Well known for their rugged trucks since their formation in 1914, Dodge were quick to start making the WC models for WWII under US war department contracts.
The Dodge WC series was a range of light military trucks produced by Dodge and Fargo during World War II. The series included weapon carriers, telephone installation trucks, ambulances, reconnaissance vehicles, mobile workshops and command cars. They were replaced after the war by the Dodge M-series vehicles. WC was a Dodge model code: W for 1941 and C for half-ton rating. The C code was retained for the ¾ ton and 1½ ton 6×6 Dodges.
WC models 1 to 60 were part of the 1/2 ton range and were 80% interchangeable in service parts with the later 3/4 ton models.
- Drive: 4×4
- Wheelbase: 116 in (123 in for ambulances)
- Track width: 59.375 in
- Tires: 7.50×16
- Brakes: Hydraulic
- Engine: 6 cyl, in-line, L-head
- Transmission: 4 forward/1 reverse, manual
- Transfer case: Single speed
The Dodge G-502 ¾ ton 4×4 trucks were first introduced in late 1941. Standard vehicles in the ¾ ton 4×4 class were the WC-51 / WC-52 Weapons Carrier, Telephone Installation Trucks, WC-53 Carryall, and the WC-54 Ambulance. In the cargo trucks, the WC51 was identical to the WC52 but did not have the front bumper-mounted winch
Many of these Dodge wartime vehicles were very successful, but there were a couple that were not, and did not last long. These have become very popular and collectable among a select type of car collector.
Among the most popular of these is the WCW56 3/4 ton truck. Designed for command and reconnaissance missions, the vehicle was similar to the Willys Jeep. The 4X4 Dodge was not as liked with the troops due to it’s weight and lack of manoeuvrability. The truck’s primary duty as a Staff Car for Command and Control, transporting officers to and from command headquarters and reconnaissance patrols. The WC56 was easily targeted by the enemy because of it’s unique profile and was phased out.
The W56, W57, and W58 were very similar to each other. The WC57 was equipped with a winch while the WC58 was designated as a radio car, with a radio set in the rear seat area. One of these WC56 trucks sold for $36,000 (£27,800) at auction in 2008 and another sold for $27,000 (£21000) in 2012. Few of these trucks exist today and their value will probably stay in this price range.