Offered by Brightwells | Leominster, U.K. | December 3, 2022
The Willys Jeep was a hit during WWII, and the basic concept has remained popular in civilian life since. Well, the Brits didn’t want to have to keep buying American Jeeps – and there was some nationalistic pride to be had too by developing their own version.
So in stepped Austin with this, which unofficially became known as the Champ. Produced between 1951 and 1956, the jeep-like truck is powered by a Rolls-Royce-sourced 2.8-liter inline-four that made 80 horsepower. It’s a 4×4 with a waterproof engine and a snorkel. A civilian version was also available.
This one remained in service with the British military until 1967 and later went to the Netherlands. It wears an older restoration and carries as estimate of $14,000-$16,000. Click here for more info.
Offered by H&H Auctioneers | Duxford, U.K. | April 14, 2021
This thing is awesome. Let’s start with Morris Commercial, which was – as you’ve probably guessed – the commercial vehicle arm of British automaker Morris. It was founded in 1924 and was phased out during the British Leyland consolidation of the late 1960s.
The original CS8 was introduced in 1934 and used a 24-horsepower inline-six engine. They were built in every imaginable body style variant that the military could need. The big problem was that they were very heavy and only rear-wheel drive. Production lasted through 1942 when it was replaced by the 4×4 C4, which was in turn replaced by the popular C8 in 1944.
H&H describes this as the “finest example” they’ve ever encountered. I mean, I have never seen another one, but I can’t imagine there is a nicer one around. The pre-sale estimate is $55,000-$69,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by Brightwells | Leominster, U.K. | March 27-April 1, 2021
Every major manufacturer got involved in the war in some regard. Consider that right up until the war started, Austin was building this tiny car. Then all of a sudden, they’re manufacturing heavy trucks (though they did build armored cars during WWI).
Between 1939 and 1945, Austin built 13,102 examples of this field ambulance. And that’s all it was… there was no “troop-carrier” variant. Ambulance only. The 3.5-liter inline-six made 60 horsepower when new, enough to propel this three-ton truck to 50 mph. The gruesome record during the war is apparently 27 injured soldiers carried in one load, including on the fenders and hood.
This example was used by the Royal Navy and has been in the same family since it was disposed of by the War Department in 1948. It can now be yours for between $26,000-$27,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by Mecum | Glendale, Arizona | March 18-20, 2021
There is no way this truck was this pretty when it was new. I mean, it is clean. Dodge’s M37 was a follow-up to the WC series of trucks and command cars the company built during World War II. The M37 was produced in various forms between 1951 and 1968 and was used by the U.S. during the Korean War and Vietnam. They were also exported and used by other countries, mainly in Southeast Asia and Latin America, the former, presumably, being U.S. military leftovers from Vietnam.
Power is from a 3.8-liter inline-six rated at 78 horsepower. The engine was actually shared with the WC trucks, as well as the civilian Power Wagon. This is a 3/4-ton truck with four-wheel drive, a canvas soft top, and a lot of military-style add-ons.
About 63,000 examples of the M37 and its variants were produced between 1951 and 1954 before other versions took over. You can read more about this well-restored example here. Check out more from Mecum here.
Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Elkhart, Indiana | October 23-24, 2020
A couple of companies have built Jeeps or Jeep-like vehicles. It started with American Bantam, then there was Willys, Ford, Jeep (of course), and more. American Motors produced the prototype for this tactical truck in 1946, and it was further refined by some of the engineers from the original Bantam Jeep project.
The 1/4-ton “Mighty Mite” was produced for the Marine Corps between 1959 and about 1962. It is powered by a 55 horsepower 1.8-liter V4. It has four-wheel drive and tops out at about 62 mph. This is the “long wheelbase” version, as the M422 variant was six inches shorter.
Just 2,672 examples of the M422A1 were produced. When compared to WWII-era Jeeps, that’s just a tiny, tiny percentage. This well-restored example is going to sell at no reserve. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by Bonhams | Amelia Island, Florida | March 5, 2020
The Volkswagen project kicked off in 1937 to build Germany a “people’s car.” Well, that plan sort of got derailed with Germany’s other big passion: taking over the world. So Volkswagen got repurposed to build military vehicles. And they produced three different kinds. Two of them are on offer at this sale.
The Schwimmwagen is the most mass-produced amphibious vehicle in history. In all, 14,265 of them were built between 1942 and 1944. They were used by the Germans throughout the war and could obviously be used on land or water. Power is from a 1.1-liter flat-four good for 25 horsepower. The Schwimmwagen even made an appearance in the Gran Turismo video game series. It was not fast.
