even had, just loved old trucks. Old man made me a deal I wasn’t even aware of. 351 Cleveland with Windsor heads under the hood, mustang rear end.. so on. didn’t have it running but my girlfriend and I would sit in the driveway and I’d tell her all about everything a boy could make up to impress a cute girl.. but especially how I’d drive her up in this old truck, shined and new, to get ice cream at Dairy Queen....some day...

    that was ‘89.. left that fall for the military... truck went in dads barn.. first gulf war started.. then some other odds and ends. 10 years later just had to tell dad to sell it. Upside was, I succeeded in impressing that girl as we had been married 10 years with a rascal of our own!

    Fast forward to today. Dad passed in ‘05, been married 30 years to that same “cute girlfriend”, 5 kids, great job, nice house, farm.. still in the military, but guard now. Run sniper ops for a contingency response group.

    Never got an old truck again though.. always talked about it. It would come up once in a while and my still girlfriend / wife of 30 years would say, “you still owe me a trip to Dairy Queen for an ice cream cone boy!” We’d laugh and talk about how we needed to get us another old truck.. this time.. a power wagon.

    re-enlisted for the last time before retiring the other day. I’ll be if they didn’t give me a bonus for it. Short on guys that do what I do. My wife immediately said “take that exact money, and go buy you an old truck with it.. not a new one, an old one you and the boys have to fix up. ...and I mean you cash that check and use that very cash to buy it.” See, I could afford a bunch of trucks now, always wanted one, just never got one. She figured the military took our first one, the last thing they were going to do is buy me another.

    hard to argue with that.... so with one of my wiser and more eloquently crafted arguments I replied...”ummmmm... OK”

    so, me and my boys loaded up this weekend in the turbo diesel “super truck” (as my daughter named the f350 super duty) and headed from Louisville down to South Georgia to pick up a power wagon. Been wanting one for 30 years.

    ironically, title said Bardstown KY! Fella says “your from KY, that Bardstown near you?” My jaw hit the ground. “Mr., I’m not actually from Louisville, I just say that so people know the general area.... I’m from bardstown and I know the man on this title”. He bought it three months ago to part out, put the cab on another body... got and realized it was all original... entire underside coated with almost no rust at all. Amazing. So, he just put it back up for sale.

    This old truck had been in a barn 12 miles from my house, tarped and undercoated for 27 years.. was working the local CAT implement shop before that!! I drove all the way to GA to bring it right back home.

    meant to be!

    so begins the fun now.
    Attached Files

  • #2
    The story begins here...again... 30 years later.

    Wife’s doing the archive... hope these show up for you.

    It will be at least a day behind. Started tearing down today. Fenders, panels, small engine components...those will be up tomorrow or in a few days.


    • #3
      looks like a great start to truck i am just over a year in and my help is ambitious but not very helpful adelyn2.jpg


      • #4
        Great story! I'm glad you finally found your way back to old iron. Looking forward to seeing your progress. Interesting fenders on that Power Wagon, by the way.


        • #5
          Finding this fascinating. Nearly rust free truck. The entire underside was coated with an ancient for of asphalt based undercoating. Old school bed liner. The result...

          This is the underside of the hood. Original paint in near mint condition.

          Attached Files


          • #6
            You may want to look up some tricks for removing that stuff, instead of just scraping it. Dry ice was one method that used to work for some areas. still scraping but it comes off quite well from the steel.


            • #7
              Oooffff.... well.... the old boy that welded these fenders on did a pretty good job.... but not great.

              I’m figuring, in 1952, for a navy utility truck, it was a hole lot less about aesthetics and a hole lot MORE about getting the job done and the truck to work.

              Either that, or he just isn’t have access to a dewalt 20v cordlesss angle grinder with gatergrit 120g lap pads to really smooth the slag...

              In the end, a lot of this bondo to fill the weld slags is going away. It takes removal of some metal, but there’s a-plenty of heavy gauge steel to work with...

              On she goes.
              Attached Files


              • #8
                How is the project coming along? Please keep us updated and let us know if you need any assistance or advice.
                We once started talking about wiring I believe and recall, lets dive into that again if you still need it.
                1967 W200.aka.Hank
                1946 WDX.aka.Shorty
                2012 Ram 2500 PowerWagon.aka Ollie

                Life is easier in a lower gear.


                • #9
                  It’s almost worth just clear coating and leaving as it is... that’s a pretty tough patina..
                  Attached Files


                  • #10
                    Are any of these pics coming through now?


                    • #11
                      Yep, Picture(s) attached.
                      I drive a DODGE, not a ram!


                      1946 WDX Power Wagon - "Missouri Mule"
                      1953 M37 - "Frankenstein"
                      1993 Jeep YJ - "Will Power"
                      1994 2500 4WD Regular Cab - "Old Gray"
                      2006 3500 DRW 4WD Mega Cab - "Power Wagon Hauler"


                      • #12


                        • #13
                          Figuring this out on the phone....

                          but got this little Flathead to that, from this..


                          • #14
                            Wow, that's quite the improvement in the engine bay! How did you access and prep everything to paint it? Seems like a lot of stuff to remove, but I guess that's what you had to do. Also seems like it would be tough to scrape or wire brush everything. In any case, it looks great.


                            • #15
                              I took off and out everything but the block.... just pulled it all off.. cleaned it part by part... degreased, power washed, media blasted a few parts... reassembled. I didn’t pull it.

                              going to get it fixed up nice a rolling. I’d like to get it in the shop in a few years and put a 4bta in it. So till then.. it’s a “mostly” off frame restore... haaa