1945 Dodge WC-58 Command Car

Darin Schnabel ©2018, courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

While the Army’s light-vehicle needs in World War II were met by Willys and Ford Jeeps, heavier trucks were largely the purview of Dodge. Over the course of the war, some 700,000 vehicles in the VC and WC series, from ½-ton to 1½-tons, were delivered to U.S. forces. Most numerous are the WCs, a nomenclature commonly believed to derive from “Weapons Carrier.” In fact, it was Dodge’s own company designation, dating from 1941 and unchanged for the duration.

This truck’s chassis number shows that it began life around April 1945 as a WC-52 “Truck, Cargo, ¾-ton, 4×4 w/Winch.” Michael Dingman purchased it in January 2000 from Green Valentine of Memphis, TN, a dealership operated by George Coleman. The previous owner was Tim Corliss of Sumner, WA, who had found it in 1995 in Fort Collins, CO, and restored it.

At restoration, it was configured as a WC-58 Radio Car, with a Signal Corps Radio installed in the rear seat area and whip antenna on the left side (though, unfortunately, the radio has since been removed). This involved using the body from a 1943 WC-56 or WC-57 Command Car. The restoration took some five years, including the sourcing of hard-to-find parts.