Early Dodge Military 4x4's

geodd
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Early Dodge Military 4x4's

Post by geodd »

New to the forum. Seems like alot of helpful folks here. I live in Maine, U.S.A. I've been interested in the early Dodge 4x4 trucks for some time. I'm interested in the 34', 38', 40' 1 1/2 ton models. I'm thinking I'd own one at some point. First things first, I'd like to see one or more. If anyone has any information on whereabouts or any advice, I'd appreciate it! Thanks.
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Gordon_M
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Have a look

Post by Gordon_M »

http://www.gwim2.pwp.blueyonder.co.uk/vc200401.htm

there's a list of half ton, 1.5 ton, and similar survivors there.

Not much pre-1940 stuff left.
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Re: Early Dodge Military 4x4's

Post by geodd »

Thanks. The 1940 VF models seem to be the best/easiest choice. I have one source that says that 796 1934 K39-x4usa models were built. The same source also states 1,700 1938 RF40-x4usa models were built and lastly 6,470 1940 VF models were built.
Though I have seen multiple VF photos, I've seen 1 RF40 photo and 4 K39 photos. No disrespect to the VFs out there, I see the 34' and 38' models as historically signifigant. Obviously, these government ordered vehicles were one of Washington's 1st telling signs that we were preparing to go back to Europe. These vehicles, fitted with dual tires fore and aft, were built for muddy battlegrounds not uncommon to WWI.
Are the military manuals available for the K39 and RF40??
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Gordon_M
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Manuals are out there, but ...

Post by Gordon_M »

No problem finding manuals, you just search E-bay all day, every day, and eventually, but ...

Although the manuals are worth having they are almost useless. They are thin, not comprehensive, nothing like the 1942-up manuals at all, as they are much more comprehensive. In general you can use the later Dodge manuals as guides on the earlier trucks.

I've seen one or two of the 1934 and 37 models pass through now and again, David DeWeese sold a particularly nice example of a 34 Chevrolet to Holland - it had been rebuilt by the army with a later engine and bed but was very nice. You can search back through this forum see images.

viewtopic.php?f=6&t=1201

If you want an early Dodge, just go out and find one. You can find a 1940 VC or VF without much trouble, but it is difficult to find an intact one so you are limited to buying several parts trucks to rebuild one.

If you only have the space for one truck, do not buy a chassis cab of any description as finding a loose rear body is almost impossible unless you are prepared to buy another complete truck. If you find an early Dodge that was a limited production quantity it may be worth buying it anyway.
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geodd
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Re: Early Dodge Military 4x4's

Post by geodd »

Thanks for the information.
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Fleetmaster
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My garage: 1940 Dodge VC-3
1940 Dodge VF404
1941 Dodge WD-21 Panel Medical Services
1941 Autocar U5044T
1941 Chevrolet Pickup 4x2 US Navy Recruitment Services
1942 Chevrolet Fleetmaster Staff Car
1943 MB
Location: Waterloo , Belgium / Bordentown, NJ

Re: Early Dodge Military 4x4's

Post by Fleetmaster »

Here's my 1940 Dodge VF 404 1 1/2 ton 4x4 truck, its restoration almost complete.

Included is a 1940 Life magazine cover of the same truck.

Image

Image

Image

Image

I have another VF404 in need of restoration but rather complete for sale

Image


Bart
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Re: Early Dodge Military 4x4's

Post by geodd »

I have a funny story involving your truck. I've been desiring a 1934, 1938, 1940 1 1/2 ton military Dodge for years. I've seen only a handful of pictures of the 30's models. I've seen dozens of the 40' model. The first time I saw your restored truck I mused, "Huh, I've not seen that model before. I wonder how I missed it." I was so used to the unrestored ones with different colored doors & panels(never mind I'd never seen one with a bed) I totally did not realize what your truck was until after reading the post. Felt pretty stupid.
You did a hell of a job on your truck....so good I didn't recognize it.
How hard was it to get your truck?? I can't imagine there's many of them in Belgium.
Also just out of curiosity, what's your top COMFORTABLE operating speed with this truck and what do you get for miles per gallon??
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Re: Early Dodge Military 4x4's

Post by Gordon_M »

I think Bart has a couple of complete VF's.

