This 1927 Dodge 4Screen was originally a US Army inventory vehicle. At the end of WWI it remained in the Army Inventory until WWII, at which time it was assigned to a POW Camp along the California Coastline, at the Dos Pueblos POW Camp, in Santa Barbara County (just north of Santa Barbara-Goleta. It remained at that Camp until the end of WWII and the Camp was closed. The Wagon was sold as Surplus property and purchased by a Goleta Rancher in the area just south of the Camp, in the area of the Ellwood Canyon. There it stayed, as a Ranch work truck.
Eventually, as most ranch vehicles end up, it broke down and ended up abandon on the ranch, a dilapidated , rusted truck. It was Brough to the City of Goleta where there was hope of restoration, but it never happened and after a few years was again abandon in the city. The truck was eventually Abaded by the Santa Barbara County and was on it was to the local wrecking yard as junk.
This was when I found it, a old rusted hulk sitting the the County Yard waiting for the Wrecker to pick it up. I was a working Deputy Sheriff assigned to the Crime Prevention Department and saw a whole new life for the Wagon. I had visions of it being restored and used for Crime Prevention Education, for displays, Parades and for the DARE program, which I had just acquired the duties of. I immediately went to the Sheriff, John Carpenter, and discussed my idea and after a long conversation of doing the restoration with donations and it not costing the tax payers a dime, he went along with my idea.
I did the research and found that the SBSD had used this type of truck on the department. It had been a Prisoner Transportation vehicle, used to transport Sentenced Prisoners that had been Sentenced to State Prison. These trucks became the "Buses" and were used to take prisoners from County Jail to State Prison, transporting them from downtown SB to the State Prisons.
The project was finally completed after donations were obtained from the Community at large, all over the USA. The Horseless Carriage Club of America was our first donation.
Eventually the California Men's Colony in San Luis Obispo took on the project, using their Vocational Education Department Students (Prisoners) to do the actual restoration work through their Automotive Department. They took the project in late 1987 and after 3,000+ man-hours they competed the Ground Up restoration.
The Paddy Wagon has been in service since the end of 1989 and continues to be used for Crime Prevention, Displays, Parades and anywhere it is requested. Car Shows all over the State of California have seen the Wagon.
I am the Caretaker-Curator for the Wagon and continue to show the Wagon in my retirement.