In 1950, during the Cold War in Asia, the American military needed to improve their M38 Jeep. The military asked for a new vehicle that would be lighter, more powerful and more comfortable, and that could also be parachuted. Tests were carried out in a hurry, and were all very favorable: the M151 seemed lower and even sleeker, if we can use that term for a military vehicle. 1969 saw the appearance of the Ford-produced 151 A2, which was produced for one year before being handed over to AM General, which continued production until 1982. The new models were reinforced by two central spars, and the monocoque body benefited from suspensions that were far less primitive than the inflexible leaf springs of its predecessor. At the front, wishbones are superimposed and combined with coil springs inside which the shock absorbers are placed.
At the rear, the wishbones are made of deep-drawn sheet metal, the same as the swing axle used on the first M151s, whose long travel and camber variations led to numerous accidents. The steel rims are fitted with 7.00 x 16 military-profile tires.
The technicians opted for a 4-speed gearbox with a non-geared transfer case, less complicated to use for the Yankee “bidasse”, and featuring a superb, very short, non-synchronized 1st gear. All this is driven by a 72-hp, 2319 cm3 4-cylinder engine, designed by Ford to be as light as possible and able to operate in extreme conditions. Both the oil sump and the horizontal carburetor are designed to operate on slopes of up to 60% and inclines of up to 40%.
On-board access is easy, thanks to an indentation as clear around the ears as an incorporation bowl. What comfort and smooth steering. On the road, the MUTT 151 A2 is lively and reassuring, with no untimely suspension bounce, brakes that keep you firmly in line, a gearbox that engages cleanly and precisely, and roadholding that almost encourages you to attack. You can switch to 4×4 mode simply by lowering the short lever that engages the front axle.
Our example is a rare model kept in its original condition, as history teaches us that after conflicts, many cars were deliberately destroyed by armies by cutting them in 2. Our vehicle is fully serviced, appraised, with French collector’s registration and clean MOT. Delivered with its complete hood.
An article on our car was published in the Autoretro magazine of 01/12/2022.
Price on request.