After the Soviet Union detonated its first nuclear weapon, President Harry Truman created the Federal Civil Defense Administration in 1951 to work with various states and neighboring nations on plans and procedures “to meet emergencies or disasters from enemy attacks.”
Or, as the dealer offering the Pick of the Day put it in the vehicle’s advertisement on ClassicCars.com, “to educate and reassure the country that there were ways to survive an atomic attack from the Soviet Union.”
Those of a certain age may remember “Duck and Cover” exercises at school in which they were instructed to crouch beneath their desks in case of a nuclear attack, as if that might actually provide protection from the blast and radioactive fallout.
Regardless, the Pick of the Day is a 1955 Dodge C3 pickup truck with Civil Defense Administration history. According to the advertisement on ClassicCars.com, the truck was used by Civil Defense staffers in the Dallas area.
“The uniqueness of this truck would make it a desirable addition to any collection,” the dealer advertising the car notes. “The FCDA stickers, sirens, ladder racks with ladders and tools and flashing amber light on the cab of the truck will certainly draw attention to it.
“However,” the ad continues, “the ladder racks, ladders and other items could easily be removed to put this truck back to stock.”
The engine, a 315cid V8 with Hemi heads known as the Super Red Ram, and 4-speed manual transmission both have been rebuilt and the car runs “amazing,”according to the ad.
“This C3 was also the first year of the pilot house wraparound front windshield that has a great look to it,” the dealer adds.
“The interior has all been redone and looks amazing as well.”
The ad doesn’t offer details about the vehicle’s Civil Defense history, nor what it has been doing since the that agency was merged in 1958 with the Office of Defense Mobilization. The mergers continued with the former Civil Defense agency becoming part of the Federal Emergency Management Agency and in 2003 the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.