MRC-87 USMC Forward Air Control Jeep restored by Paul Vandevort

MRC-87 USMC Forward Air Control Jeep restored by Paul Vandevort

After locating the 1954 M170-chassis, it took Paul Vandervort nearly seven years to complete the restoration of what turned out to be a specialized forward air control Jeep. Though the rectifier and instruments were on the dash when he found the Jeep, the restoration required a lot of parts searching, not the least of which was the MRC 87 Central Set. 

His work paid off, though. In 2014, his Jeep was judged, “Best of Class” at the International MVPA Convention.

MRC-87 USMC Forward Air Control Jeep. The different pieces of communications equipment required individual antennas. The ARC-55 utilized the antenna mounted on the Jeep’s right side and the AN/TRC-75 used the one on the left.

After locating the specialized M170-based Forward Air Control jeep, it took Paul Vandervort seven years to complete the restoration. The different pieces of communications equipment required individual antennas. The ARC-55 utilized the antenna mounted on the Jeep’s right side and the AN/TRC-75 used the one on the left.

A SPECIALIZED VEHICLE

When field deployed, this vehicle was used for shore-to-ship communications to direct fire from ship-board guns and ground-to-air direction for air strikes. In the 1960s, the Marines modified standard M170 ambulances for Forward Air Control (FAC) use. 

Collins Radio manufactured the radio components and modification kit. When installed into the Jeep, the entire vehicle became, “Radio Set MRC-87.”

Other modifications involved removal of most of the ambulance-specific equipment, and the addition of heavy duty rears springs, a 100-amp generating system modified to provide 150-amp capacity, and a voltage monitor meter on the instrument panel. The engine was equipped with a newer style air filter and the intake manifold was fitted with a snorkel. 

It took seven years to restore, but Paul Vandevort's work paid off. In 2014, his Jeep was judged, “Best of Class” at the International MVPA Convention.

It took seven years to restore, but Paul Vandevort's work paid off. In 2014, his Jeep was judged, “Best of Class” at the International MVPA Convention.

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