The Texas A&M Power Wagon

by Michael Satterfield

Since moving to Texas I have been given a crash-course in college football culture, in Texas college towns operate like Greco-Roman city-states where civic pride is tied to championships, and no matter what else you do in life, you peaked in college. Nowhere is this college culture more apparent than Aggieland where the former military college still keeps to its roots with the Corps of Cadets, who are known as the "Keepers of the Spirit" and include the Fightin' Texas Aggie Band, and Parsons Mounted Cavalry.

If you ever have a chance to attend an A&M home game something you can't miss is the firing of "The Spirit of '02" a 3-inch M1902 field artillery gun with every touchdown since 1984. The cannon is pulled into Kyle Field by a team of horses today, but in the early days, it would often be towed behind Corps of Cadets member Steven Cook's classic Dodge Power Wagon. I met Steven while visiting the Texas Power Wagon Museum that he and his father Paul started. It was while in the office that Paul shared these period photos of the Power Wagon that Seven drove while attending A&M. Texas A&M graduates from the late 80s may also remember another Power Wagon that was used a 1942 WC-21 that was used by the Corps thanks to Seven's father Paul. But eventually, the teams of horses would take over and the Cook's Power Wagons would be retired from service.

After graduating from A&M Steven would go on to serve in the U.S. Army while the truck would join the other Power Wagons in the collection. Today the truck sits behind the main museum buildings, in a field, you can still see the markings, the original bed is still around as well and it is on the list of classic Power Wagons waiting to be restored at the museum. But for now, a little bit of Aggie history sits in a field outside of Kempner, Texas.

During this road trip I drove the new RAM 2500 Power Wagon, look for more about my adventure with the 2020 Power Wagon here and on YouTube.