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Custom 1946 Dodge COE is further proof of the excellence of our readership

Jeff Glucker May 31, 2012 Redusernab Truck Thursday 24 Comments

The winters may be long in Vermont, but for Redusernab-reader Joe they serve as a time to stay warm by way of fabrication. In fact, it took three (described by Joe as “long”) winters for his 1946 Dodge COE to come to life. For those of you asking what COE means, it refers to the cab over engine layout that is reserved for larger trucks. This particular Dodge isn’t your standard COE, because Joe put a lot of work into making it roll, so hop past the break for a bit of insight into his handy work.

The truck we showed you at the beginning didn’t start life as a single unit. It’s been stretched, and required taking torch to the metal of three cabs and eight doors. To make sure the now-custom body was ready for anything Vermont could throw at it, the entire unit was sandblasted and then coated with POR15. Furthermore, the undersides of the fenders, bed, and running boards have been treated to a splash of rubberized coating. Bring on the rocks and salt!

Speaking of the fenders, the rear units were plucked from a 1950 Chrysler New Yorker, and then shaved to fit. It’s not all Dodge for this COE, however, because the art-deco beast sits atop a 1997 GMC 1/2-ton frame complete with its two-wheel-drive running gear.

In his email to us, Joe thanked us for running “a great site”. We say nuts to that… thank you Joe, for sharing this piece of motoring excellence with us. Don’t be surprised if you hear a knock at your door, with a representative from Redusernab attempting to pry the keys from you hand in exchange for a 12-pack of Long Trail, and a 1/2 hour of driving time. Also, you should expect this beast to make an appearance later in the year, because I’ll be damned if this isn’t Redusernab Car of the Year potential.

Thanks again Joe!

  • If you're going to do something, do it right. And, he did. Nice truck.

  • skitter

    That. Is. Spectacular.

  • taborj

    It'd look good sitting next to my '46 Dodge 1/2 ton….

  • PowerTryp

    Not only it is beautiful and excellently excecuted but he topped it off with the correct licence plate.

  • Hot Damn! I know a lot of good things have come out of Vermont, The 10th Mountain Division, WMBR's bestest DJ Joanie and my own dear Honey-Bunny (both Springfieldians); I'm glad to see Vermont keeping some for itself!

    My pal has a GM COE gone wanting… I should show him this.

    • njhoon

      Uhm, hate to be stickler but the 10th is based out of Fort Drum, NY

      • Based there now, sure. In fact, never based in Vermont at all (Camp Hale, CO Fort Riley, KS; I can read wikipedia too, you know.) But it's well known the Vermonters they actively recruited taught them everything they know.

    • I bet your wife is glad she got out of Springfield. I'm glad I got out of Bellows Falls (although it is doing much better lately – Springfield, not so much as far as I've heard. My mother teaches in an elementary school there.)

      • Funny how you can keep finding people from what you think is a small town, in far flung points of the world.

        Back in the '70s – '80s Springfield had a 20 year plan to build a hydroelectric dam, and the machinists, engineers and tools to do it. Now they have a prison as a tax base, and not much manufacturing. (There was a standing offer on PracticalMachinist.com for anyone ballsy enough to move there and learn gear hobbing, but I think that's gone.)

        Fellows Balls seemed to be getting along a bit better, like you say, last time I went through (2005?). What they're selling there I don't know. Country Girl Diner cups?

        • Yeah, it's weird. My family was there for 3 generations, and my father's never lived outside of New England, but you can't go anywhere in this country with him without running into someone he knows from Vermont. Hell, it even happened when we were in some very rural, non-touristy places in France.

          BF has had an influx of retired/soon-to-be-retired folks from Long Island & various parts of MA in recent years, all of whom seem to have interest in the arts & 19th century architecture, and plenty of cash to fund those interests. It's definitely benefited the area in a lot of ways.

          Country Girl Diner is up Rte 103 from BF in Chester.

          One of my elementary school chums is a prison guard in Springfield. I'm glad for him, since I'd have put money on his ending up as a resident, not an employee.

