It’s unfortunate that every patina-ed old desert truck elicits a Mater reference even worse when people make clones thereof. However, this 1949 Dodge Route van has just the right overall look to be Mater’s older brother/cousin. The “Flathead Valley Diesel Repair” hand-painted logo seems almost too perfect for that universe.
Anyway, this one’s got typical old service vehicle rust in all the typical places. It’s got what the seller guesses is a GMC 270 in place of whatever Dodge flathead came from the factory. Most interestingly, the seller says this model has independent rear suspension. The ad has no pictures thereof, but I found this thread with someone working on one. In addition to the IRS, these had an offset engine. Those two features combined to maximize the interior room and get closer to being a “storage cabinet on wheels” as they were advertised. Sort of an alternative evolution to the FWD minivan or VW Type II’s methods of solving the problem.
For once, the body work is the easy part; these are just flat panels that can be patched with flat sheet. The oddball IRS-specific parts and oddball everything else might leave you stymied or in search of more common underpinnings to drop in. Sorted out, though, this would make such an awesome shop/delivery/florist/dog washer/small business van. Just make sure you hand-paint your logo.
It’s sitting at $4,250 with an unmet reserve and an auction ending shortly.
1949 Dodge Route Van for sale – eBay Motors