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Buyer's Guide: M151A1 1/4-ton Truck

What to know before you buy
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buyer guide M151A1 1-4th ton truck

For many laymen, indeed for many buffs, any 1/4-ton 4x4 vehicle is a “Jeep.” But the final generation of vehicle in this weight class fielded by the U.S. military had its own name, the MUTT (Military Utility Tactical Truck). Developmental work for what would become the MUTT began in the late 1940s, even prior to the adoption of the M38. Both the M38 and M38A1 were considered interim vehicles until the improved model could be fielded.

Ford Motor Co. was awarded a contract to begin development of a new light utility truck. Light weight was a prime concern. To address this issue, Ford proposed various vehicle designs and materials. Ultimately, the unibody design won favor, and it was tested in both aluminum and steel construction. During trials, however, the lightweight alloy bodies developed stress fractures, and the idea was dropped in favor of a steel unibodied vehicle. The new vehicle, designated M151, was placed into production.

The rear suspension of the M151 was found to sometimes buckle or collapse, particularly when heavily loaded. This was often the case when the vehicle was burdened with mounted weapons and cargo. The redesign featured new high-strength rear suspension arms, with extra bump-stops. Production of the vehicles with this improved suspension, known as model M151A1, began by Willys Motors in December 1963. In January 1964, the name on the builder’s plate of the M151A1s being produced was changed to Kaiser-Jeep Corp.

In 1964, a new round of bidding resulted in Ford regaining the 1/4-ton truck contract and Ford resumed production of the Mutt in January 1965. Ford’s production of the M151A1 continued up through 1969.

Weight: 2,320 pounds
Size (LxWxH): 133” x 64” x 71”
Max Speed: 66 mph
Range: 288 miles

Condition Ratings

Military Vehicles Magazine uses a given a value based on a 1-to-6 condition grading scale as follows: 

1=Excellent: Restored to maximum professional standards, or a near-perfect original. 

2=Fine: Well-restored, or a combination of superior restoration and excellent original parts.

3=Very Good: Complete and operable original or older restoration, or a very good amateur restoration with all presentable and serviceable parts inside and out. 

4=Good: Functional or needing only minor work to be functional. Also, a deteriorated restoration or poor amateur restoration. 

5=Restorable: Needs complete restoration of body, chassis, and interior. May or may not be running, but is not wrecked, weathered or stripped to the point of being useful only for parts.

6=Parts Vehicle: Deteriorated beyond the point of restoration.


Values, updated 2021

Values, updated 2021

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