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 - 6 February 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, all now mixed liberally with alkaloid toxins, assorted pain killers, and a wide range of hops and grains. Not sure what to make of this rolling collection of bolts and sheet metal, but they typically roll in the same direction, and are are all dripping with something akin to charisma... or oil as the case may be.

List of things replaced/added on this M37: brake lines, master cylinder, brake cylinders, carburetor, exhaust manifold, plugs, fan belt, all gauges, all senders, speedo-cable, entire electrical harness (retained 24V system), coil, distributor, generator, generator power cable, voltage regulator, throttle/choke cables, fuel-filter, cowl-seal, vacuum lines and wiper motors, turn-signal switch/additional indicator light on R. rear, all draft seals, horn/switch, seat covers, emergency brake lever/linkage, mirrors, all glass and weather-stripping, 5 tires/tubes/wraps, fender welts, tailgate/chains, gas tank filler hoses, reflectors, 24V Siren, and lock-out hubs.




John Bizal and his parts, advice (& patience) and humor have always been excellent!



Great thanks are also due to GP-Auto and NAPA-Auto in Brookings, SD.
I wish to extend a well-deserved thank-you to the following businesses that
provided advice, parts, NOS parts, and boundless sympathy throughout the project.

FACILITY Materials Cost
MIDWEST MILITARY NOS truck parts 4000
Beachwood Cavas Works Seat covers 320
www.jeepanelsplus.com Tail Gate 430
DodgePowerWagon.com Truck Purchase 4500
     
 www.olive-drab.com  www.garbee.net  
 www.mvpa.org  www.militarystencils.com  m37.crwdesigns.com
     
Local Business Materials Cost
WW Tire Service Tire/split-rim mounting 350
Wallace Wade Tires Tires (5) / shipping 840
Midwest Glass Glass x 5 190
Runnings Fleet/Farm More odds than ends 1500
NAPA-AUTO Nuts andbolts 730
GP-AUTO Engine work 1300
Kevin Enevoldsen Sandblasting 1100
DONS Body Shop Body work/Paint 1800
RON's Auto Repair Brake/engine work 714
     


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.Tailgate was a disaster.


Arrival in Brookings, 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 progect was not an off-frame restoration by any means, but was enough to get at the few problems that existed.


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


The careful observer will notice that this M37 was not painted Olive Drab. Tailgate is a reproduction and it required work to get it to fit into the original hinges and braze-ons.


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

This truck is possessed by an electrical ghost that has an appetite for voltage regulators. This truck ate the original mechanical unit and then chewed its way through a solid state unit as if they were Oreo cookies. Of course, the truck chewed its' food very carefully and it took 6-8 months for it to process each regulator in turn. These can get pricey depending on your source.

BELOW: The aftermarket regulator that has not yet melted down.

So...What is Vogon?

The name VOGON (vanity license plates that now adorn my M37) was inspired by Douglas Adams' book,'Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy'. The book begins with Earth being destroyed by an alien race (Vogons) to make way for a Hyperspace Bypass. Their huge yellow spaceships are described as... "large yellow slab-like somethings which hung in space in exactly the same way that a brick doesn't".

You can work out the rest for yourself.

See my... 1942 Dodge WC-51