US Dodge WC57 Command – lot 217

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Starting bid: 38,000.00

Drove Patton to his battlefields and the Allies to victory! – Class A restored and very original

DESCRIPTION
The WC-57 Command Car, what many consider to be the most desirable of the G-502 series. With two bench seats, easy entrance and exit (except for the driver because of the spare wheel), and great visibility, it is ideal for parades, convoying, or evening cruises. The 3/4-ton Dodge is probably second only to Jeeps in popularity with collectors of World War II military vehicles. There were a variety of trucks in this series — cargo trucks, ambulances, command cars, even antitank weapons.
This series had its roots in the earlier Dodge 1/2-ton G-505 trucks which, while nice, left the military wanting for something more. The “more” was to be delivered starting in 1942 with these 3/4-ton trucks that had the Dodge engineering designation “T214.” The G-502 series was standardized by OCM item 19107.
The style of these vehicles has made them very sought after by collectors and movie producers. It seems anyone with any importance in a war movie must ride in one of these trucks, probably because the open top allows the star to be seen and the dual bench seat creates a chauffeur-driven look. For the military, however, the purpose of this vehicle was to convey officers while providing them with an excellent field of view of the battle zone. Production of all these command types of trucks was discontinued in April 1944, in part due to their distinct appearance, drawing unwanted attention from the enemy.

This WC-57 Command car was purchased fully restored. The previous owner completely overhauled everything; the engine, gearbox, brakes and all seals, for example. He even ordered the leather for the seats in Austria, as the quality seems to be better and thicker there. Just before the Covid-19 period, the WC-57 Command Car was ready and unfortunately it has not been driven since then, while all the commemorations and memorial rides could not take place.

This WC-57 Command Car may not be the one in which General Patton was driven around the battlefields. However, it is a superb restored vehicle that drives around with the same flair!

© Tracks & Trade BV the Netherlands, December 2022

Introduction
The Dodge WC series was a prolific series of light four-wheel drive, 4WD, and medium six-wheel drive, 6WD, military utility trucks produced by Dodge / Fargo during World War II. Along with the 1⁄4-ton jeeps produced by Willys and Ford, the Dodge 1⁄2-ton and 3⁄4-ton made up nearly all of the light 4WD trucks delivered to the U.S. Army in WWII, with Dodge contributing approximately 337,500 4WD units (more than half than the jeep).

In contrast to the versatility of the highly standardized Jeep, which was mostly achieved through field modifications, the Dodge WC series came out of the factory in many different, purpose-built but mechanically uniform variants, much akin to the later family of High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicles. The WC series emerged from and was part of a more extensive family of trucks, with great mechanical similarities in parts, including open and closed-cab trucks and weapons carriers, (radio) command vehicles, reconnaissance vehicles, ambulances, transport vehicles, vans, and trucks for telephone installations and mobile emergency/field workshops.

The Dodge WC series was essentially built in two generations. From 1940 to early 1942, nearly 82,400 of the 1⁄2-ton 4×4 Dodge trucks were built. They were initially called the VC series, but the vast majority of them (beginning in 1941) were built as the WC series, and in more variants. Contrary to what Dodge’s nomenclature suggested, the 1941 WC models were a direct evolution of the 1940 VC models, retaining the U.S. Army’s G-505 Ordnance Corps Supply Catalog number.

In 1942, the payload was increased, and the trucks became the shorter G-502, 3⁄4-ton, 4×4 Truck (Dodge), and the longer 1943, G-507, 11⁄2-ton, 6×6 personnel and cargo truck (Dodge), confusingly retaining Dodge WC model codes. Although the majority of Dodges built were “Weapons Carriers,” “WC” was not an abbreviation of this, but a general Dodge model code. Initially “W” for 1941, and “C” for a (rated) payload of half a ton. However, the “WC” model code was simply retained after 1941. For both the 3⁄4-ton and 11⁄2-ton 6×6 Dodges. Although the 3⁄4-ton had significant design improvements, they retained about 80% interchangeability of parts and service parts with the 1⁄2-ton models, an essential requirement of the Army for maintenance and serviceability of the trucks in the field.
Dodge was the U.S. Army’s main supplier of 1⁄2-ton trucks, and the only supplier of both 3⁄4-ton trucks and 11⁄2-ton 6×6 trucks in World War II. With more than a quarter of a million units built through August 1945, the G-502 3⁄4-ton were the most common variants in the WC series.

Variants
All in all, not counting mechanically related variants, the WC series alone involved 52 model versions (thirty 1⁄2‑ton 4×4, eight 1⁄2‑ton 4×2, twelve 3⁄4‑ton 4×4, and two 11⁄2‑ton 6×6 models). The creation of vehicles from a common platform in such a variety of designs, with payloads ranging from 1 to 11 tons, was unparalleled and is considered an extraordinary achievement of the American automobile industry in World War II.
Designed in April 1942 from the Dodge WC3 model, the Dodge Weapons Carrier, model 51 and 52 (identical version but equipped in addition to a Braden winch of 2.27 tons) Allow the Allies to have a robust and reliable means of transport whose chassis is the basis of many other models. Equipped with off-road tires, the Dodge WC can also carry weapons and ammunition (as their name suggests) and personnel as long as wooden benches can be installed in boxes. In 1944 alone, 63.133 WC vehicles were produced by Dodge.

