The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #149017   Message #3465601
Posted By: JohnInKansas
13-Jan-13 - 04:07 PM
Thread Name: BS: Were Jeeps German cars?
Subject: RE: BS: Were Jeeps German cars?
The last incarnation of the military jeep in widespread use was probably the M38A1 or possibly M38A3(?), which had solid axles, three speed tranny with a two speed transfer box. Excellent ability to get through rough stuff, but pretty mediocre on a decent road.

ca. 1965 when I had my love afair with the M38 beast (see above) the "replacement" M151 was being phased in. The M151 was made by Ford, with four wheel independent suspension, four speed gearbox, and no transfer case.

The elimination of the need to swap back and forth in the transfer case, and the independent suspension, made the M151 a more fun (i.e. didn't shock your kidneys quite as much) but eliminating the transfer box, in the opinion of most of the test drivers, made it a little less able in the rough stuff.

On a good road, the M151 was a better ride, faster and more responsive than the M38, and agile enough ...

... ... to flip you into a ditch even better than an early Corvair.

(But maybe that impression was just because it was new and people weren't used to it ...?)

The troops still called it a jeep, even at the risk of the (DRM?) lawsuits. That name has probably faded (tarnished?) some since, simply because the US military uses so many kinds of specialized/different vehicles that all look a lot alike that one has to be pretty specific, so the Model Numbers or individualized nicknames (NATO names?) are more used - at least by those I've talked to since.