The 3/4 ton rated M-37 family of trucks were built by Dodge as the first M-series 3/4 ton truck, the successor to the G-502 WC 3/4 ton family of trucks used in WW II and Korea. The M37 is a custom military design developed starting in 1948 and produced is several groups and models from 1950 to 1968. The M37 series was used by all the U.S. services from the early 1950s through the 1980s and exported widely around the world. Although a little sluggish, this is one of the toughest and most reliable trucks ever built.
1953 M37 owned by Madison Hughes, CAF Highland Lakes Squadron Air Show, Burnet, TX, 12 April 2008. Photo courtesy Bob Pettit.
M37 Dodge prototypes were delivered to the Army early in 1950, and the first production vehicles in December that year. The Chrysler/Dodge internal designation was T245 which also identifies the engine. During 1951 through 1954 vehicles of the M37 series were produced and delivered monthly, totalling over 63,000 by mid-1954. By 1957, cumulative changes to the design resulted in the designation M37B1 (and T245A) for deliveries starting in 1958. From 1958 through 1968, about 47,600 M37B1 series vehicles were produced. In addition, a Canadian version (M37CDN) was produced from 1951-1955, an additional 4500+ vehicles.
The M-37 was succeeded by trucks derived from commercial vehicles, including the Kaiser M-715 and Dodge M-880. Eventually almost all of the U.S. military light duty trucks were replaced by the HMMWV.
The M-37 family trucks were produced with and without a winch, and with multiple body styles including:
Many M-37s still survive and are on the road as civilians, restored, or still in military service in odd corners of the globe. A restored M37 owned by Terry Fralick, winner of first place in the Restored Class at the Mobile Alabama MVPA National Convention in 2004, was for sale in February 2014, asking $25,000.
In addition to the techical manuals, an important source for detailed information on the history of the M37 is the volume TM 9-1840C M37 Series Production Story by John H. Zentmyer, July 1987. This little manual, in the format of a military TM, is available from Adirondack Dodge Parts or Boyce Equipment. Doyle's Standard Catalog of U.S. Military Vehicles
has an excellent M37 section with many photos.
For a very complete and extensive write-up on the restoration of an M-37, including solving a lot of problems and dealing with real-world issues, take a look at this M37 page.