BEAST MODE
Diesel World|January 2021
A 12-VALVE' 49 POWER WAGON ON 39'S
MIKE MCGLOTHLIN
What happens when you treat the baddest 1-ton 4x4 of all time to a 12-valve Cummins swap, Dana 60 and 14-bolt axles, and completely modernize the cab? You get this one-of-a-kind ’49 Dodge Power Wagon owned by Carl Van Rooy. Turning to friend, fabricator, and off-road specialist John Conrad of J.B.’s 4x4, the project took root, got underway, and was ready for delivery 13 months later. In Conrad’s care, he and his crew made the war-born Power Wagon much more than the tractor it essentially was when it left Chrysler’s Warren, Michigan assembly line some 70 years ago.

RESTORATION & REPOWER

The cab-off restoration, powertrain swap, and drivetrain upgrades all took place at Conrad’s Kingman, Indiana facility, with most outsourced work on select components and pieces primarily being performed at local businesses. The Power Wagon’s original frame was powder-coated and modified to accommodate repositioned motor, transmission, and fuel tank mounts, along with relocated leaf spring brackets. PPG provided the base paint that’s about as close to the old Ponchartrain Green as they come.

MAKING THE CUMMINS FIT

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