Incredible professional build. Cummins turbo diesel power, 5-speed manual transmission, 6-wheel disc brakes, A/C, satellite radio, leather interior. Go anywhere, do anything truck with incredible presence.
This truck takes everything great about the Power Wagon and turns it up to 11. It’s impossible to miss a 7-foot-tall bright green pickup, and most folks do a double take when they see the tandem rear axles. They’re not quite sure what to make of it, but it talks to them on a visceral level. It’s also beautifully built, with great attention to detail that ensures that the doors fit well and click shut without a heavy slam, great gaps on the hood, and yes, that rear fender is custom made but sure looks like the factory could have done it that way. The color is a handsome light sage green, not minty and not too neon, although the lights in our studio make it tough to capture it correctly. Black fenders always look right on a Power Wagon, and it retains all the awesome details that are part of the Power Wagon legend: an engine-driven PTO winch (with 100 feet of ½-inch stainless cable), a big brush guard/grille up front, and stand-up headlights that give the Power Wagon an old-fashioned look. Out back, the 8-foot bed is big enough to swallow a pallet of drywall and obviously the suspension underneath won’t even blink, so no worries about using this thing as an actual truck. The heavy-duty bed rails and roll bar with window cage were added to help with the industrial-strength look, and it was all covered in spray-on bedliner material to make it virtually indestructible. There’s also a Class IV hitch out back, just in case you have something to tow, like an ocean liner or a building or something.
The interior also keeps the original Power Wagon spirit alive while adding modern creature comforts. A pair of charcoal gray leather buckets replace the original vinyl bench, and while the upgrade makes this Power Wagon strictly a 2-seater, the improvement in comfort is tangible. Other smart changes include a tilt steering column with a pretty wood-rimmed wheel, powerful Vintage Air A/C that’s neatly integrated into the dash, and a touch-screen AM/FM/satellite/iPod/Bluetooth stereo system that folds out of the center of the dash. Those handsome gauges have a vaguely aircraft look to them and monitor all the vitals, including exhaust gas temperature and boost, among others. Carpets help control noise and heat and give it a nicely trimmed look, and simple door panels and a standard fiberboard headliner keep the look 100% Dodge.
The 3.9-liter Cummins 4BT turbo diesel engine is a neat fit in the Power Wagon’s engine bay, requiring no cutting or pushing back of the firewall, so interior space is unaffected. There’s a mountain of torque available at any speed, and it’s arguably the most reliable internal combustion machine you could ever devise: if fuel is going into the cylinders, it’s going to run. This was a brand new crate engine purchased just for this build and with just over 5000 miles on it today, it’s barely broken-in. In fact, its first test was a cross-country trip from Pennsylvania to California, a trek of nearly 3000 miles during which it averaged a little over 25 MPG. The tidy diesel powerplant shows traditional Cummins tan paint and neat packaging of the accessories tight to the block, so service access is still quite good. There’s a giant radiator up front with an engine-driven cooling fan, and all the delicate parts are up high so you really can take it off-roading without worries.
Thanks to a NV3500 5-speed manual transmission, it cruises effortlessly at 65-70 MPH in overdrive, and there’s a low first gear that idles at a walking pace but we’ve found that for ordinary driving, it’s easier to just start in 2nd. Of course, there’s also a remarkable 2-speed transfer case that has three output shafts, one for each axle, and in regular driving, only the two rear axles are powered. It’s actually pretty impressive to glance under this truck and see the details that went into that articulating rear suspension and because of it, the rear of this truck just hovers over bumps, giving it a better than expected ride. There are 4.11 gears in the pumpkins, so it’s plenty powerful around town and we’ve learned that most drivers are surprised that this big, ancient 4x4 is also so quick. Fortunately, you also have a giant disc brake behind each wheel—six of them!—so braking power is beyond impressive, especially with Hydro-Boost power assist. Stock Power Wagon wheels are really the right choice on a build like this, and they’re wrapped in a set of giant 9.00x16 Superlug off-road tires which, remarkably, ride pretty well.
This is a very impressive truck. Obviously we haven’t probed the outer limits of its off-roading abilities, but we’re pretty sure nothing else can touch it. We have experienced it on the road, and unlike its predecessors, it’s comfortable, relatively agile, and easy to handle, and doesn’t need any special considerations out on the road. It’s bulletproof reliable, fun to drive, and few other vehicles we’ve driven attract this much attention. This truck successfully blends the original Power Wagon DNA with modern performance, giving you the absolute best of both worlds.
For more details and photos, please visit www.HarwoodMotors.com