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My MUTT

Article about: A couple of years back I sold off my '48 Willys for something a little newer: a 1972 M151A2 MUTT. As is typical, it's an on-going project. (I'm currently fighting with the brake system. Just

  1. #1

    Default My MUTT

    A couple of years back I sold off my '48 Willys for something a little newer: a 1972 M151A2 MUTT. As is typical, it's an on-going project. (I'm currently fighting with the brake system. Just when I think I've got it fixed, something else goes. I've a leaky wheel cylinder so my MUTT is currently sitting in the garage; four wheel cylinders, one steel line, and two rubber lines, and I'll have a brand new entire brake system. The parts are on hand, but not the time right now.)

    The M151 series was a replacement for the M38A1 (which replaced the M38, which replaced the Willys MB and Ford GPW.) Designed by Kaiser, the MUTT was initially built by Ford. Kaiser, and later AM General, eventually picked up production contracts. The M151 utilized a monocoque design and a four-wheel independent suspension with coil springs (as opposed to the traditional ladder box frame with live axles of the previous jeep family.) The US Army adopted the M151 in 1951 and finally replaced them with the HMMWV ("Humvee") beginning in 1984. A quick look at the suspension of the MUTT and HMMVW, and it's easy to see the family pedigree.

    The M151A2 (my version) first came about in 1970. Ford made the M151A2 until 1971. AM General and Ford both made them until 1972, when AM General took over production entirely. The A2 version is easy to spot because of the unique front composite lights and dipped front fenders. As the Army began to dispose of the M151 series, they stopped surplusing whole vehicles because of the roll-over risk. (In a tight turn they can roll over, even at very low speed (i.e., < 20 mph.)) At first, the Army began cutting them in half and selling them as scrap. However, enterprising folks began welding the halves back together. The Army later tried cutting them into quarters, but with the same result. The Army finally settled on crushing them entirely before selling them off to the general public. As a result, it's fairly rare to find an uncut MUTT except for the early variations (M151/M151A1.) Uncut A2s are almost unheard of...not quite, but almost.

    My MUTT, "Otto" (named after the mutt in Beetle Bailey), is an early AM General; it's titled as a 1972, but based on the combination light buckets and floor drains, it could also possibly be a 1971. Otto is a cut MUTT, too. Anyways, here's "Otto," my MUTT:

    In winter dress,
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    and with the Willys (now gone to a new home) in the background.
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    In summer dress.
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    And totally topless.
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    (And Otto's namesake, for the uninitiated.)
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  2. #2

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    We still call them Jeeps in the US...I learned to drive standard stick-shift on this vehicle when I was in the Service back in '85. There was a call for new drivers in the Company. My driving test consisted of a quick drive around the barracks, and my Military Driver's License received a stamp saying I was qualified to drive the 1/4ton General Purpose Vehicle...Thanks for the memories!
    cheers, Glenn

  3. #3

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    Nice ! - Great name too. I remember the cartoon quite well.
    Is that your WWII Jeep in the background.........! ?
    Regards,


    Steve.

  4. #4

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    They are a great vehicle-unfortunetely when the military was getting rid of these they stipulated that they had to be cut up as I believe someone tried to sue the Goverment because they had an accident with one. I remember seeeing rows and rows of them at Fort Drun N.Y. just waiting to be sold and then cut up. Incidently I have a M38 A-1 I'm currently working on and interestingly ot was originally built in Europe under license.

  5. #5

    Default

    Quote by bigmacglenn1966 View Post
    We still call them Jeeps in the US...I learned to drive standard stick-shift on this vehicle when I was in the Service back in '85. There was a call for new drivers in the Company. My driving test consisted of a quick drive around the barracks, and my Military Driver's License received a stamp saying I was qualified to drive the 1/4ton General Purpose Vehicle...Thanks for the memories!
    cheers, Glenn
    We refer to 'em as jeeps here in Virginia too, but the truth is, it's not exactly a jeep. Although, I suppose one could consider it sort of cousin to the jeep/Jeep. However, among the majority off-road jeepers and the MB/GPW crowd, it's not a "real jeep." MUTT is short for Military Utility Tactical Truck. I've shown "Otto" at a number of cruise-ins, car shows, etc..., and it always draws a good crowd of small boys and veterans. The veterans always share stories like yours. (Even the preacher at my church likes to tell me stories about his tie in the Army and behind the wheel of a MUTT.) The one sad story I hear repeated frequently though, is how many guys were killed by overturning their MUTTs.

