Steve Evanko is a retired US Marine and spent a lot of quality time around big, military vehicles during his career. He never lost his affection for military-grade vehicles. He had the opportunity a few years ago to purchase a retired US Navy 1941 Dodge WC12 truck in "basket case" condition. Of course, with a vehicle this size, the basket had to be pretty big! The WC12 is a closed cab, 1/2 ton pickup designed and built by Dodge for the military. Since it was built in 1941, it saw service during World War II.
Steve has seen evidence that this truck had been in US Navy livery. It may have been used around the San Diego shipyards or Naval Base during the war.
If it could only tell its story!
Steve liked the truck, not only because of their shared military career, but the fact that it had an aggressive look about it, plus the fact that it was old, rare. Maybe a bit like Steve as well? He also knew that he could keep the original exterior and put modern internals under it to make it more drivable and functional in today's world.
A late model Dodge truck gave up a lot of its running gear to update this old war horse. The 5.9 liter six-cylinder Cummins diesel engine, transmission and disc brake-equipped front and rear axles found a new home on the modified original frame. Power steering and power brakes add a degree of comfort not originally offered to the GIs. When he surveyed the truck to figure out how big a project the body was going to be, he discovered that the sheet metal was in surprisingly good condition despite living most of its life in a coastal environment. Steve brought the cab to Hot Rods & Custom Stuff to have us media blast the decades accumulation of paint from the cab. After blasting down to bare metal, and priming with a bulletproof epoxy primer, the cab was ready to return home.
Steve came to pick up the cab with the chassis tied down on his trailer.
This allowed him the opportunity to discuss the next phase of his project.
The new engine is longer than the original and he had to relocate the cab on the frame. There was going to be some serious metal massaging required in order to fit the cab, fenders, and hood properly after this relocation.
Steve realized that that may be a little bit beyond his level of expertise, so after discussing the options with Randy Clark, he decided to leave that part of the project in our capable hands.
Follow along and watch as we help get this old war horse back on the battlefield. Ooh-rah!!