The truck you see here is the earliest known surviving Dodge Power Wagon, the 12th built in January of 1946. Its first owner was the Agricultural Engineering Department of Michigan State University. Its duties during nearly 30 years at MSU are unknown, but the truck was sold in the 1970s to an MSU employee who used it for a couple of decades, and then parked it for a couple more.
It ended up in the hands of Michael Mandzak, a product engineering manager for a Big Three automaker, in 2017. Michael has agonized over how to approach owning this truck. Though rough, it’s still a time capsule of originality. At press time, Michael had more or less decided to get it running and driving well, fix the worst of the bodywork, redo the original MSU markings on the door, redo the upholstery, and let the old truck proudly show off its well-earned patina. It generated a great deal of excitement at the 2018 Vintage Power Wagon Rally.