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Restoration of my 1941 Dodge WC16 Radio Command Car


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Also had to make a bracket for the transmitter:

 

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I then riveted the hasp latches to the radio cabinet doors and installed the eye bolt locks. I was a little worried about the door rattling, but after adjusting the eye bolts the doors are nice and tight when closed:

 

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Still need to figure out a locking rod arrangement:

 

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Fitted the upper shock mounts as well as the lower shock mounts for the different radio components:

 

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Then I dropped it in the rear of the car today. A few fitment issues, but I think I have it where I need it now and drilled all of the mounting holes:

 

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Well, that's the update to date so to speak. Other than I took it for a ride this afternoon and the engine died about four miles from home. After an hour or so I was able to get it to barely run and limped it home. Now it won't start at all. Very frustrating these intermittent episodes. Well, at least it looks like it is totally dead now. Spent three hours the other night replacing the coil and had the command car in a parade last Saturday with no issues. Now dead. Was supposed to take Kelley to a parade this Saturday in the CC, but doesn't look like that will happen. This thing just seems to keep fighting me. About ready to roll it into a corner of the garage and move on to another project.

Collecting WWII USAAF Militaria and a Few WWII Vehicles Along the Way


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Great job, Zeph!

 

Can you tell a bit more on the cap of the galvanized JC?

I see it is one with two straight tabs... I have one with a standard OD painted steel cap with four rolled tabs...

 

Jus a variation or do the caps tell more??

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Zeph,

 

Wonderful updates! I LOVE to look at the small details in your builds. It is very interesting to see similarities between rebuilding a car and rebuilding a plane. After seeing some shock mounts on the plane, I understand exactly what you are talking about with your radio. I also find it interesting that you use poster board to make templates for the floor. We do the same thing for the skin on the plane. The radio cabinet looks amazing in place. You have amazing tools and even a forklift!

 

Thanks so much for the updates.....Kat

 

PS. I am sorry that you do not have an extra pair of hands to help. If I lived close, I would be right over!

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Great job, Zeph!

 

Can you tell a bit more on the cap of the galvanized JC?

I see it is one with two straight tabs... I have one with a standard OD painted steel cap with four rolled tabs...

 

Jus a variation or do the caps tell more??

Hi Johan,

 

Thanks! On the JC, those in the photo on the command car are 1941 galvanized gas cans marked with a G stamped on the sides near the top. I just found a 1941 water can that is exactly like the 1941 gas can with the exception that it has a W stamped on the sides near the top. Both the gas and water 1941 galvanized cans have the straight eared two tab screw lids. In 1942 the water cans, as you know, began to have the cantilevered large non-screw cap lid. The gas cans then began to migrate to the four rolled over tabs.

 

I have three 1941 galvanized gas cans and they all have the two tab screw lid and the center pin for the chain. Even the chain is a bit different than the cans that came afterward. I was happy to find the 1941 galvanized water can. Now I have a matching set for the 1941 Command Car.

 

Found this on the G503 when I was looking for information on the early cans: http://g503.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=37&t=5537

 

Cheers,

Collecting WWII USAAF Militaria and a Few WWII Vehicles Along the Way


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Zeph,

 

Wonderful updates! I LOVE to look at the small details in your builds. It is very interesting to see similarities between rebuilding a car and rebuilding a plane. After seeing some shock mounts on the plane, I understand exactly what you are talking about with your radio. I also find it interesting that you use poster board to make templates for the floor. We do the same thing for the skin on the plane. The radio cabinet looks amazing in place. You have amazing tools and even a forklift!

 

Thanks so much for the updates.....Kat

 

PS. I am sorry that you do not have an extra pair of hands to help. If I lived close, I would be right over!

 

Hi Kat,

 

Yes, that poster board came in handy to make a template. A lot of little things to make holes for. The forklift attachment on the tractor is really coming in handy. It's like have an extra person to help me out!

 

I can't wait to get the radio cabinet painted and installed. Those shock mounts are pretty neat. I have a couple of WWII airplane radios that have the shock mounts. They really knew what they were doing back then that's for sure.

