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Big Kid’s Toy: 1940 Dodge Wrecker


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image: https://barnfinds.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/1940-Dodge-Front-View-Modified.jpg




image: https://barnfinds.com/wp-includes/images/blank.gif

blank.gifBy Jeff Bennett


If you spend any time surfing craigslist for your next hole to throw money down, you’ve undoubtedly seen that big trucks are becoming popular.  With increased numbers of them being offered at prices that are temptingly low, medium and heavy duty trucks seem to be catching the eye of value conscious shoppers.  In their day, these trucks may have seemed large.  However, this illusion goes away when one of these old timers is parked next to what today passes for a 1/2 ton pickup.  Faithful reader Fred H. has discovered a great example of a big truck at what might be a reasonable amount of money.  This fascinating 1940 Dodge wrecker can be found on craigslist in Vermont, but the seller strangely hasn’t stated a price.  While the ad is sparse, this old work horse may end up being a real bargain if you are a savvy negotiator.



image: https://barnfinds.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/1940-Dodge-Drivers-Side-View-Modified.jpg



Dodge trucks from the immediate prewar period have exactly the right Art Deco looks.  This truck has that perfect combination of curves and straights, and the look is enhanced by a wrecker body that blends well with the original styling of the cab and chassis.  The gentle curve downward to a bob tail enhances the looks of this heavy hauler.  The stainless rail that follows the line of the body is like a cherry on top.


image: https://barnfinds.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/1940-Dodge-Rear-View-Modified.jpg



Unfortunately, not everyone will fall as in love with the wrecker mechanism in the back.  My guess is that it could be removed without too much fuss.  You could argue that it would be a sin to separate the mechanism from the bed.  Not many prewar wreckers have survived.  Dodge made thousands of wreckers during the war, and many were sold by the U.S. Army as surplus after the conflict ended.  Why would a service station keep an older one that was likely worked to death through the war years if a newer one could be bought for peanuts?  Furthermore, wrecker bodies were often transferred to newer trucks when the old one was too worn out to continue.


image: https://barnfinds.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/1940-Dodge-Passenger-Side-View-Modified.jpg



Thankfully this truck has escaped that fate.  It may be well worn, but nearly all of the mechanical parts are still available through aftermarket vendors.  Powered by the familiar MOPAR flathead six cylinder that was known for its low end torque, this brute has been treated to a recent valve job.  Despite this, the seller says nothing about the engine running or its condition.  The flat tire on the passenger side rear outside rim probably answers that for us.


image: https://barnfinds.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/1940-Dodge-Winch-630x473.jpg



For being a Vermont truck, it seems that rust isn’t a big problem.  Since they were made for work not play, trucks like this one were built of heavier gauge steel.  In an era before cowboy Cadillacs hauling personal watercraft to the lake, trucks like this one were Clint Eastwood tough.  Heavy springs and granny gears ruled the day.


image: https://barnfinds.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/1940-Dodge-Interior-View-630x473.jpg



Inside, the interior looks to be remarkably well preserved.  No rust is visible in either the dash or the floor.  A heater is present, as is a finger chopper fan.  Even the steering wheel looks free from cracking.  For those of you who have never driven such a truck, the steering wheel is big for a reason.  There was no power steering fitted to these trucks.  This is how you got an upper body workout back in the day.

The only thing wrong here is the lack of an asking price.  It is almost if the seller is carefully screening the potential buyers to weed out rat rodders and dreamers.  Commercial grade trucks don’t get restored as much, but nobody can deny their neat practicality.  Trucks like this one are a favorite among enthusiasts.  As kids we played with toy versions of big trucks, and it is hard to resist the call to play with them again as adults.

Read more at https://barnfinds.com/big-kids-toy-1940-dodge-wrecker/#CDrXl36y8GkhcQOH.99
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