During World War II the Army wanted a medium sized vehicle to do what the jeep would do but carry more. They set up specifications that would enable several manufacturers to make the same vehicle. It was so rugged and held up so well that many returning GIs asked Chrysler to come up with a civilian model they could use on the farm.
In 1946 the WDX model Dodge Power Wagon was born. The parts were all interchangeable with the military models. Improvements included a low range for the four wheel drive as well as a comfortable closed cab.
Armed with an introduction to K. T. Keller, Chairman of the Board of Chrysler, Wendell went to Detroit hoping to get 8 vehicles for the expedition to Arabia. When he arrived Mr. Keller gave Wendell ten minutes to state his case. Three hours later Mr. Keller called in Tex Colbert, then President of Dodge and told him he had just given away 18 of his Dodge Power Wagons.
Not only that but Wendell also received a complete inventory of spare parts, tools and 13 weeks of training for his motor transport specialists, Charlie McCollum and George Farrier. Little did Wendell realize the full value of this meeting until Mr. Keller got on the phone with other corporate executive friends and told them he had just given Wendell 18 Power Wagons for his expedition, so what were they going to do for him. Thus began the help from 45 leading American corporations to equip and finance the largest expedition of its kind to ever traverse Southern Arabia. The Power Wagon lived up to its name. The expedition didn't have a bit of trouble with any of the trucks. The Dodge Power Wagon has held up so well it is in great demand today as a great truck to restore and drive.