The whole military history of this car shouldn’t really deter people from having one. They are probably tons of fun. This one was recently restored and is expected to bring between $100,000-$125,000. Click here for more info.
Update: Sold $145,600.
1944 Volkswagen Type 82 Kubelwagen
Offered by Bonhams | Amelia Island, Florida | March 5, 2020
We said that Volkswagen produced two other military vehicles for Germany during WWII, aside from the Schwimmwagen. This, the Kubelwagen, was another one (there was also a four-wheel-drive version of the Beetle). This is the one the bad guys always drove in WWII video games.
Produced between 1940 and 1945, the Type 82 is powered by a 25 horsepower, 1.1-liter flat-four. Earlier versions had smaller engines. It was the German version of the Jeep. But, unlike the Jeep, this thing is heavily based on Beetle designs and is rear-wheel drive.
That’s right! This thing will go anywhere with just two driven wheels. Part of the trick is that the car is very light, uses portal axles, and has a relatively smooth underside. They built 50,435 examples, and this one has been restored. It should bring between $30,000-$40,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by Oldtimer Galerie | Toffen, Switzerland | March 30, 2019
We haven’t featured a military vehicle in some time, so I thought this slightly Axis-esque troop transporter would be a good fit. It was built by the Swiss company Saurer, a truck and bus manufacturer that existed between 1903 and 1982.
The MH4, as it was known to Saurer, or M4, as it was known to the Swiss army, was a troop transporter used between 1945 and 1985. Quite a long time, but I guess the Swiss really aren’t fighting that many wars, now are they?
Power here is from a 5.8-liter inline-four that should make about 75 horsepower and a lot more torque. They topped out at a little over 40 mph. You aren’t likely to run into another one when you’re out at the hardware store or toting the entire soccer team around. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by Mecum | Chicago, Illinois | October 25-27, 2018
Photo – Mecum
Every American automobile manufacturer that survived the Great Depression produced vehicles of some kind for the war effort during WWII. Ford produced planes, jeeps, trucks, and more (yeah, okay, so one of those links is for a truck Ford built for the Nazis). This is sort of a hybrid Jeep-Truck. It is often referred to as a “Burma Jeep.”
These were heavily used by the Navy and Marines, primarily in the Pacific Theater of the war. A 90 horsepower straight-six provided power to all four wheels. Five different variants were built, and this looks like a regular base model truck for cargo or troops. They came equipped with a huge winch and dual rear wheels. They were meant to go trouncing through the jungle. And that’s just what they did.
This one shows pretty well – and the odometer has less than one mile on it. So it’s probably pretty fresh (or that gauge isn’t working). This is the first one of these I can remember seeing at auction. It’s a cool piece of American military history and you can read more here and see more from Mecum here.
Offered by H&H Classics | Duxford, U.K. | March 21, 2018
Photo – H&H Classics
We. Love. Half-tracks. And based on the historical page visits on this website, so do you. This is an M3, produced by White, and it was developed from the M2 Half Track, which was based in principle on the Citroen Kegresse.
M3s were built by White, Autocar, and Diamond T between 1940 and 1945. It’s powered by a 3.7-liter straight-six making 147 horsepower. Even with the tracks, these were capable of 45 mph on the road and were very popular among the Allied forces.
About 41,000 of these were built between the three different manufacturers. It’s very similar to the M5 half-track built by International Harvester, which was built because the three manufacturers of the M3 couldn’t keep pace with demand. This one has been decently restored and should bring between $55,000-$83,500. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by Auctions America | Auburn, Indiana | May 12, 2017
Photo – Auctions America
World War II tanks are just awesome. And the Buick-built M18 Hellcat was one of the best. It was the most effective American tank destroyer in WWII and the fastest American tracked armored vehicle until the M1 Abrams of 1980. As a tank destroyer, this thing was designed to destroy other tanks. What’s manlier than a tank built to eliminate its own kind? Not much.
Designed in 1942, the M18 entered service in 1943 and Buick turned out 2,507 of them through October of 1944. It’s powered by a 350 horsepower, Continental nine-cylinder radial engine. Top speed was 55 mph. Imagine one of these bearing down on you at top speed. Pretty frightening.
The pre-sale estimate is between $275,000-$350,000. WWII tanks in great condition trade hands for big money. They are both rare and desirable because of the generation of soldiers they represent. Click here for more info and here for more from Auctions America.