Ford M151 MUTT
¼-ton 4×4 Military Utility Tactical Truck
In 1960 quantity production of the
M151 started at Ford's Highland Park factory in Michigan. The engine
was the Ford L142 - a 4-cylinder 2,320 cc. unit delivering 72 bhp. at 4,000
rpm. - but the steel bodies were built by Fruehauf. It was fitted with
cast magnesium wheels, identifiable by oval cooling slots.
The M151 was replaced in production
by the M151A1 in 1964. Still built by Ford, it had minor changes in the
rear suspension including stiffer components, firmer mountings and an extra
rubber bump stop to reduce rebound. The basic suspension lay-out (basically
an A-frame mounted parallel to the direction of travel) remained unchanged,
which still resulted in negative camber when unloaded. Therefore the M151A1
shared most of the undesireable handling characteristics with the M151.
The most noticeable difference between the models was the addition of turn
signals mounted on the front fenders. Early M151A1s also had the oval-slotted
cast magnesium wheels.
The M718 and M718A1 are ambulance versions based on the M151A1 and M151A2 respectively. They have a crew of two, a driver and a medical attendant. This version has a rear overhang and can carry a stretcher and three seated patients, two stretchers and two seated patients or three stretcher patients.
The M151A1C 106-mm Recoilless Rifle Carrier was based on the M151A1 and was assembled by Rock Island Arsenal. It was replaced by the M825 based on the M151A2, which had the M40 106-mm recoilless rifle mounted in the rear. This model was itself replaced by a similar vehicle mounting the Hughes TOW ATGW. A combination of stiffer rear springs at the rear to bear to increased load and a raised centre of gravity affected the already peculiar handling. Normally these weapon carriers are therefore restricted in permissible speed.
To counter the rear axle problem a M151 was fitted with leaf springs and a solid rear axle. Although this set-up essentially solved the handling problems, the reliability of the modified design was insufficient and it also lead to distortion of the frame.
Also, an XM29 155mm launcher was fitted to one M151A1C.
"INTACT BUT UNSERVICEABLE SOLD TILL 4 FEB 1970"In practice demilitarisation is done by crushing the body with a bulldozer or cutting the body in half and removing a section across the middle. The US Government is convinced that this method prevents any of these vehicles to come into civilian hands in a driveable condition. In a pamphlet of the Defense Reutilization & Marketing Service it is stated that: "Stories and ads claiming that US military jeeps are available for sale as vehicles to the general public are not true"(!)
Countries which received their M151s through military aid have to comply with US regulations. Canada also demilitarises its M151A2s when disposing of them.
Probably because of the fact that
this demilitarisation procedure leaves a lot of components but no bodies,
there are a few companies who supply "remanufactured" MUTTs. These companies
in fact supply a new body and mostly use the M151A2s drive line and engine.
Many options are offered such as 6×6 versions, diesel engines, disk
brakes, etc. As far as is known none of these vehicles has been taken into
(Note: I recently found a picture of an M151 in Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) service in Vietnam in 1970, possibly this was a one-off?)
purchased the M151A2 in quantity in the mid-1970s, but used a number
of M151 and M151A1 jeeps as well during UN operations before that.
Denmark replaced its Jeeps (MB/GPW, CJ2A, -3A, 3B) with the Willys M38A1 and Ford M151A1. The first 600 were delivered in 1967. They were used in the Liaison-, Scout car role and armed with TOW. A typical registration number is 36.804. The M151A1 has now been superceded by the Mercedes GD 240.
France, when searching for a replacement of more than 8,000 Jeeps (Hotchkiss M210, Willys MB, Ford GPW) in the late 1970s, also tested the M151A2 albeit mainly for comparison purposes.
Israel was supplied with a large number of M151-series vehicle by the US. The M151A2s are fitted with roll-over protection.
Luxembourg bought the first version of the M151-series. About 80 M151s replaced its Army's wartime Jeeps. Some of them are used for special purposes, for example weapon mounts (including TOW) or radio-equipped. They were in use well into the 1980s when they were replaced by the "Hummer".
Mexico reportedly bought Budd's body dies and tooling. Supposedly some bodies and complete vehicles were built there.
Singapore used - at least - the M825 recoilless rifle carrier, as in June 1996 approximately half a dozen of these with SAF markings (but without their recoilless rifles) were present in the yard of Staman Trading at Nijverdal, the Netherlands. They had no windscreens and extra brush guards fitted over the headlights and radiator. Of interest was that some examples had markings to warn drivers not to exceed 30 km/h, while other had markings not to exceed 50 km/h!
used all three models, all over the world during war and peace time. It
was the principal ¼-tonner during the Vietnam war, for example.
Even during the Gulf War the HMMWV (Hummer) had not replaced some special
versions of the M151A2, like those used by Rapid Deployment Forces. In
service the M151A2 was retrofitted with full roll-over cages called Roll
Over Protection System or ROPS.
Recommended reading (also see Sources below)