The U.S. military has had the opportunity to put into service some unique vehicles which we wanted to feature on AutoMuseumOnline. Some of these classic military vehicles have seen decades of service and could be considered real workhorse designs.
The M151A1 MUTT
The M151A 1 MUTT, the Military Unit Tactical Truck, first saw combat service in 1965 during the Vietnam War.
An M151 was first produced in 1959 as a replacement for the Korean War era model M38A1. The M151 was first produced by the Ford Motor Company in 1959. Production contracts were later given out to Kaiser Jeep and AM General. Ford's contract actually was granted in 1951 and designing lasted through the 1950's up until first production in 1959.
The 151 is in many ways a classic military vehicle. It's what many people simply refer to as a "jeep". When you look at the M151, the vehicle looks a lot like the M39A1 but the body is larger and the profile is lower. The seating capacity of four with the engine in front like a normal automobile was the same as it's Korean War predecessor M38A and the WW II MB model but there were significant differences. Probably the most significant, aside from the larger body, was that the steel tub bolted onto a separate steel frame. This unitized the construction and gave the M151 a better center of gravity as well as better ground clearance. Interestingly enough, even though the M151 had a larger body ithe first series of M151's weighed the same as it's WW II predecessor.
This M151A which came out a few years after that had a redesign that could allow for more weight.
Another redesign came out in 1969 with the M151A2 which addressed some serious suspension concerns.Overall the vehicle provided better maneuverability and faster speeds cross country than it's World War Two and Korean War predecessor.
M151's were built all the way through 1982. This is over thirty years of production when you include all of the series. They were also sold to several foreign governments. The M151's were active during the 1980's and were eventually replaced in favor of the Humvee. Even after the Humvee's arrived on the scene the U.S. Marines still had use for their M151's because of their compact size which easily enabled them to fit on a C-130 military cargo plane. The Marines used a variant M151 that was called a Fast Attack Vehicle.
If you run across an old surplus M151 and are searching for the build and M151 serial number, it should be on a black plate with raised lettering found on the vehicles upper body. There's no question about it but the M151 MUTT is truly a classic military vehicle.
The M151 had an overall length of 133.0 inches, a width of 64.0 inches, and a height of 64.0 inches.
M37 3/4 Ton Truck
Here is a four wheel drive workhorse military truck that was built by Dodge. The M37 was the next generation truck after the World War Two era WC-51 Weapons Carrier vehicle. The WC series of World War Two trucks were also built by Dodge. Just like the M151 MUTT, the M37 3/4 Ton Truck appeared very similar to the WC models it replaced. Engineers and designers essentially corrected any known faults found in the WC's. The big change from the WC Series was that a pickup truck bed replaced what had been a platform. After a non production prototype was produced in 1950 M37 production began in 1951.
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Many of the parts used for the M37 3/4 Ton Truck were the same as used on the WC-51 trucks. This included the same engine and drive train as used on the old model.
The M37 began service in 1951 and saw plenty of action in both Korea and later Vietnam. The M37 vehicle was a mainstay for the U.S. Military being used by all the services throughout the Cold War era. M37 production ended in 1968 but as is the case with many vehicles used by the Regular Army, the M37 has been used extensively by National Guard units and generally are used by the Guard for a longer period.
The M37 could and was configured in several varieties in addition to being a cargo carrier. This included being configured as a command vehicle, an ambulance and a fire truck.
M37 Specs include two different wheelbases, one at 112.0 inches and the other at 126.0 inches. Weight was 5,687 lbs without attachments.
(Article and photos copyright 2014 AutoMuseumOnline)