Anyone who knows me knows that I am not one to write about my thoughts on auction vehicles. Whenever a big-time auction is going on, the internet is abuzz with comments and images of various cars and what prices they garnered. I quietly sit back and watch. However, after one of those auctions, there was one particular truck that really grabbed my attention and demanded I show you guys. This 1965 Power Wagon.
But this particular vintage hauler was not just a simple recreation. Originally an Air Force vehicle, the original chassis and drivetrain were cast aside to make room for everything from a four-wheel-drive 2010 Ram 2500 Laramie. That means the original gas engine has been replaced with a 6.7-liter Cummins turbo-diesel engine and a 68RFE automatic transmission. While the drivetrain is stock, it still looks impressive within the confines of the Power Wagon engine bay.
While the exterior gives the perception of an immaculate restoration, if you look closely enough, you see details that set this one apart from others. Astute Mopar fans will notice the OEM vintage Mopar hubcaps, but do the wheels look OE? They are not, they are Black Rhino Armory wheels that were sandblasted, painted white, and appointed with 96 polished stainless flange-head bolts. The wheel combination lends a very unique, retro-mod style. Those wheels are wrapped with 37×13.50 BFGoodrich KM3 tires. Supporting the truck is a 3-inch lift complete with Rancho shocks.
For the body to fit properly with the late-model chassis, the front fenders were extended and a 500-series truck grille filler panel was installed to accommodate the taller intercooler and radiator. At the rear, the long-wheelbase Sweptline bed is also cut down and modified to fit correctly. The cab was sandblasted, epoxy primed, and received bodywork while the frame was likewise sandblasted and painted satin Chassis Black.
The real surprise comes when looking inside the truck. The original, very spartan interior was swapped for everything from a much more modern and comfortable 2010 Ram Laramie. One would not expect the interior to look like it came from the factory, but this melding of old and new is extremely well done. The dashboard, heated steering wheel, body control module, wiring, dual-zone climate control, trailer brake, and exhaust brake controls are all in place and functional.
The Laramie also donated its power-heated and ventilated front bucket seats, and custom door panels, overhead console and more all look like they could have come from the Laramie. The backseat is another custom creation that features a pair of bucket seats and a center console that again, look like it could have come from the Laramie. The headliner is covered in Ultrasuede and the entire cockpit is colored in rich brown with woodgrain and bright finishes throughout.
There is a plethora of detail incorporated into the truck that many would not expect. Small things like functioning Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) and Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) systems, RBP Power Steps with LED lighting, an Alpine head unit with Apple CarPlay, navigation, a backup camera, and a 5,000-watt 18-speaker stereo system, Hella headlights and fog lights, are just a few of the amenities found.
While I am not one to attend car auctions looking for my next ride, this Power Wagon is one that I really wish I could have purchased.