There is one dealer in Belgium, Jaap Rietveld, that used to visit the US a lot and bring back vehicles to sell on. My VC3 was in one batch, parked next to a VF that I'm sure is one of Bart's two.

They are not impossible to find, it's just that you'll find a dozen chassis cabs for each one that has a bed. I see about one complete VC or VF a year on E-Pay and maybe about twice as many chassis cabs.

You will find something if you look, but it might not be exactly what you are looking for. beware of passing by some rare and interesting complete restoration project becuase it isn't exactly what you set out to find.
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Re: Early Dodge Military 4x4's

Post by geodd »

Thanks I'll keep that in mind.
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My garage: 1940 Dodge VC-3
1940 Dodge VF404
1941 Dodge WD-21 Panel Medical Services
1941 Autocar U5044T
1941 Chevrolet Pickup 4x2 US Navy Recruitment Services
1942 Chevrolet Fleetmaster Staff Car
1943 MB
Location: Waterloo , Belgium / Bordentown, NJ

Re: Early Dodge Military 4x4's

Post by Fleetmaster »

Gordon is right, I have another Vf, complete for 90% which I'm putting up for sale.
The restoration of my Vf took 3 years and apart from the engine main bearings most missing parts were easlily found wit Roberts MP and Vintage PW. The cab is shared with most civil pickups from that period.
Here is a picture of the remaining one:

Image

As you can see, it still has its bed.


Geodd, the truck pulls easily beyond 40mph although speed is not what you're looking for.Its engine being the strongest in the series at 99 hp, it holds 40 mph at ease even going uphill. This contrasts sharply with my 1943 Chevrolet G7117 1 1/2 ton where the 235 straight six needs 3rd gear wher the VF goes in 4th.
Fuel was 12.6 miles to the gallon (30 liter/100KM) on a 250 km trip to Bastogne in freezing weather conditions.

Véhicule Militaire Magazine, a French MV magazine published bi-monthly, in its April issue published 5 pages covering the restoration of the Dodge VF.
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Re: Early Dodge Military 4x4's

Post by Gordon_M »

I think that's the one that was parked across from my VC 3 when I bought it.

You can see that the bed has come from another truck, but basically all the parts you need are there. if you could find one like that in the US ...

Gordon
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Re: Early Dodge Military 4x4's

Post by Ken J »

geodd:

Well, I would like to see you get a '30's model, just for the variety! I also have a VF, and finally have nearly all the parts together to begin restoration.
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Re: Early Dodge Military 4x4's

Post by geodd »

I'm amazed that there's so little interest in the 30's models. Not only are they interesting as Dodge's initial attempts at 4wd, they are historically signifigant. First U.S. part time 4wd vehicle made and made to run duallies front and back for muddy extremes makes this an interesting truck. I'd imagine most got run into the ground but I'd think a few people would have restored a couple of examples.
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194? K-38 Telephone Tool Trailer
194? Ben Hur Trailer
1968 Kaiser Jeep M35A2 with winch
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Re: Early Dodge Military 4x4's

Post by Ken J »

Hi Bart:
Two questions, if I may:

1) How different are the headlights on the VF's than those on the WC 1/2-tonners?

2) What model car is shown in the background of picture #2?

Thanks very much!
-Ken J
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Re: Early Dodge Military 4x4's

Post by Gordon_M »

1. Totally
2. No idea what model of Volvo it is ....

More information? Well the VC / VF /VK headlight is the standard 1939 civilian and 1939/40 military headlight. The base, pod, reflector, lens, and retaining rim is totally different from 1941-up lights as used on WCs.

The 1940 civilian trucks used the same headlight, but with a sealed beam insert which meant it needed a little pod on top for the running light, so 1940 civilian and 1940 military are different.

I'm sure other trucks and cars used them in 1939, and maybe back before that. Tried to find one on E-Bay as an illustration, but all the "1939" headlights on there at the minute are actually 1941-47 pattern.

One extra note here, the 1940 military headlight switch is actually different from the 1940 civlian one, as the military one is wired for a cutout circuit for the primitive blackout system.
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