 

I bet the B-25 is really coming along. Now that is a project!

Collecting WWII USAAF Militaria and a Few WWII Vehicles Along the Way


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Zeph,

 

I am having major withdrawal symptoms! Any updates?

 

...Kat

Hi Kat. Geez, I guess I have been gold bricking, eh?

 

Haven't done a great deal, but thought I better get you caught up!

 

I did receive my data plates all the way from Norway. They turned out great as usual. Robert de Ruyter does a great job:

 

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Here are the other plates. I had the NOTE plates made special as none were available for the 1/2 ton radio cars. All of the plates made are for the 3/4 ton cars, so all of the replacement plates on the 1/2 ton radio cars I see use the available 3/4 ton radio command car NOTE plate. I just wanted to be original. Plus, I had some extras made for the few guys I know that have 1/2 ton radio cars:

 

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Ta Da! All installed:

 

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I also took the plunge and painted on some stars:

 

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Since everything else I have is six volt, I thought I better mark this one:

 

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Out in the wild:

 

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Then I figured I better get cracking on the radio box. I had to blast it to get it ready for paint:

 

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Collecting WWII USAAF Militaria and a Few WWII Vehicles Along the Way


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After I drilled all of the holes for the radio shock mounts, I was ready to prime and paint:

 

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Lots of nooks a crannies to get into to cover with primer and paint:

 

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Sanded everything to get ready for the OD:

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I wanted to try and duplicate a period photo with a lightning bolt on the side of the command car. Let me tell you I'm no artist and took me quite a while to make what I thought was a proper replica of the bolt. Here are some renditions:

 

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Here is the period photo I was looking at:

 

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Collecting WWII USAAF Militaria and a Few WWII Vehicles Along the Way


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This is the rendition I settled on for the lightning bolt. Now I had to figure out how to paint it on:

 

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So, while I slept on that for a few nights, it was back to the radio cabinet install. I mounted up the lower shock mounts for the radios:

 

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Hulked the cabinet into position:

 

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Had to make up some upper tie straps for the radio cabinet on both sides. It was really shaky only being bolted to the floor:

 

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I finally figured out how to paint the lightning bolts:

 

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Collecting WWII USAAF Militaria and a Few WWII Vehicles Along the Way


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Thanks to Robin on this forum for making me the replica speaker box holder. Also, one can see the upper shock mount for the transmitter. The receiver shock mounts are tough to see::

 

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Also installed the now painted doors for the first time. I have only seen the doors in a rendering in a manual, but I think these look pretty decent. The latches on eye bolt locks work great. I now need a rod to insert through the eye bolts to allow for the locking of the cabinet:

 

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Of Course, I had to stencil my work:

 

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Just a few more little things to do at this point:

 

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Now starting to ponder my next project...hmmmm.....

Collecting WWII USAAF Militaria and a Few WWII Vehicles Along the Way


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It came out fantastic! Thanks for sharing the process with us!

Collecting WWI 26th Division Machine Gun and Infantry related Helmets, Equipment, Groupings, Photos and Dog Tags!


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Another beautiful job! Congrats!

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"I have only two men out of my company and 20 out of some other company. We need support, but it is almost suicide to try to get it here as we are swept by machine gun fire and constant barrage is on us. I have no one on my left and only a few on my right. I will hold." (Message sent by 1st Lt. Clifton B. Cates. USMC, 96th Co., Soissons, 19 July 1918 - later 19th Commandant of the Marine Corps 1948-1952)

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It came out fantastic! Thanks for sharing the process with us!

 

 

Another beautiful job! Congrats!

 

Thank you! It has been a fun project. I really enjoyed the research aspect of the radio cars of the era. I don't think there is another as complete as this. And if there is, I wish it woulda popped up, so I coulda copied it! B)

Collecting WWII USAAF Militaria and a Few WWII Vehicles Along the Way


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Very nice.Superb work and been a fascinating trip seeing your work and progress

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She certainly looks a whole lot different than it did when I got to see it in Pleasanton last year. Congrats on the project. Its been a pleasure and an education reading your reports.

