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Learning to drive on a 1953 M37

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  • Learning to drive on a 1953 M37

    As the title says, I learned how to drive on my dad's 1953 M37. We lived on a farm and I was about 14 or 15 at the time. The truck was prett solid as I recall. Dad had it re-painted by a guy down the road who restored old tractors. He happened to have some extra Allis Chalmers orange and was pretty good at pin stripping and lettering, which is how we ended up with a truck called "The General" (a reference to The Dukes of Hazzard).

    Other than the paint job, the General was bone stock, including the non-directional tires, yet I don't recall ever seeing it get stuck. In fact there were a couple of times we had to use the General to recover our tractor from some pretty deep mud.

    There was also that time when a heavy rain turned mom's newly tilled garden (at least 1/2 acre) into the perfect mud hole. Of course I couldn't resist blasting through it.

    The General was a hard working truck. Dad built a feed bunker to fit in the bed and I would haul feed to our hog lots. After we quit raising hogs, we began raising produce. I can remember puting the General in low range first gear and hopping out of the cab, as it crawled through the field, to pick musk melons and put them in the back.

    Dad lost the truck when he lost his farm, but I never lost my interest in old Dodge trucks. Now I'm getting to the point in my life when I can take on a project like restoring an old M37. In a little over two years I'll retire from the Army and I would like to take on this project with my son, who will also be getting out of the Army. I look forward to learning from the members on this forum.

    Best regards,

  • #2
    That is a wonderful story! Thanks for joining the group.

    I have done that very thing with my Power Wagon years ago, walked beside it in a field as it moved slowly.

    We will be interested to learn more about your adventures and your truck.
    Power Wagon Advertiser monthly magazine, editor & publisher.

    Why is it that the inside of old truck cabs smell so good?


    • #3
      Get the best truck you can reasonably afford. There will still be plenty of "restoration" work to do.

      Many guys make the mistake of getting the cheapest truck they can and then end up with too much work and not enough time and money to complete the truck and enjoy it.

      At a minimum, get a complete truck that runs, drives and stops. A truck that has been sitting for years is almost never a bargain in the end, especially if it is an incomplete, butchered, rust bucket of a truck.

      This advice applies regardless of how much "restoration" you intend to do. A frame up restoration of a rust bucket is usually a money losing endeavor, especially with an M37. They will never be worth a lot of money.