If you are a looking to add an interesting new car to your collection, we bring you a fine selection of military vehicles, just to whet the appetite.
The military used to have exclusivity with many vehicle manufacturers. The economic crisis affected the spending power of the military. A lot of the companies were nearly forced to close their doors completely when this happened. Many of the manufacturers pleaded with their defense partners, and managed to get permission to offer some of these mighty vehicles for general sale to the public.
Of course, specifications of roadworthy military style vehicles differ slightly. (There is no need for armor plating on a street legal truck in downtown city centers).
Here are some of the more well-known and not so well known vehicles in use by the military today, along with their price tag and manufacturers name and country. Happy Hunting!
“Duck” amphibious truck – DUKW (USA)
The amphibious DUKW is better known by the friendlier name of the “Duck”. Built on GMC’s heavy-duty CCKW military truck chassis, the Duck features a slab-sided boat hull for a body and a single 25 inch propeller behind its rear axle.
Powered by a 92 hp in-six-cylinder engine, it weighs nearly 7 Tonnes. Whilst it may be slow on the road, the Duck made up for in its appeal to collectors and enthusiasts all over the world.
Approximately 21,000 Ducks were built between 1942 and 1945. An incredible number are still road and seaworthy!
Today, many are being used as tourist transport, driving and floating visitors down the Thames in London, but a few are in the hands private collectors.
Several companies, like DUKW in the US, offer sales and restoration services, as well as parts and technical support. This helps to keep the 80+ year old machines on the road and afloat.
Renault Sherpa – France
The military version of the Renault Sherpa was once used by French and NATO soldiers, in combat zones around the world. It has been transformed to add some guest appearances in its civilian uniform during the arduous Paris to Dakar Rally. Here it performed exceptionally well, and stood out with its creative graphics package.
Renault offer the Sherpa by special order in Russia, Africa and the Middle East. It can be seen driving the streets of downtown Moscow as a station wagon, or the tough terrain of the deserts as an exploration utility truck.
Its ear deafening 4.76-litre four-cylinder diesel engine packs 215hp, delivering 590lb-ft of torque to all four wheels, via a six-speed automatic transmission. Quite the large turning circle though!
GAZ Tiger – Russia
Many car enthusiasts will say this looks terribly like the American Humvee, but there are rarely coincidences when it comes to military hardware.
The GAZ Tiger is a mighty powerful workhorse. It is also affordable and certainly unique in its appearance. Packed with a 5.9 litre engine with permanent 4 wheel drive. In the civilian version, the Russians did decide to add some subtle refineries. Air conditioning, leather trim seats and an amazingly powerful sound system, perhaps to deafen the engine noise.
You may find it difficult to buy one, unless you are in Russia, but at around $110,000 it may well worth be the trip!
Paramount Marauder – South Africa
If you are looking for something that comes with a bullet proof skin as standard, then this amazing all purpose vehicle from South Africa will certainly fit the bill.
If you have to take a trip into a conflict zone the skin will also resist anti-tank landmines. The price tag is a little rich, but you and your family will definitely be safe…it just may not fit at the local drive through! The Marauder will certainly turn heads on your next shopping trip.
So there you have it. A small selection of military class vehicles which you can drive legally on the streets today and keep in your car collection. Do you have any other favourites to tell us about?