Restoration Tale: 1970 Bumblebee Power Wagon


My Dodge Power Wagon is a 1970 Export Model that served in the Danish Military. When it was taken out of service, it was purchased and returned to the United States by Vintage Power Wagons in Fairfield, Iowa. I bought it from VPW in 2001 and immediately started the restoration process.

The entire Wagon was stripped to the bare frame and blasted with Black Beauty. All of the parts were shot with PPG MP-170 Epoxy Primer and then PPG MP-182 Primer. The frame was shot with PPG MOA Chassis Black and the rest of the truck was shot with PPG Base/Clear. The PW was stock PW except for the military bed and the 24-volt electrical system, which was converted to 12 volt. I located a stock Power Wagon Bed in New Jersey. It was in poor shape and required major work. While rebuilding the bed, I added a 3/16″ steel floor and had the entire bed shot with Line-X.

Next, I installed a fresh Chrysler 318 and a NP-435 transmission. The divorced NP-200 T-case was then reinstalled. The ring and pinion gears were changed to 4.89s. To handle these performance upgrades, 4-wheel power disk brakes were added as well as Saginaw Power Steering. The original Braden MU-2 winch, which is driveshaft driven, required a new Chelsea series 352 bi-directional PTO.

The tires put on the car were STA Superlugs 900×16 to provide for clearance in the engine compartment. Helitool Suspended pedals were also added to replace the original floor mounted pedals, thus, allowing the brake Master Cylinder to be moved from the frame location to the fire wall. Custom running boards were fabricated from 3/16″ diamond plate.

As for the extras, the colors applied were 2000 Nissan Solar Yellow and Ultra Flat Black and the seat was recovered with black snowmobile seat material. This was the only thing that I didn’t do myself. A GPS and a Motorola two-way radio was added and programmed for the Amateur Radio 2-meter frequencies.

Paul Mierop, Schroon Lake, NY


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