WC Chassis number

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dougieboy1
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WC Chassis number

Post by dougieboy1 »

Hi All,

been a long time since i had a Dodge and am looking at buying another one to continue scratching the Dodge itch.

The vehicle i am looking at is a WC56 restoration project. The chassis number however, i dont recognise from any of the literature. It is 814XXXXX. it is also not factory applied as the punched digits are randomly spaced and not in the correct font.

The history of the vehicle is it is a 'remanufacture' for the French army, dated 1950 based on the dash plaque. The original French 'remanufacture' dash plaque and the chassis stamping are the same. It was used as a garage recovery truck from the 1970's until the current owner bought it 45 years ago.

Original body work is still present,as is the original body tag which is a very low number - 393 - implying a very early production.

Was it normal for the French to renumber the chassis?

Did dodge ever use chassis numbers starting 814?

Thanks

Andrew
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Gordon_M
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Re: WC Chassis number

Post by Gordon_M »

It's possible, but I don't have the charts here.

They went from seven to eight digits in 1941, and the earliest eight digit number for a T214 3/4 ton I would expect to be 815xxxxx, but if it is really early ...

As I understand it the chassis came from the chassis plant with only the chassis PART number on ( halfway down the right hand rail ) and the chassis numbers were stamped by hand at the start of the line. If it was a very early eight digit number there may be a case for it being hand stamped.

An early truck would have a lot of early differences, but they may have been standardised out by the French during a rebuild. Get the chassis PART number and check to see if that matches. If your potential purchase is registered with paperwork you may be fine, if it just come with a bill of sale you may have difficultly proving the age. Somewhere I have the complete chart which will define the first valid production 3/4 ton WC chassis number but it is hundreds of miles away.
Gordon, in Scotland

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Re: WC Chassis number

Post by dougieboy1 »

Thanks Gordon,

the Becker book lists many ranges of WC Dodge chassis numbers, i can see 811XXXXX, 813XXXXX, 815xxxxx and 816xxxxx. But nothing in the form 814xxxxx

All WC56 noted are in the 81500001 and upwards range.

To your point, the French rebuild clearly edited out some early features - i can see it is fitted with the later steel steering wheel, not the bakelite early. Conversely, it has the hole for the voltmeter (and the voltmeter dash tag, but no voltmeter) found in early vehicles. All of the electrical items are correctly tagged wartime 12v parts - generator and regulator. The horn is the late no cone 12v etc.

I will ask the owner if he can get me the chassis part number.

I guess what i am trying to find out is whether an 814xxxxx chassis relates to some civilian or post war Dodge chassis which has simply had a command body fitted?

Andrew
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Re: WC Chassis number

Post by dougieboy1 »

i found what i suspect is the reference list you mentioned. No civilian or military Dodge Trucks had a chassis number that took the form 814xxxx.

So either, the chassis was restamped imaybe original chassis number was unreadable and mis read as a result) or it is the chassis of something else with a command car body on it.

From the photos, everything seems to be WC, it is just this mystery chassis number....
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Re: WC Chassis number

Post by juan15 »

Hola,

Did Dodge ever use chassis numbers starting at 814?:

Yes, 1/2 Ton (Capacity Rating), LC (Model Code Dodge) (Model Built for United States Government), T-23-A-116 (Engineering Code and Wheelbase), 8.143.376 to 8.143.559 (Starting Serial N. - Closing Serial N.) (There are more for this model, with other chassis numbers), 1936 (Year Built).

Did Dodge ever use chassis numbers starting at 814?:

Yes, 81.335.001 to 81.434.685, WF. There are more models, which are not interesting (They are all civilians and Dodge did not repeat chassis numbers).

Series WC-51 to WC-61 and WC-64, 81.529.001 to 81.784.196.

It must be taken into account that the first 5,380 chassis, from 81,529,001, are of the WC-55 model.

The first WC-56 that I have on the list, is from June 1, 1942, with body number 127, chassis 81.539572. the next WC-56 is from June 4, 1942, body number 361, chassis 81.539.572.

If your body number is 393 and it is original, it is very close to those dates and to those chassis numbers.

