What Year?

1955 or 1956?

Update: March 25, 2005, The Answer!
Eric Bannerman found a manual issued in Canada that shows that 83949000 is the definitive ending serial number for the 1955 models. This is no different than the information presented in the origninal version of this web page however, it is the first official Chrysler manual found that details the serial number breakdowns for these years. However, it still doesn't explain why some C-3-PW models were manufactured with serial numbers after 83949001.
C-3-PW Starting number 83944001 Ending number 83949000 for 1955 model year
C-4-PW Starting number 83949001 Ending number 83951794 for 1956 model year
From: WM-4371, Model Chart and Serial Number Guide, Issued April 1957
Thanks, Eric!

    This is turning into an ongoing quest to find the year of manufacture of my 1955-56? C3-PW6-126 Power-Wagon. The second owner said it was sold to him as a 1956. The earliest record I have of official documentation is two Massachusetts registrations from 1973 and 1974 where it's listed as a 1956. However, all of the specifications and dates located on the truck appear to make it a 1955 model. The most plausible explanation came from several on the Power Wagon Forums that said it was common practice for Dodge in those days to re-badge to the current year left over models from the previous year.
    A lot of changes were made in the 1955 and 1956 model years to include: 12 volt electrical system, synchromesh transmission, power steering option, 11-inch clutch option, and third series bed. This was what originally prompted me to look for the true year of manufacture for my truck since it doesn't have any of the above changes.

John Gunnell's, Standard Catalog of Light-Duty dodge Trucks, 1917-2002, lists:
1955 C3-PW: 83744001-83749000; I believe the 7 should be a 9
1956 C3-PW: 83949001-83951794; but no serial number listing for C4-PW, so this is probably another typo
Vintage Power Wagons, Owner's Manual for Dodge Power Wagon, compilation lists:
1955-1956 C3-PW: 83944001-83949000; I'm not sure where the break in model years occurs
1956 C4-PW: 83949001-83951794

Forum Discussions:
Power Wagon Advertiser Forum C3 PW Confusion?

Selected 55 or 56 Discussions from Joe Cimoch's Dodge Power Wagon Forum.

1955-1956 Trucks:
Owner Stated Year Model Serial Number Features Data Plate
Mel 1955 FC3-PW6-126 (Fargo) 83944400 6-volt
Cheyenne Dave 1955 C3-PW6-126 83945106 6-volt
Paul Stork
(not present owner)
1955 C3-PW6-126 83945846 Deluxe Cab, 4.89 gears  
Todd Somers 1955 C3-PW6-126 83946825 12-volt (converted), non-sync trans, 2nd series bed
John Szewczyk 1956 C3-PW6-126 83947005 12-volt (converted), non-sync trans, no bed
Vaughn Payton 1956 C3-PW6-126 83947104 12-volt, Trans "after type" #38711, 2nd series bed  
Philip Street 1956 C3-PW6-126 83947680 6-volt, Trans "after type" #38711, 2nd series bed
Karl Baker 1956 C3-PW6-126 83947901    
David Sherman 1956 C3-PW6-126 (Bell Truck) 83948098 6-volt, Trans "after type" #38711
Eric Bannerman 1956 C4-PW6-126 83949790 12-volt, NP420 Trans, 9500GVW,
101 @3600 Net,
111 @3600 Gross,
Cab & Frame have
parted company
Roger Mesenbrink 1956 C4-PW6-126 83949817 12-volt, NP420 Trans, 3rd series bed  
Arthur Bloom 1956 C4-PW6-126 83950072    
Jonas Smith 1956 FC4-PW-126 (Fargo swivel frame) 83950157 12-volt, NP420 Trans, 2nd series bed
eBay? 1956 C3-PW6-126 83950333 3rd series bed
Howard Willey 1956 C3-PW6-126 83951108 12-volt, NP420 Trans
Joe Lorenzino 1956 C4-PW6-126 83951509  
Cary J. Meier 1956 C3-PW6-126 83951530 12-volt, NP420 Trans, 3rd series bed
Anders Tordell 1956 C3-PW6-126 83951744    

Miscellaneous dates from my truck:
FrameSerial EngineTagLocation EngineNumber EngineBlockDate EngineHeadDate
ExhaustManifoldDate SpeedoDate WheelDate Transmission Date Bell Housing Date

More dates from other trucks:
Chris McKovich's 1952 B3-PW has a date stamp on the top, long side of the front axle. White paint was used over the black paint on the housing. The letters/numbers are each 1" high X 5/8" wide. The whole stencil from end to end is 6" long. Reading the stencil looking forward and down on the drivers side top of the axle housing, the lettering starts 4-7/8" from the spring perch.
Will Watson's 1949 B-1PW has a date stamp on his Model 61 Heater door:
Eric Bannerman supplied the pictures of these three heaters, note the date stamps on the heater doors. Model61
Model 61
Model 61
Model 62
Model 62
Model 65
Model 65

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