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3/4 ton 4x4 Cargo Truck M-37 Dodge

The Dodge M-37 was the successor to the G-502 WC-51 and WC-52 Dodge weapons carriers used in World War II and Korea. After the jeep, the M-37 is the most popular vehicle with MV collectors since they are available, easy to work on, and can fit in most garages. A tough and reliable truck, over any terrain, the M-37 can carry a lot more than the 3/4 ton rating would suggest and pull as much again in an M101 3/4 ton trailer.

Two views of the 3/4 4x4 Cargo Truck, M37.  From TM 9-8031-2, May 1953
Two views of the 3/4 4x4 Cargo Truck, M37. From TM 9-8031-2, May 1953.

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2 Sep 1945 Japanese formal surrender ceremony on the USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay, remembered as VJ Day (Victory over Japan) in the US.
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M37 and M37B1 Dodge 3/4 ton 4x4 Cargo Truck (G-741)

The M-37 3/4 ton 4x4 Cargo Truck is the most common model of the M-37 family. It has an all-steel body and bed with a canvas top that can be erected over the cab, and removable bows over the cargo bed to hold a tarp and end curtains. Hinged troop seats are provided in the bed which can be raised and folded flat against the sides for full-width cargo. Most M37 specifications are similar within the family, but not exactly the same for all models. The full table of specifications is on the M37 Manuals page.

The M37 began production in late 1950 and was superseded by the M37B1 in 1958. The M37B1 incorporates many small changes accumulated over the M37 production run. These included new electrical cables and connectors, magnetic drain plugs, revised canvas top and other items. Externally, the M37B1 is most easily recognized by the spare tire mount which as been moved from the front of the rear bed to the driver's side door. Dodge changed its internal designation from T245 to T245A.

The M37 engine is the Dodge T245 6 cyl (230cid, 94hp@3400 rpm) mated to a 4 speed manual transmission and two speed transfer case. The front-mounted winch is a Braden LU4 PTO with 7,500 lb capacity.

Federal Stock Numbers for the M37 Cargo Truck variants are:

  • Truck, Cargo, 3/4 Ton 4x4 M37 FSN 2320-835-8322
  • Truck, Cargo, 3/4 Ton 4x4 M37 w/winch FSN 2320-835-8323
  • Truck, Cargo, 3/4 Ton 4x4 M37B1 FSN 2320-542-4636
  • Truck, Cargo, 3/4 Ton 4x4 M37B1 w/winch FSN 2320-542-4632

M37 Cargo Truck rear bed showing tarp bows, troop seats, spare tire and other details.  Pioneer tools mount on a rack on the outside of the tailgate. From TM 9-2320-212-20P
M37 Cargo Truck rear bed showing tarp bows, troop seats, spare tire and other details. Pioneer tools mount on a rack on the outside of the tailgate.
From TM 9-2320-212-20P.

Other Versions of the M37 Cargo Truck

The Marine Corps version of the M-37 had some minor modifications such as additional tie downs, lifting shackles, and USMC specific paint and markings.

Starting in 1951, M37CDN vehicles were produced for the Canadian Army and Air Force. They were fitted with a Chrysler Canada-produced T249 250.6 cid engine along with a different transmission and PTO. The M37CDN was produced until 1955, for a total of 3071 units, including 672 w/winch. A small number of M37CDN vehicles were converted to M42CDN command trucks. The M37CDN was not visually distinguished from the M37.

Many M37 Cargo Trucks were fitted with radio transmitters or other equipment that exceeded the capacity of the original 25 amp electrical generator. A 100 amp alternator kit was supplied as an upgrade, described in later versions of the manuals. The kit consisted of the 100 amp alternator, a regulator, a rectifier to convert the AC current to DC, along with heavier cables, four parallel drive belts and other parts.

M37 Dodge 3/4 ton 4x4 Cargo Truck

M37 at a Fire Support Base, south of DMZ, Vietnam, 1960s.  Artillery at left is M101 105mm howitzer
M37 at a Fire Support Base, south of DMZ, Vietnam, 1960s. Artillery at left is M101 105mm howitzer.

M37 Photo: Courtesy Rick Lathrop
M37 Photo: Courtesy Rick Lathrop.

M-37 right front view. This restored vehicle has oversize non-military tires, HMMWV mirrors and other changes
M-37 right front view. This restored vehicle has oversize non-military tires, HMMWV mirrors and other changes.

M-37 rear view. This restored vehicle has oversize non-military tires, HMMWV mirrors and other changes
M-37 rear view. This restored vehicle has oversize non-military tires, HMMWV mirrors and other changes.

M-37 cab from right side door
M-37 cab from right side door.

M37B1 Dodge 3/4 ton 4x4 Cargo Truck

Row of M-37B1 trucks in Berlin, Germany
Row of M-37B1 trucks in Berlin, Germany.

M-37B1 set up as Photographer's Radio Relay Truck, Camp LeJeune, NC (Note 2nd Marine Division logo on door), 1971.  Photo Courtesy Rd1 M.J.Jourden, USCG (Ret)
M-37B1 set up as Photographer's Radio Relay Truck, Camp LeJeune, NC (Note 2nd Marine Division logo on door), 1971. Photo Courtesy Rd1 M.J.Jourden, USCG (Ret).

M-37B1 set up as Photographer's Radio Relay Truck. The 3/4 ton trailer housed permanently mounted generators and normally carried all of the antennas, fuel, rations and water needed. Camp LeJeune, NC, 1971.  Photo courtesy Rd1 M.J.Jourden, USCG (Ret)
M-37B1 set up as Photographer's Radio Relay Truck. The 3/4 ton trailer housed permanently mounted generators and normally carried all of the antennas, fuel, rations and water needed. Camp LeJeune, NC, 1971. Photo courtesy Rd1 M.J.Jourden, USCG (Ret).

M37 Dodge 3/4 ton 4x4 Variations

An 8th Group 3/4 ton M37 gun truck called GODZILLA from the 512th Trans Co. in Vietnam.  It's one of only a few M37s known to have been equipped with an XM-134 minigun. (David Rollins)
An 8th Group 3/4 ton M37 gun truck called GODZILLA from the 512th Trans Co. in Vietnam. It's one of only a few M37s known to have been equipped with an XM-134 minigun. (David Rollins) Photo courtesy of Planet Art Publishing, from the book Hard Ride- Vietnam Gun Trucks (Volume 2) . See also Hard Ride- Vietnam Gun Trucks (Volume 1) .

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