The Dodges at Ernie’s

Last Saturday Scott Roberts and I met with Ernie Baals to salvage parts for the Hanson mechanical WC 27 project.  Ernie’s place is a history of 1940s Dodge with vehicles tucked away in old garages, buildings, and hidden away in the trees.Image

The car in the garage is a 1941 Plymouth Staff car. Most of the military accessories came from Mahalchik’s military scrapyard in New Jersey (Mahalchik’s article, Mahalchik’s Airfield with views of scrapyard)  Many parts for my Willys MB came from there as well, back in the days when Scott Roberts owned it. The next vehicle we saw was a beautifully restored 1940 Dodge VC5.ImageImage

Ernie and his buddy, Troy, estimate that they have 2,500 to 3,000 hours in this restoration.  There are only a handful of these trucks left. Many parts had to be carefully restored or altered to be correct for this Dodge.Image

As we explored the buildings Ernie showed us this Wc 55/52.  It had both German and Italian dataplates on it.  This Dodge was quite well used after the war.ImageImage

Not only were there beautifully restored and maintained vehicles in garages, there were many others outside.  Below are a couple of my favorites, an early Dodge being used as a plow truck, and a civilian Dodge Power Wagon.ImageImage

The Dodge below was converted into the ultimate tow truck decades ago.  When the truck was moved to Ernie’s they had to cut down a tree growing through it.ImageImage

Ernie believes this truck was built off of a Dodge command car chassis.  The cab interior was interesting with a dual set of gauges.  the second set may be because the owners could not find replacements for the first set.  Also there were many 1940s Plymouth sedan parts in the cab including a radio and dash console.ImageImage

While it may never see the road again, I would love to see this Dodge come roaring up to save a stranded vintage car or truck.  Whoever owned this must have put a great deal of time into this conversion.

This is only a small sampling of the Dodges at Ernie’s.  His collection reflects his and his father’s love of these vehicles.  Ernie was a wonderful host, a font of knowledge and he provided great parts to help our WC 27 along.  Soon I will post photos of the jeeps he has.

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