Special Museum Line No.31 "the Dodge Trucks in Detail"

Wings and Wheels Publications
RAK, P.O. Box 35 17006, Prague 7,
Czech Republic.

This new one in the Special Museum Line No 31 series is the Dodge Trucks in Detail. The ISBN no 80-86416-37-2, the authors are Frantisek Koran and Jan Mostek. Printed in the now usual standard format on high quality paper and in landscape format, it has crammed into its 72 pages; 341 colour photographs, showing in the very closest imaginable details of the internal and exterior of all of the vehicles. Text as usual is in English and is kept to the minimum to explain the photographs and add to the information shown.
The Vehicles that are included in the book are the following, Dodge WC-54 Ambulance pages 4-27, WC-56/57 Command Car pages 28-47, WC-62/63 6x 4 pages 48-61, Lastly but not listed in the index is Dodge M37 pages 62-71.
Each chapter is colour coded on the top right hand side of the page for easy reference. All the models of vehicles are covered in the usual way the introduction, walkabout then external and internal details, followed by a more in depth covering of the chassis or engine. In several cases the actual restoration of a vehicle is minutely examined in a level of detail that will bring joy to the heart of restorers and museum curators and lastly super detail model makers.

It is worth noting that several of the restorations have added details not consistent with wartime production. This is to comply with the legal requirements for insurance and traffic laws applicable to the country to which they operate i.e. extra traffic indicators or none standard licence plates. This is highlighted in the text so there should be no confusion.

A very nice bonus is the inclusion of photographs of the two types of stretchers used with the Ambulance.
If there is one section that highlights the attention to detail in this book esp for model makers it has to be the following pages 60-61. This shows the underneath of the un- restored WC-62/63 6X4 Truck. This is how weathering should be not as imagined by some model makers. It shows the grease, oil stains and general muck better than any other photograph.

As an extra bonus the inclusion of the in depth photomontage of the M37 truck, this is the first time I have seen one and as such it is very welcome addition to a superb book.

This book is a compliment to the all ready published title on "THE BEEP in Detail No 28" in the same series. As such it completes the story of the Wartime Dodge Story. It deserves to find a space next to the previous publication on your reference shelf and adds yet more information about these versatile vehicles, one so often sees at Military Vehicle Rallies.

I have no hesitation in highly recommending the book to those who love to build models of Dodge series of vehicles and to those who are lucky enough to own the real vehicle and esp. to museums who wish to maintain and restore them. I can see it selling very well at the world largest Military Vehicle Rally in July at The War and Peace Show, Beltring in Kent in the UK.

For our American readers who like to score points out of 10. I give it 10 for new and innovate ideas, 10 for quality of photographs, 10 for selection of vehicles, 10 for Value for money and readability.

Many thanks to Franti for the advance review copy sent to me. As it is a review copy I have no idea of price but I do know it is due to hit the book dealers in the next few weeks so keep an eye out on the adverts for availability and price in your own country.

Ian Sadler Review
June 2004