Military Vehicle Spotlight: 1968 M151A1

Author:
Updated:
Original:

Restored and photographed by Bob Devaney

Image placeholder title

G-838 M151 Military Utility Tactical Truck (MUTT)

  • Weight: 2,400 lbs
  • Engine: The M151 series used a Ford Motor Co.-designed 4 cylinder motor
  • Displacement: 141.5 cu. in.
  • Horsepower: 71 @ 3,800 rpm
  • Fuel: Gasoline
  • Fuel Capacity: 17.3 gallons
  • Maximum speed: 66 mph
  • Maximum range: 300 miles

HISTORICAL NOTE

In 1951, the U.S. Army contracted Ford Motor Company to develop a new type of light utility truck that would incorporate the automotive industry’s latest innovations. The M151 was intended to be a lightweight, high-mobility replacement for the M38A1, itself a successor to the famed World War II jeep.

Ford offered two different designs for the T-122 (later renamed XM-151). One design had a chassis frame like the M38A1 and the other had the unibody like the production vehicles. The Government chose the unibody version with 4-wheel independent suspension.

Ford began production of the M151 in March 1960. A decade later, in 1962, Willys Motors underbid Ford and began producing the first of 14,625 M151 trucks. They won a second contract in December to produce a further 9,800 units. Part way through production, the contract was modified to specify changes to the design. These later vehicles were designated, “M151A1” trucks.

The M151 was intended to be a lightweight, high-mobility replacement for the M38A1, itself a successor to the famed World War II jeep. Dubbed the Military Utility Tactical Truck or “MUTT” by the military—GIs almost universally referred to the vehicle as a “jeep.” The series' service life spanned more than 40 years and four manufacturers, and the vehicles saw service everywhere the US GI was deployed.