Welcome to the Dodge M37 Restoration Site
For the world to see I am providing details on the successes and failures of restoring my 1953 Dodge M37 3/4
ton truck. By no measure am I an expert on the subject, but I have learned a lot by doing this, and if I can help
you out in any way, drop me a line.
The particular truck I purchased had been sitting at a farm, basically abandoned hosting many wasp nest, and a
family of rodents. The truck tires were rotted out, a maple tree had started to grow under the truck. At the time of
purchase the truck was about 70% original, the electrical system had been converted from 24 volts to 12 volts,
there were no troop seats or racks in the bed, and the front fenders and rear fenders had significant rust
through. The engine, which is original would turn over, but not run.
My goal has been to restore the truck as complete as possible, representative of the USAAF, as a reminder to
the public of the sacrifices our service men and women had made over the years to protect the values that we
Americans hold dearly, and as a tribute to the veterans.
A little about me:
I have been interested in military history for quite some time, and
have considered myself to be fairly good with tools, and thought the
restoration of a war horse might be a fun and learning project. It has
been! With the exception of sand blasting the bed and the wheels,
the entire project has been completed by me, learning, "on the job"
I am a member of the Military Vehicle Preservation Association, and
the Ohio Motor Pool, MMVA, Red Bull and am currently serving on
the Board of Directors for Friends of Reclaiming Our Heritage, an
annual tribute to the veterans and current service men and women at
the VA Hospital Ground in Milwaukee Wisconsin
History does not long entrust the care of freedom to the weak or timid. -- President Dwight Eisenhower
Download a free M37 model right here!
This is a paper model in Adobe format. Simply
click the picture, to get the PDF file
I recommend using heavier card stock to build
Please note this truck will not rust, but it will
become soggy if exposed to snow or rain.
Lessons I learned:
Never transport a truck that weighs 6000 pounds on a trailer designed to carry 3000 pounds, has a
significant stressing effect to the tires, springs, and nerves.
Make sure to replace the gasket on the oil filter. ('nuff said)
Label everything as you take it off, take photos, make sketches, label everything!
Ask for advice, there is a wealth of information on the internet, I am constantly amazed at how willing
others are to help. I hold in high regard anyone who has restored a military vehicle before the wide spread
use of the internet. I was able to find an obscure part for my truck in less than 5 minutes of searching
online, shipped to my house in three days. In talking to a gentleman who restored a 1944 Dodge WC, he
told of how he would spend evenings on the phone, making calls all over the world just to find basic parts,
then wait weeks and months to find someone willing to sell him one.
Do not hold your hand behind sheet metal when drilling....
Grab stuff when it is available. It may not be there when you come back the next day, or the next week. It
is always a gamble.
Laugh at your mistakes, seek medical attention, then learn from your mistakes, you'll have plenty of time
A hot weld spatter when it lands on your head makes an interesting crackling sound as it burns into your
I am convinced that there are garage Gnomes living in my garage, their sole purpose is to leap from their
hidden hiding spaces, grab a screw or nut, and run off with it. They must work in teams, because they are
able to move large pieces quickly and efficiently while I am not looking.