Several models are created from the chassis of the WC 51: the Dodge ambulance (WC 54 then WC 64KD), command vehicle – or WC-control unit (WC 56 and WC 57 for the model fitted with the winch) or signal vehicle (WC 58). Finally, a Dodge transport troops, whose box is extended to accommodate more soldiers, is developed in 6×6 version: WC 62.

The Dodge WC are particularly present during the Battle of Normandy and are very suitable for sometimes muddy country roads. It is the most famous vehicle on the field after the Jeep. Thus, it is widely used again after the Second World War and in many armies like those of France or of Great Britain.

WC-56 and WC-57
The WC-56 and WC-57 cars were characterized by the possibility of all-wheel drive. The Dodge WC-56 played a similar role in the US Army as the Willys Jeep – it was a light reconnaissance car and a staff car. However, it had worse off-road maneuverability than the Jeep and a larger silhouette, which negatively influenced its popularity among soldiers. Dodge WC-57 was identical to the WC-56, but it had a Braden MU2 winch mounted on the front bumper. The Dodge WC-56 and WC-57 was used extensively by the US military in 1941-1945, for example during the campaigns in Italy (1943-1945) and in Normandy (1944).

The WC-56 and WC-57 had an important and profound effect on the U.S. Army’s ability to wage a war to defend freedom and it was embodied in the command reconnaissance type. Equipped with a radio and its rugged 4×4 drive system, these ‘WCs’ were able to carry, relay and find the enemy wherever they were located. It allowed the U.S.

Army to coordinate its operations and execute its mission to liberate oppressed regions of the world, from Europe to Southeast Asia.

The difference between models WC-56 and WC-57 is that the latter is equipped with a power take-off and a drive shaft for the winch mounted at the front of the vehicle. Both models can be identified by the open type body with folding top and side curtains. The electrical system of both models is 12-volt with battery located on the right running board and provision is made for the installation of radio equipment behind the front seat.

Equipped with four-wheel drive and a torque-rich six-cylinder engine, General Patton’s WC-57 Command Car was a proverbial tank that could hold its own on Europe’s war-ravaged topography. Meanwhile, the fitment of a Browning machine gun ensured the big Dodge could take out any enemies that managed to get in its way.

It has an armor flap that shields the radiator, as well as half-inch armor plating under the floor. A Browning M2 .50-caliber machine gun was added, as was a drop-down tailgate for extra space and tool storage. The Command car also has high-volume horns, a siren, and a pair of metal flags up front that indicate “three-star general” and “3rd Army HQ.” Patton was promoted to full General (four-star) shortly before the end of the war.

Patton’s wartime philosophy was to “attack and attack” until exhaustion and then “attack again,” and this tough-as-nails Dodge WC-57 command car certainly abided by the same doctrine: attacking day-in and day-out and driving (literally) Patton and his Third Army to eventual success in World War II. It’s a piece of military history that’s far less complicated, but equally as fascinating, than the man it was reportedly made for.

Location: & Collection

Current location of this object is Turnhout area, Belgium.
Local collection is available for this lot.

Depending on the destination the Buyer shall obtain an International Import Certificate / End User Certificate. Some of the items listed in the auction may require special licenses or permits or existing documents must be prepared for export. If this is relevant, Tracks & Trade will take care of this for you, with the applicable costs being passed on to the successful bidder
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This object is offered by Tracks & Trade pursuant to consignment sale on behalf of a private individual. Therefore, the margin scheme will be applicable, so no sales tax (VAT) over the hammer price will be applicable. For more info see General Conditions of Sale Article 9.

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General Conditions of Sale

General Conditions of Sale Version 2.0 dated 29-04-2022 are applicable


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Model

Dodge WC57 Truck, Command Reconnaissance, 3/4 ton, 4×4 with Winch (G502), also called ‘Dodge Command’.

Manufacturer

Dodge Motor Company (Mount Road Truck Plant Detroit)

Production figures

6,010 units built in the period 1942–1944

Color

Olive drap

Net Weight

5,670 lbs. (2.572 kg)

Gross Weight

7,175 lbs. (3.250 kg)

Crew

4 (Driver; Co-Driver and 2 Passengers)

Engine

Dodge T214, 6 cylinders in line, 230 cu in (3.8 liters) side-valve engine

·      76 hp @ 3,200 rpm.

·      180 lbs.-ft (244 Nm) at 1,200 rpm

Transmission

Manual operated 4 forward / 1 reverse with dual ratio transfer case

Suspension

Live beam axles on leaf springs.

Speed

53 mph (85 km/h)

Winch

Braden MU2 7,500 lb (3,402 kg) capacity at the front bumper

Dimensions

Length:  169 ½ in / 4,31 m

Width:      78 ¾ in /  2,00 m

Height:     81 ¾ in /  2,08 m

Tire size

9.00-16

Electrical installation

12 Volt

Date of Delivery

July 1942

Chassis / VIN Nr.

81543365

Engine number

T214-192754

Registration

U.S.A 20356973-S

Remarks

Class A restoration

Road Licence

Yes: French; ED-181-RJ

Condition / Remarks

Vehicle is recently fully restored and will be delivered very good running order.

Source: Tracks & Trade

This recently fully restored Command Car is a fantastic machine which was used on all theaters of the WW2.

Restoration is executed on a very high level, with almost 100% original parts, which makes it very desirable and highly reliable!

Even de windows are genuine WW-II!

Starts on the button and comes in great condition. Will be delivered fully serviced and with a French road licence!

This all is reflecting the price level.

Estimated value: between Euro 45.000 and 55.000,- (December 2022)