    I trust the forum will forgive me if I don't get this 100% correct; I'll freely admit I'm not a jeep-head or jeep fanatic, but the Reader's Digest version of the jeep history is that original jeeps were concept/design by Bantam. Willys got the contract, and began producing the MB. Unfortunately, Willys couldn't meet the demanded production so Ford picked up a contract to help fulfill the Army's needs. Ford produced the GPW...almost identical to the Willys MB, but a few minor details (IIRC, there was some variance in the frame design...don't hold me to that, though.)

    Post-WW2, Ford's production ceased and Willys began transitioning to the Willys CJ2A in 1945...a civilian-ized version of the MB. The earliest CJ2As were made on the same line, and simultaneously as the MBs, I believe. (Very early 2As have the body divots for the pioneer kit.) The biggest differences between the MB/GPW and the CJ2A were the size and location of the headlights (military: small, recessed vs civilian: large, surface mounted) and the location of the gas filler (military: under the seat vs civilian: through the side of the body.) The 2A morphed into the CJ3A around 1948/1949. The biggest and most visible difference between the CJ2A and CJ3A is the two piece windshield of the 2A (like the MB and GPW) versus the one piece windshield of the 3A. I believe the CJ3B came about around 1953. It's easy to recognize due to the high-rise hood (to accommodate the new F head engine (versus the L head "Go Devil" of the MB/GPW/CJ2A.)

    While all that's going on, by 1950 the US military needed another general purpose light-duty truck to replace the aging fleet of MBs and GPWs. They settled on the M38...basically a 24 volt militarized version of the CJ3A. The fleet of M38s was augmented beginning around 1952 (and lasted until 1971 with the M38A1...the first round-fendered Jeep.) The M38A1 also evolved into a civilian-ized version, the CJ5. The Jeep pedigree kind of splits at that point, with the civilian line going into the CJ5, CJ7, and eventually into the YJ/TJ series. Militarily, the the military was also looking at new designs and by 1951 decided they liked the new design of the MUTT...the M151.

    The MUTT was designed by Kaiser (who eventually acquired Willys/Willys-Overland; Kaiser was eventually acquired by/absorbed into American Motors) but the initial contract went to Ford. (This is why the grill slats are horizontal instead of vertical...to appease the trademark gods.) Eventually, Kaiser ended up with part of the M151-series contract. While producing them, Kaiser was absorbed into AM. The military and heavy truck division of American Motors was/is AM General. (They make buses, Hummvees and US Mail trucks.) Since "Otto" is an AM General, it's safe to argue it is in fact a Jeep (or at least, a Jeep relative.)

  6. #6

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    Quote by Walkwolf View Post
    Nice ! - Great name too. I remember the cartoon quite well.
    Is that your WWII Jeep in the background.........! ?
    It's a '48 CJ2A done up like an M38.

  7. #7

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    The Jeep lineage/history is pretty much correct.

    Lol - I have a '46 done up like a M38 as well.
    I call it a 'CJ-38'.........
    Regards,


    Steve.

  8. #8
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    Just the car i need down here. It looks great, i have always wanted to own one of these.
    Collect ROA, Cossack, Schuma and other WW2 Volunteer militaria.

    "Be Humble and kind, for you may find that it was Odin you entertained"

  9. #9

    Default My Mutt

    I always liked these jeeps ( Mutts). From the Vietnam era. This is my unrestored Ford 1969 M151A1. It is an uncut, titled one that came from a National Guard unit in Missouri . It is in running condition and I an going to restore it to its military glory. I have it stored on the farm in my mothers machine shed. I had a WWII MB 1945 that I sold years ago. Wish I had it back. Oh Well this one will work for me. I was told that these are hard to find as they were to be destroyed and not sold to the public since some nut rolled one and tried to sue the Government over it.
    John

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    I specialize in M1 carbines and Lugers.

  10. #10

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    Quote by guns ltd View Post
    I always liked these jeeps ( Mutts). From the Vietnam era. This is my unrestored Ford 1969 M151A1. It is an uncut, titled one that came from a National Guard unit in Missouri . It is in running condition and I an going to restore it to its military glory. I have it stored on the farm in my mothers machine shed. I had a WWII MB 1945 that I sold years ago. Wish I had it back. Oh Well this one will work for me. I was told that these are hard to find as they were to be destroyed and not sold to the public since some nut rolled one and tried to sue the Government over it.
    John

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    We still have plenty of these around over here.
    They are usually sold for 2-3000 euros in running condition.

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