|This Dodge WC51 Weapons Carrier is a late build model, rolling off the production line on August 11th 1944. It was produced with the access body with the shorter left side to the rear body, to allow the driver to climb out past the spare wheel.|
Post war, the Dodge entered the service of the Norwegian Army, ending up in the Arctic Circle. Once in the service of the Norwegian Army, it seems that it wasn't used that much, but kept in the reserve vehicle fleet.
From my limited understanding of the Norwegian documents, It was purchased in September 1995, by a Norwegian enthusiast when the vehicle became surplus, and sold on again in July 1999. I think the mileage at this point was 8774. It was kept by this owner until Rupert imported the vehicle in 2005.
|Here is a copy of the original Dodge build Card.|
When Rupert first bought the truck, the mileometer worked, but the speedo needle didn't. When he came to remove the speedo for repairs, it appears that it had never been apart or out of the dash, suggesting the mileage shown is the true vehicle mileage.
The Norwegians did rebuild the Dodge twice during their ownership, and it was probably during these rebuilds that the 1944 truck was mixed up with earlier models. At some point it has also received a much earlier engine to that listed on the build card.
Rupert imported the Dodge, it remained in olive drab for a few years
before his interest in the 100th Bomb Group and flying control
operations, resulted in a change to the black and white checkers. The
full story of the conversion to a Flying Control vehicle can be found HERE.
After six years of ownership, Rupert reluctantly put the Dodge up for sale, looking for a more practical family military vehicle. After a week of being on the market, during which I didn't really give it any serious consideration, I had a change of heart, deciding I couldn't let someone else buy it and turn it back to green. The deal was done soon after, and the Dodge became my second military vehicle.
the body conversion.