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In the Garage: 1952 Dodge M37 weapons carrier
THE CAR AND ITS OWNER
1952 Dodge M37 weapons carrier owned by Paul Dooling
WHAT MAKES IT INTERESTING
Few classic rides are as rugged as the M37, built, according to Dooling, from 1951 to 1968 as a new and improved version of the World War II Dodge truck and used in both the Korean and Vietnam Wars. Today, they make great collectibles among enthusiastic followers of vintage military vehicles here on Long Island and across the country. “This truck was sent to Israel to be used in their armed forces,” Dooling says. “It was reimported to the U.S. in the late 1980s. It has a rebuilt Israeli engine with a rebuild tag attached, written in Hebrew.”
HOW LONG HE’S OWNED IT
Dooling has owned the Dodge for more than 16 years.
WHERE HE FOUND IT
Dooling says he bought the truck from a World War II veteran in Baldwin who was in the cement business. “It was sitting in his driveway and I stopped and asked if it was for sale,” he says. The owner refused, but sold it to Dooling three months later.
“The truck was in such good shape that I just put a new brake system on it, and did a tune-up and complete change of all the fluids,” he says. “I also put new canvas on it. It has a hard top for winter driving. I like the ease of servicing this vehicle. I am a retired automobile mechanic.”
TIPS FOR OWNERS
“Don’t buy more truck than you can handle,” Dooling advises. “Read up on the trucks and gather pictures. They will come in handy. And one thing I found very handy is to tell your wife.”
He estimates the current value “in the $10,000 to $12,000 range.”
THE BOTTOM LINE
“I was in the New York National Guard and U.S. Army Reserves for eight years,” Dooling says. “I drove the Patton Tank and was a 30-caliber bow gunner. My World War II Jeep and the M37 Dodge were more in line with my pocketbook. I have used it in parades and in military truck displays at the Cradle of Aviation Museum, the American Air Power Museum and displays at Old Bethpage Village.”