The renowned Barrett-Jackson auto auction had quite the auction lot recently – a restored liaison plane and Dodge military vehicle. Donated as part of a charity fundraiser, these items brought in $1M. The money raised is really nice, but these lots were pretty special!
The 43rd Annual Scottsdale Auction held on Jan. 12-19, 2014, had both lots #3008 and #3008.1. The first lot was a restored Cessna ’59 L-19 Bird Dog liaison plane and the second was a ’58 Dodge M37 Utility vehicle. Barrett-Jackson says that the 1959 model L-19E Bird Dog was donated by Cessna Aircraft Company with special thanks to experts at Kansas Aircraft Corporation, who are responsible for sourcing the plane. Cessna, Kansas Aircraft Corporation and Okoboji Classic Cars partnered to bring a restored L-19 Bird Dog and Dodge M37 truck to the 2014 Barrett-Jackson auction.
“Barrett-Jackson takes pride in our long history of charitable efforts,” said Craig Jackson, Chairman and CEO of Barrett-Jackson, said in a press release. “Yet any time where the vehicles crossing the block benefit the men and women of our armed forces that is a special day at Barrett-Jackson.”
Cessna’s L-19 Bird Dog, a liaison and observation plane that entered service in 1951, was known to be “worth its weight in gold” for its artillery spotting, medevac operations and search and rescue missions, according to the Barrett-Jackson description. The L19 Bird was renowned for its maneuverability and performance while on the front line. Praised by pilots for its dependability in life-and-death situations, the L-19 Bird Dog was soon incorporated into the arsenal of other military branches at home and abroad.
In addition, a 1958 Dodge M37 three-quarter pickup truck restored and donated by Okoboji Classic Cars of West Okoboji, Iowa, a Cessna customer. The M37, used extensively by the United States Military as a utility vehicle, was known for its solid performance and field reliability says Barrett-Jackson. Together this duo is an impressive piece of both military and aviation history that will not only add substantial interest to any collection, but will also honor the work of one of our country’s most respected veteran’s organizations.
“My family and I are extremely thankful to AFF, Barrett-Jackson, Cessna and Okoboji for the opportunity to help raise awareness and support for veterans like myself who suffer from PTSD,” said Gunnery Sergeant Sam Deeds said in a press release. “It’s not just the veteran who needs support, but the family of the veteran as well. With the funds raised at the Barrett-Jackson Auto Auction Scottsdale and the donations made, AFF can provide the support needed for veterans and their families. It’s time to support those who defend our freedoms; please help save our troops.”
The proceeds from the auction will benefit The Armed Forces Foundation which offers vital assistance to active-duty and retired military personnel, National Guard, Reserve Components and military families. This includes direct financial assistance, therapeutic recreational and outreach programs, hospital dinners and national education initiatives. With the launch of our Help Save Our Troops campaign, the AFF proactively educates Americans about the hidden wounds of war, including Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and advocates for those troops and veterans who have suffered these hidden wounds.
“Lot #3008 and 3008.1, a restored Cessna ’59 L-19 Bird Dog liaison plane and ’59 Dodge M37 Utility vehicle, are important lots in this auction. First because of their pedigrees and, more important, because of the charitable impact these lots will have. These lots simultaneously help The Armed Forces Foundation and allow the owner to acquire a significant piece of U.S. military history,” said Steve Davis, President of Barrett-Jackson added. “The Barrett-Jackson team appreciates any opportunity we have to help assist and support the men and women who have served our country.”
Dodge Military Trucks History
While the Dodge M37 is quite the truck, it isn’t the only one. There have been several other Dodge military trucks in fact. Here is a short list of them.
The Dodge WC series was one versatile truck and was offered in all sorts of configurations for different uses. Combinations included some with a tandem rear axle with 6×6 configurations. This variety was helpful for the multitude of jobs it did that included: weapon carriers, ambulances, command cars, and reconnaissance vehicles. Most astonishing about the truck is that despite its weight of up to almost 7000 lbs, it was powered by a mere 4.0-liter inline-six with a maximum output of 99 hp and 188 lb-ft in its most powerful configuration. This truck was produced from 1940 through the end of the war in 1945.
Spending most of its life in Korea, the Dodge M37 was a workhorse during several years of conflict. Sadly, it is mostly remembered for its engine problems as the average speed of military vehicles increased into the 1960s. The problems were largely due to the combination of the T245 flathead inline-six’s extremely long stroke with the short gearing needed for hauling heavy loads at low speeds. Built as a workhorse, it struggled to keep up with the higher speeds. Yet, since there was such a large number of M37s produced, replacement parts and engines are relatively easy to find.
The Dodge M880 is largely associated with the beginnings of the military’s CUCV (Commercial Utility Cargo Vehicle) program. In essence, the M880 was a militarized version of Dodge’s third-generation D-series civilian trucks, yet it proved to be a tough fit for what the military had in mind. Why such a tough fit? The trucks were powered by a 5.2-liter gasoline V-8 engine, yet much of the armed services was moving to diesel. The truck was also not equipped with power steering making it difficult to drive especially in tight quarters. Building the truck without power steering was likely meant to for reliability and durability reasons. On the bright side, the M880 did feature front disc brakes.
Looking for something more modern? Check out the Gunner Fab Spikes Tactical War Wagon we featured recently.