  • MVEilenstein


  • acarr260

    That is spectacular! I would buy this man a beer were I to find myself in Vermont.

  • jozcoe

    Thanks for all your comments!
    The truck was fun to build…I use it to deliver my metal fabrication work (railings and sculpture) and will also use it for a tow vehicle for my 1960 Bugeye Sprite (hillclimber).
    If you're ever in the area stop by and I'll give you a ride!

    • Savant_Idiot

      Nicely done and the perfect plates! Are there further "refinements" planned, or is this an "as is with patina" build? A little surface rust and some hand lettering for your business on the doors would look about right…

    • Where in VT are you? I've got family in SE VT & would love to see this truck sometime when I'm back east.

  • jozcoe

    The only thing left to do is the interior. The exterior of the cab has been sandblasted, swirl ground (with a soft wheel) and has 4 coats of Glisten PC (by POR15), its a clear coat designed for bronze and aluminum railings etc. that are exposed to extreme (ocean) conditions. I have a test piece thats been outside for a while now and shows no sign of rust yet. I'll keep you posted!

  • Van_Sarockin

    Outstanding! Reading the article, I started to get a little queasy about all the vintage parts that went into making this up. But it's more than a fair trade for the results.

    We need to hear a bit more about this jozcoe, who builds sculpture and hillclimbs a Sprite. And we need to set the date for his big barbeque gathering there in the north woods! I'm sure I could learn a little metalsmithing at his knee.

  • There was a similar era GMC C.O.E. at a car show I last year. It is at about the 9:00 mark. This guy also went all custom on his rig.

    [ 1VdVnIjuxd4&list=UUHBMWqoKoNvMYoBSd61g_Pw&index=6&feature=plcp ]


    My hat is off to you Joe! That's an awesome truck; I'm even more jealous of the shop space!!

  • scroggzilla

    (polite golf clap, murmur of approval, nod of respect)

  • coupeZ600

    Before Reagan got elected in 1980 and de-regulated the trucking industry and more or less abolished the I.C.C., there were all sorts of length restrictions and COE's were one way to get around these. Only lip service was paid to length limits afterward, but there were still all these perfectly good COE's laying around and no senior Driver would get anywhere near them, they only drove Conventionals from then on.

    So they were relegated to the newbies like me, and I could go on and on (and sometimes have) about all the problems with COE's and how they suck in almost every way possible.

    That being said, I spent 15 years and a million and a half miles in a Kenworth K134, and I loved that Truck. I went on vacation once, and when I got back the Boss was absolutely beaming as he handed me the keys to a brand-new Peterbilt 375 that had every gee-gaw known to man, factory A/C, a huge Caterpillar motor.

    "Nice,… Now where's my Truck?"

    "Uh… This is your Truck, that other one was worn-out, we sold it and bought you this one…. Aren't you excited?…."


    I'd see it around Town and would always pull in when I saw it fueling or stopped. The new Driver hated it (for all the obvious reasons), and when I would excoriate profusely upon all it's virtues, which you could write in bold print on one fingernail, he would say "If you love it so much, why don't you marry it?"

    I think I did.

  • BD Vicz

    I've been looking at a lot a these lately and this is by far one of the nicest pieces of work and art I've seen. Hopefully once I get stationed back in the states later this year I can find myself a cab and get to wrenching and all the other joys. The awesomeness of this truck can't even be over shadowed by the fact that this early Dodge body style is my favorite of the big three.

    I'd also love to see a build page of this and some more pics of the complete rig. Having been a machinist and helicopter mechanic any metal that is welded and finished like this must be impressive to see.

  • jozcoe

    Thanks BD Vicz…
    I'd be happy to send some more pictures of the build and completed truck…drop me an email.
    [email protected]

  • JIm Kelly

    Nice Truck, I am starting on my 42 Dodge COE.Any chance he has any left over front settions over the wind shield left over along with the overhead interior bulkhead. Miine was rotted out by mice living in it.Thanks,


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