by: Mario Matijasic [ ]
The M-37 family of trucks was 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 in several groups and models from 1950 to 1968. The M37 series was used by all the US 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.
Wings & Wheels Publications is a small publishing company from Czech Republic. The company offers photo reference titles covering all sorts of military equipment from vehicles, tanks and AFVs to airplanes, helicopters and individual weapons. One of WWP’s latest titles covers M37 family of trucks. Here are the basic facts on the book:
Title: M37 Trucks in Detail (Vietnam War Era Light Utility Trucks M37 and M43)
Publisher: Wings & Wheels Publications (WWP)
Author: František Kořán
Format: softcover (22x24 cm)
Color: full color
Retail Price: $30 (€24)
The book presents photos of three main M37 truck variants (M37, M42 and M43) taken during The War and Peace show, the world's largest military vehicle fair. Organized in 7 chapters, the pages are color coded for easier navigation:
• History (001-005)
• M37 Walk Around (006-045)
• M101 3/4-ton Trailer (046-049)
• M42 Command Vehicle (050-051)
• M43 Ambulance (052-075)
• Engine Details (076-079)
• M37 Reconstruction (080-096)
As with all WWP titles, the book opens with the short chapter on vehicle History, explaining the origins of the M37 and providing technical data on the truck. The M37 Walk Around chapter starts with a number of large full-page images displaying slightly different M37 trucks restored as Vietnam era US Army or USMC vehicles. One of the vehicles sports M134 Minigun replica and several photos show the weapon as well... very interesting! Photos of exterior details follow: front winch, headlights, grille, fording set, driver's doors with spare wheel, rear body with cargo bed, etc. Interior details are tackled next: dashboard, doors and seats, windscreen, pedals and levers and canvas roof.... wow, M37 enthusiasts should be very pleased with this chapter as it presents the vehicle in amazing detail. Next up is the M101 3/4-ton Trailer, a trailer produced for M37 trucks but still used with M998 vehicles. This is a rather short chapter, but it still provides neat walk around photos, as well as some more detailed images. The chapter on M42 Command Vehicle follows, with only two pages of images featuring the M42 from Overloon museum. M43 Ambulance chapter is much longer, again starting with large full-page walk around images showing the M43, followed by more detailed images of exterior and interior. The rear cabin is particularly well documented with absolutely no detail ignored. Engine Details chapter comes next, with four pages dedicated to the gasoline six-valve Dodge T-245 engine photographed in M43 truck shortly after vehicle restoration. The last chapter, Reconstruction, deals with M37 restoration, showing even more details of the T-245 engine on several full page photos of radiator, gearbox, engine block head, but also details of the chassis: front axle, frame details with exhaust and side steps, rear axle.
One could complain that the book contains images of refurbished vehicles in private collections rather than photos of “real” M37 trucks from the Vietnam War. However, most of the truck owners went to great length to restore their vehicles to look as authentic as possible, with any minute discrepancies clearly stated in the text. Therefore I feel this book is a great asset for anyone interested in M37 trucks, especially modelers with Roden’s 1/35 scale M37 US ¾ ton 4x4 Cargo Truck (ROD806) kit in their stash.
WWP never fails when it comes to publishing high-quality reference titles. M37 Trucks in Detail (R082) is a very impressive book full of large and clear images showing two main vehicle variants M37 and M43 in great detail, inside and out. The photos of M101 trailer are an added bonus, as well as very comprehensive coverage of T-245 engine. The captions are very informative, explaining various details shown on photos. Altogether, this is a very welcomed photo reference manual for both modelers and vehicle enthusiasts alike.