Mikie

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Zeph,

Probably impossible to find,but a command trailer,or Red Cross Donut and coffee rig would be fun. You could join the food truck craze and help pay for the restoration. ;)

Bob

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Zeph,

 

So sorry for the late response. I was sunning on the beach last week! B)

 

The last updates are simply amazing. I like to go back and look at the beginning of this thread to see the amazing transformation. Your work is amazing. This is a very complete command car. The lightening bolt looks great! I love seeing the original picture then comparing to yours.

 

I am curious. When you finish these projects, what do you do with your vehicles? Do you keep them or sell them? You must have quite the collection of WWII vehicles.

 

What is your next project? What is in the "boneyard" waiting for restoration?

 

...Kat

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Very nice.Superb work and been a fascinating trip seeing your work and progress

 

Thank you Ron!

 

She certainly looks a whole lot different than it did when I got to see it in Pleasanton last year. Congrats on the project. Its been a pleasure and an education reading your reports.

Mikie

 

Hi Mikie,

 

Thank you! Yes, it's hard to believe that that was almost one year ago now. They just had the 2017 show in Cleveland, Oh. I would have loved to drag the CC there, but just could fit it in. It's rare and nice to have the show out here in CalifornIA.

 

Zeph,

Probably impossible to find,but a command trailer,or Red Cross Donut and coffee rig would be fun. You could join the food truck craze and help pay for the restoration. ;)

Bob

 

Actually, I really like the Red Cross Clubmobiles. I really think that would be a project I could sink my teeth into:

 

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Zeph,

 

So sorry for the late response. I was sunning on the beach last week! B)

 

The last updates are simply amazing. I like to go back and look at the beginning of this thread to see the amazing transformation. Your work is amazing. This is a very complete command car. The lightening bolt looks great! I love seeing the original picture then comparing to yours.

 

I am curious. When you finish these projects, what do you do with your vehicles? Do you keep them or sell them? You must have quite the collection of WWII vehicles.

 

What is your next project? What is in the "boneyard" waiting for restoration?

 

...Kat

 

Hi Kat,

 

Thank you. The beach sounds great right about now. We finally snapped our streak of 100 plus degree days at 19. Just for a day or two as another long streak looks to be on the horizon.

 

Once I complete the vehicles I like to drive them around locally and in parades. They are starting to pile up, however. My wife is always on me to unload one or more. Obviously, I like to tinker on them, but I am running out of room... :mellow:

 

I think I have the equivalent of five WWII era US Army trucks in the boneyard. In the next few months, I will working on a couple of WWII trailers I have and them most likely start on my Dodge WC63. It's an open cab 6 wheel drive truck like robin on here restored. I picked up and delivered robin's engine for his truck a few years ago. Great to see his project together. It really looks fantastic. If I do not get on the WC63 first, I have a WC22 open cab pickup that I want to compete as well. Decisions...decisions...

 

Enjoy your summer!

Collecting WWII USAAF Militaria and a Few WWII Vehicles Along the Way


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WOW! You have some great items in your boneyard! I don't know a lot about trucks so I need to look up to see what is a WC63 and WC22.

 

I just realized that I said your work was "amazing" three times in two sentences! HAHAHAHAHAHA! Can you tell how much I love your threads? :)

 

...Kat

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WOW! You have some great items in your boneyard! I don't know a lot about trucks so I need to look up to see what is a WC63 and WC22.

 

I just realized that I said your work was "amazing" three times in two sentences! HAHAHAHAHAHA! Can you tell how much I love your threads? :)

 

...Kat

 

That's funny! Here are a couple of reference photos. Would hope mine turn out as nice as these:

 

Here's a Dodge WC22:

 

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Dodge WC63

 

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Collecting WWII USAAF Militaria and a Few WWII Vehicles Along the Way


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If I had known that it was OK to sign your work I would have signed the speaker bracket that I made for you!

 

Well, next time you see it you can sign it. I did give you credit for the bracket earlier in the thread. Fit like a glove!

Collecting WWII USAAF Militaria and a Few WWII Vehicles Along the Way


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