74 Dodge Power Wagon Specsby Richard Rowe
Weapons of war come in all shapes and sizes. Some people carry guns to battle, while others carry rivet guns and welding rods, and such was the case at Chrysler following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. The U.S. government enlisted the company to build a new breed of go-anywhere wheeled vehicles, which Chrysler originally called the Battle Wagon, before changing the name to Power Wagon after the war. The later W/D-200 pickup truck carried on the Power Wagon name, until it was re-dubbed the Power Ram and then simply Ram in 1981.
The W200 ("W" indicates four-wheel drive, "D" indicates two-wheel) Power Wagon was 219 inches long, 79.5 inches wide, 83.4 inches high and came with a 131-inch wheelbase. The truck checked in at between 4,880 and 5,000 pounds depending on engine and option. Gross vehicle weight including trailer came to 8,000 pounds.
The W200 was available with a variety of engines during the 1974 model year. The base engine was the 225-cubic-inch slant six, producing 145 horsepower until 1972, when it dropped to 110. The slant six produced 105 horsepower from 1973 to 1974 and 195 horsepower in 1975. The 383 B-series V8 produced 258 horsepower, the 318 produced 160 horsepower, the LA-series 360 produced 180 and the larger 400 produced 200. The biggest engine in the lineup was the 440, which produced 235 horsepower in 1974.
The W200 came with two different three-speed automatic transmissions depending on application, either the 727 Torqueflite or A9xx series. All four-wheel-drive trucks of this vintage came with a locking New Process NP203 full-time four-wheel-drive transfer case. Four-wheel-drive models used a Dana 44 axle on the front and a Dana 60 rear, both of which had 4.11-to-1 gear ratios.
The W200 came in standard cab, Club Cab (extended cab with two doors) and Crew Cab (very large cab with four doors). Two-wheel-drive models came with independent front suspension, and many of the body and underbody components were galvanized to prevent rust. The taillights were one of Chrysler's more thoughtful touches; they were recessed into the body to prevent damage when backing into loading docks.
Richard Rowe has been writing professionally since 2007, specializing in automotive topics. He has worked as a tractor-trailer driver and mechanic, a rigger at a fire engine factory and as a race-car driver and builder. Rowe studied engineering, philosophy and American literature at Central Florida Community College.