M274A5 with Recoilless Rifle restored by Nick DeNardo

M274A5 with Recoilless Rifle restored by Nick DeNardo

Widely known as the Mule, this vehicle’s official name was “M274 Truck, Platform, Utility, 1/2 ton.” But its versatile abilities, yet plain appearance certainly made its Mechanical Mule name appropriate. Four different companies produced six different varieties of Mule between 1956 and 1970. All M274 vehicles had four-wheel drive and the first five varieties could be driver-selected to be regular two-wheel steer or put into a four-wheel steer mode. However, the top speed of the Mule was only about 15 mph.

1965 Baifield M274A4 TOW mule, restored by Nick DeNardo

1965 Baifield M274A4 TOW mule, restored by Nick DeNardo.

Two different versions of air-cooled engines, both rear-mounted, were used over the years to power the Mules. The engines were pull-started on the first five models.

John Emery's 1968 Baifield Industries M274A5.

John Emery's 1968  Baifield Industries M274A5.

The first two models (M274 and M274A1) used the Willys A04-53 four-cylinder engine. All subsequent models used the A042 Military Standard two-cylinder engine, which on the final version, the M274A5, was finally equipped with an electric start. The retrofitting of A0-42 engines into earlier M274 and M274A1 vehicles created the M274A3 and the M274A4 respectively. The Mule was widely used by the Army and Marines in Vietnam.

The first five versions were made of magnesium; the last type (M274A5) was made of aluminum. The M274 had twice the cargo-hauling ability of a Jeep.

1964 Willys Mule, restored by C. Bruce Lynch.

1964 Willys Mule, restored by C. Bruce Lynch.

Larry and Bonita Elsasser's M274, restored by MV Specialities

Larry and Bonita Elsasser's M274, restored by MV Specialities

VERSIONS

Model        Engine                                         Steering         Platform

M274         4 cyl air-cooled Willys gas     4 wheel        Magnesium alloy 

M274A1    4 cyl air-cooled Willys gas      4 wheel        Magnesium alloy 

M274A2    2 cyl, 4 cycle Continental-     4 wheel        Magnesium alloy
                  Hercules air-cooled gas

M274A3    2 cyl, 4 cycle Continental-     4 wheel         Magnesium alloy
                  Hercules air-cooled gas 

M274A4    2 cyl, 4 cycle Continental-     4 wheel         Magnesium alloy
                  Hercules air-cooled gas

M274A5    2 cyl, 4 cycle Continental-     2 wheel         Aluminum; electronic ignition
                  Hercules air-cooled gas

Basic Specifications

Weight: 900 pounds
Size (LxWxH): 119” x 49” x 49”
Max Speed: 15 mph
Range: 100 miles

Value (prices updated 2020)

Condition code Value (dollars)
            6                $2,000
            5                  3,000
            4                  
4,200
            3                  7,500

            2                  
9,750
            1                  12,000+


Scarcity: 3

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.

YOU MAY ALSO LIKE:

*Who's Who: Mechanical Mules of America

*Don't wanna be kicked by this Mule!

*MV Spotlight: 1943 Crosley T-37 Mule

Frontline Feature

steve dance cover IMG_2998

Steve Dance Auctions

ESTATE AUCTION - PROLIFIC COLLECTION OF 25 CLASS III FIREARMS.