It is very likely that the WC-56 model began to be manufactured in May 1942, since the number 127 of WC-56 was delivered on June 1.

Both the WC-56 and the WC-57, added in the number of body. We have the WC-57, the second unit, which was delivered on June 15, 1942 and already had the body number 860, with the chassis 81,540,914. Everything seems to indicate that the WC-57 model began to be delivered in mid-June.

The body number of the WC-58 model is separate. We find, on my list, with body number 54, from June 11, 42, chassis 81.540.613.

Although it is a bit confusing, it is very simple. If you want any clarification, ask and I will see if I can answer... :D

To complicate this explanation a bit more, there is a number engraved on the motor area, which is the body manufacturer's part number, Budd Mfg. Co., Detroit Michigan.

This number was put by Budd and the funny thing is that all three models, the WC-56, 576 and 58, used this body. In this case the numbers are in progressive order, but counting the three models. This Budd number does not come on the Build Card.

If this number is on your WC-56, then it is 56 or 57 or 58, at least something is something.

There is another number engraved on the chassis, in the outer center of the left side member, which is the chassis reference.

Well, the WC-56 and WC-58 models bear the number 921681 and the WC-57 the 922825.

Anyway, I hope it has served you for something.

Best Regards,

Juan.
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Re: WC Chassis number

Post by juan15 »

hola,

chasis 81 538 697...body nº 127.
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Re: WC Chassis number

Post by juan15 »

Another thing, if the plate on the body is 393, what number is in front of it? 4219 or 4229 ?.
4219 = WC-56 or WC-57.
4229 = WC-58
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Re: WC Chassis number

Post by dougieboy1 »

hola Juan,

thanks for this. The body tag is 4219 so at least the bodywork is a command car.

In the photos of the chassis, it seems to be a WC so i am assuming that the number, for whatever reason, was restruck incorrectly from the original.

I am very interested by the tag numbers you state as this would suggest the body at least is a very early command car.

I presume you are the same Juan with the chassis study on ww2dodge forum? I have been reading this. Your ability to source and interpret data is impressive!!

Regards

Andrew
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Re: WC Chassis number

Post by dougieboy1 »

Juan,

do you know if the body tag number can be used to identify a chassis number using the build cards? i.e. a search on body tag number will provide the chassis number?

Thanks
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Re: WC Chassis number

Post by Gordon_M »

dougieboy1 wrote: Wed Sep 23, 2020 4:29 pm Juan,

do you know if the body tag number can be used to identify a chassis number using the build cards? i.e. a search on body tag number will provide the chassis number?

Thanks
I don't think so. It's worth noting that at the part number level, the Weapon Carrier and Command Car chassis were identical, so all the special parts were just bolt on. As far as I know just two chassis part numbers for the 98" wheelbase chassis, winch and non-winch
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Re: WC Chassis number

Post by juan15 »

Danielle is currently out of work, due to covid-19. A few months ago I had a similar case and I asked her, but she still has not answered.

However, Tom Wolboldt told me NO, that Danielle only allowed chassis number.
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Re: WC Chassis number

Post by dougieboy1 »

the seller checked and it has a valid Dodge WC51/56/58 chassis part number, 921681.

I am surmising that the original chassis number was overstamped by the french during the rebuild and the most likely reason for the 814xxxxxx prefix is a misread of 816xxxxx. And as it is definitely a french army rebuild, an early body was put on a later chassis during that process.

From the available build dates and numbers records, i think the body is June 42 and the chassis most likely to be March 43. When i get the truck, i shall thoroughly clean the chassis stamping area and see if any of the original stamp is visible in order to resolve this. I did think about getting the chassis xrayed to show up original stamps but i have not been able to find anywhere that offers this.

Anyway, looking forwards to getting the CC and rebuilding it. Watch this space.

Andrew
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Re: WC Chassis number

Post by Gordon_M »

Seems reasonable Andrew. Consider the possibility it was originally 8154xxxx and someone forgot the 5.
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Re: WC Chassis number

Post by dougieboy1 »

Good thought gordon. I shall bear that in mind when i do my exploration of the chassis.....