Military Culture

WWII Command Car up for auction — previous owner: Gen. Patton

Every so often the lightning-quick chant of an auctioneer dictates the sale of an item that, if it could speak, would yield a limitless stream of captivating stories. One such item, a Dodge WC-57 Command Car, will be up for auction in Auburn, Indiana, on June 13.

The Command Car, a line of military vehicles manufactured between 1942 and 1945 and the predecessor of the post-war Dodge Power Wagon, would have been a noteworthy item in its own right. This one, however, was personally used during World War II by Gen. George S. Patton.

Patton’s 4x4 Command Car, which was part of the 3rd Army headquarters’ motorpool, was built in 1944 with a series of modifications to suit the general’s preferences, according to the host company, Worldwide Auctioneers.

A Browning .30 caliber machine gun mount, armor plating, sirens, horns, auxiliary tanks, and 3rd Army HQ pennants are among the various additions that made this particular vehicle uniquely capable of announcing the commanding presence of the famous general.

A rail was installed behind the vehicle’s front seats, meanwhile, for Patton to hold onto while standing and addressing soldiers on the front lines. The vehicle’s recently refurbished engine, a 92-horsepower Dodge 6-cylinder, won’t win any races but remains in perfectly drivable condition.

“What this vehicle represents is so impactful and so important,” John Kruse, principal of Worldwide Auctioneers said in a video announcing the vehicle’s auction.

“To own a piece of history from World War II such as this ... is a spectacular opportunity.”

The vehicle was first acquired in approximately 1950 by Guy Franz Arend, a Belgian collector who “was a key person in the creation of the Bastogne Museum,” according to the vehicle’s “Known History” document provided by Worldwide Auctioneers.

In 2018, the Command Car was acquired by the J. Kruse Education Center, a “nonprofit focused on career path exploration and connection for K-12 students and returning veterans,” the company site states.

Patton’s Command Car will be sold — at no reserve — to the highest bidder, with all proceeds going to the education center, the auction site said.

Check out additional images of the vehicle below.

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Observation Post articles reflect author observations. Any resemblance to news may be purely coincidental.

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