NOW THAT’S WHAT I CALL A ‘TUFF TRUCK!’
Faced with a stunning cost-is-no-object retro/modern mash-up of a classic post-war Dodge Power Wagon truck with contemporary twin-turbo Cummins diesel under the hood like this beauty made by US specialist Legacy Classic Trucks, our own idea of a Tuff Truck (think raised Safari on 33 muddies) kind of pales into insignificance, doesn’t it?
But don’t worry too much. Legacy is one of those bespoke US restoration shops which turns dreams into reality – for a price, in the case of the Power Wagon pictured, a cool $US350,000. Which kind of puts it out of reach on most Kiwi 4Wheelers – and in doing so makes even the trickest RB30 turbo Nissan or LS1 V8-converted ‘Saf’ look like something of a bargain.
We can all dream though, can’t we, which is why we’re running this little yarn on one of the Jackson Hole, Wyoming, company’s ‘production builds.’
You see, Legacy Classic Trucks specialises in full-size classic trucks with a particular focus on resto-modding the vintage Power Wagons famously used in World War II and the heavy-duty building projects that fueled the great westward expansion of the United States.
Led by founder Winslow Bent, the company takes these celebrated American workhorses and restores them from the ground up while modernising them underneath, the 1949 four-door Legacy Power Wagon being the latest example.
“They’re just amazing trucks, and they are absolute smile magnets when other drivers see them out on the open road,” says Bent. “This is the truck that helped build all the bridges, dams, and roads out West that everyone road trips across during the summer. We’ve even had Power Wagons that we’ve restored that have served in World War II.
“The best part about a Legacy Power Wagon build is that drivers get all the good looks of a classic restoration without any of the hassles. Drivers won’t have any trouble driving this truck out on the street, highway, or off-road. It can do anything.”
This particular truck is outfitted with a twin-turbo Cummins 4BT 8-valve turbo diesel engine capable of producing 260kW (350hp) of peak power and 813Nm (600 lbs.-ft.) of torque. The engine is mated to a five-speed manual transmission to produce a respectable 0 to 100km/h time and cruise on a sealed road at 130km/h (80mph) all day long.
It’s off the road that the 4WD Legacy Power-Wagon could really come into its own however, thanks to its Dana 60 and axles, ARB locking differentials front and rear and Warn locking hubs. With hardware like that combined with a decent lift plus Warn winch you could literally take it anywhere and expect it to get through tight spots that would stonker lesser vehicles – despite its sheer plus-size wheelbase (at 3657mm a Power-Wagon is over half a metre longer from front to rear wheel centre than a VW Amarok for instance) and 40" bead-locked Toyo tyres.
The new 1949 Legacy Power Wagon’s interior is also significantly upgraded with bespoke leather seats and grey German square weave carpeted floor mats. An iconic wood steering wheel and vintage-style gauges add a level of period correct retro styling to an otherwise modernised interior which includes a Bluetooth stereo, brand-new HVAC system, and USB charging ports.
Each Legacy Classic Trucks Power Wagon conversion requires well over 2,000 hours of build time to complete. The new 3402kg (7,500 lbs.) Legacy Classic Trucks 1949 Power Wagon custom is the company’s 108th vehicle. Pricing for a similarly refurbished as-new Power Wagons starts at $US350,000, with further upgrades available based on customer preferences.