A “Frankenstein” M939A2

by Silvio Iacuone

During 2014, several M939A2s were sold by Government Liquidation that were not like a normal truck. From the exterior, the main difference appears to only be the cab. The differences on the inside, however, have caused many to refer to these trucks as “Frankensteins.”

During 2014, several M939A2s were sold by Government Liquidation that were not like a normal truck. From the exterior, the main difference appears to only be the cab. The differences on the inside, however, have caused many to refer to these trucks as “Frankensteins.”

During 2014, some odd-looking M939A2 trucks came up for sale on the Government Liquidation auction site. All of the vehicles released were A2 versions with CTIS and the Cummins 6CTA8.3 diesel engine. Most have the 5-speed Allison, but rumors abound that other trucks have different transmissions. These trucks have been called “Frankenstein trucks” on military vehicle internet forums.

FRANKENSTEIN’S CAB

Looking at the truck, the windshield and the top have been raised. The inside of the truck is completely different. The vehicle is equipped with a ROPS system. The truck only seats two instead of three. There are two bucket seats with adjustable firmness, air ride, and slide. The gauge cluster layout is different, with the tachometer and odometer directly in front of the driver, while the other gauges are located to the right of steering wheel, unlike on the standard truck where all of the gauges are located to the right of the steering wheel.

Looking at the dashboard from the driver’s seat reveals the different location of indicators, tachometer, and odometer, from what is normally found in an M939A2.

Looking at the dashboard from the driver’s seat reveals the different location of indicators, tachometer, and odometer, from what is normally found in an M939A2.

Like most standard trucks, there is no air conditioning. There is what, at first glance, appears to be  a gunner’s stand and hatch to mount weapons. But, on close inspection, of the hatch, a label calls it an “Emergency exit” and provides instructions on how to open the hatch. Another change is the lack of the rectangular air vents at your feet like on most M-Series vehicles. Finally, the vehicle’s battery has been  relocated to the passenger side, right below the cab.

nstead of a bench seat, these modified trucks have adjustable bucket-style seating.

Instead of a bench seat, these modified trucks have adjustable bucket-style seating.

Looking up from the driver’s position, the roll cage and escape hatch are visible.

Looking up from the driver’s position, the roll cage and escape hatch are visible.

Vehicle Purpose

This vehicle has no armor, but the cab does resemble a real armored M939 cab. This vehicle may have been a trainer for the real armored vehicle. The cab also does not look like it could support any add on kits other than “hillbilly armor.”

In civilian ownership the vehicle can be bobbed and modified like any other truck. Essentially, the cab has been completely modified and the batteries relocated to the tool box, making the vehicle more top heavy then a regular M939 truck.

This side view shows the lack of air vents at the bottom of the cab. Behind the mirror bracket, the handle to fold the windshield down is visible. While the windshield fold panels fold out like any other M939 truck, the top has to be removed, before you can fold down the windshield.

This side view shows the lack of air vents at the bottom of the cab. Behind the mirror bracket, the handle to fold the windshield down is visible. While the windshield fold panels fold out like any other M939 truck, the top has to be removed, before you can fold down the windshield.

Price

Few of these trucks have been released. For those that have been sold, they tend to run two to three times more than a regular truck in good condition or a recent rebuild. The types that have been released are limited, mainly cargo trucks and, if you’re really lucky, you might find a tractor. Whether or not one of these Frankenstein trucks is worth it—is up to you.

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