1941 Dodge WC ½ TON 4X4 Weapons Carrier, Close Cab

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Vehicle Is On Loan From Art and Karen (Yoder) Bartlett

In the 20’s and 30’s the US Military bought vehicles that were sold to the civilian population. It was soon realized that the vehicles would not meet the military’s requirements for combat.

A contract bid for a line of specialized vehicles that would meet the demands of combat. The Dodge Division of Chrysler had been making trucks initially from the car frames, but in the late 30’s, the new trucks were made on dedicated truck frames. The 1936 Dodge truck impressed the military.

The military granted the Dodge Division a contract in 1939 for a series of trucks for a modern Army. Their first trucks for the military were the VC series. They were ½ ton trucks but were not very different from the civilian models. In 1940, the Dodge Division created a new dedicated line of military trucks.

This was the WC series, ½ ton 4×4 vehicles. These were a very successful design of specialized trucks that would be made from the fall of 1940 to May 1942.
The trucks were given different numbers to designate the specialized job the vehicle was to perform. The ½ ton 4×4 trucks would be numbered from WC-1 to WC-43 with the engine improved twice for performance.

There were gaps in the numbers from non 4×4 versions. Production would be ended in 1942 with the more successful Dodge WC series ¾ ton 4×4 trucks.

WC-1 Main distinguishing features:

  • Rounded front military vertical bar grill
  • Forward sloping hood with vertical hood side louvers (Butterfly Style) -Rectangular stamped metal “Dodge” name plates on both sides of hood -750 x 16 non-directional tires
  • Closed cab, same as the civilian model but all metal panels inside and out
  • Single speed transfer case -4.89 axle gear ratio
  • T207 CID flathead 6 cylinder engine -Civilian square gauges and knobs -Front Black-out marker lights were added to the headlights -Pick-up bed (with a canvas cover and frame – optional)

The WC-1 vehicle is a closed cab pickup with the T207 engine producing 78 horsepower.  It was manufactured in 1941 in Detroit at the Jefferson Avenue plant of the Dodge division of Chrysler Motors.  It was shipped to Fort Lewis, Tacoma, Washington State where it remained on the base until 1953.

In 1953 it was transferred to the Washington State National Guard where it remained until it was sold as surplus in 1963.  In 1963 it was purchased by a local farmer who used it until 1983 when the engine failed.  In 1987 it was purchased by Ross Rockstad of Seattle, Washington, who did a complete restoration using as many of the original components as possible.

The numbers stenciled on the vehicle are those assigned at Fort Lewis and represent the following: 32-D-57F indicates the 32nd infantry Division, 57th brigade of field artillery CN-7 indicates this is the 7th vehicle of a cannon division The number on the hood is the serial number of the vehicle.

This vehicle is on loan from Art and Karen (Yoder) Bartlett of Carmel, Indiana