There is a fine line between a hobby and a severe mental illness.

1953 Dodge M37 Weapons Carrier

Please allow time for images to load. Updated - August 2018

The thought of sitting in my basement, surrounded by solvent fumes, while drinking beer, and building scale-model plastic aircraft, for the next couple of years seemed harmless enough. This solipsism was rudely side-tracked one evening when one of the 'voices inside my head' instructed me to rebuild a 1953 Dodge M-37 3/4 ton cargo truck (#34594). The project subsequently bloated into a frankenstinian transmogrification of my childhood preoccupation with erector sets and tinker toys, now mixed liberally with alkaloid toxins, assorted pain killers, and a wide range of hops and grains. Not sure what to make of this collection of bolts and yellow sheet metal, but they typically roll in the same direction, and are are all dripping with either oil... or charisma.

List of things replaced/added on this truck: brake lines, master cylinder, brake cylinders, carburetor, exhaust manifold, plugs, fan belt, all gauges, all senders, speedo-cable, entire electrical harness (retained the 24V system), coil, distributor, generator, generator power cable, voltage regulator, throttle/choke cables, fuel-filter, cowl-seal, vacuum lines, wiper motors, turn-signal switch, indicator light on R. rear, draft seals, horn/switch, seat covers, emergency brake lever, mirrors, glass, weather-stripping, 5 tires/tubes/wraps, fender welts, tailgate/chains, gas tank filler hoses, reflectors, 24V Siren, and lock-out hubs.


As advertised Nov. 2005, by Ryan Gronevelt, New Prague, MN. Brush truck - Lakewood IA, 21776 original miles (DodgePowerwagon.com

Original bed had been modified to carry a water tank, but was replaced with an intact bed by Gronevelt before sale. This particular tailgate was a disaster.

Arrival in Brookings SD, ready for breakdown (Dec. 2005). Note replacement bed, virgin tool cabinet, and 'carbon-monoxide generator'.

Back from sandblasting, ready for new brakes, brake lines, tires, lights, and electrical harnesses.

This project was not an off-frame restoration by any means, but was enough to get at the few problems that existed.

Looks thread-bare here, but everything was solid, with little or no rust.


Tailgate is a reproduction and it required
percussive effort to get it to fit into the
original hinges and braze-ons.


The careful observer will notice that this M37 was not painted olive drab.

New glass all around, gauges, senders, boots, seat-covers, horn button/wiring, and repro info plates

Next up... 1942 Dodge WC-51

I wish to also extend a well-deserved thank-you to other businesses that provided advice, parts, NOS parts, and boundless sympathy throughout the project.

Midwest Military
Beachwood Canvas Works
Military stencils
Jeep panels
Wallace Wade Tires
Midwest Glass
Ron's Auto Repair
GP-Auto
Runnings Fleet/Farm
NAPA-Auto
DONS Body Shop
Kevin Enevoldsen


John Bizal's advice, exceptional patience, and good humor have always been excellent and much appreciated!



Great thanks are also due to Ron's Auto, NAPA, and GP-Auto in Brookings, SD.

So... What is Vogon? The vanity license plate on this M37 was inspired by Douglas Adam's book, Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy'. The book begins with Earth being destroyed by an alien race (Vogons). Their huge, slab-like, yellow spaceships are described as...

You can work out the rest for yourself.




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