When I was in Vietnam in 1970-71, I was assigned to the 518th Adjutant General Personnel Company, US Army Republic of Vietnam. Our unit was assigned a ¼ ton jeep, a ¾ ton truck and a bus. The jeep was a M151-A1, the only jeep the military designed and built from scratch. Its predecessors were modified civilian jeeps, primary built by Willys Motors. The M151 was produced under contract by Ford, Kaiser and AM General.
The M151-series, first put in service in Vietnam, was in active military use longer than all of other military jeeps combined. It had various uses including a 106MM gun platform, tactical nuclear platform, front-line ambulance, fast assault vehicle, (TOW) anti-tank missile platform, firefighting, and forward air control. The good old M151 was phased out in the 1990s and was replaced by the Humvee.
In 1986 I purchased my first M151-A1 and sold it several years later due to a move to north Texas. After years of regret for selling the M151, I decided to find another one, and three jeeps later, I’ve owned my latest M151 for a number of years. I installed a new power-pack, replaced the differentials and other odds and ends, and most importantly, replicated the markings on the original M151 we used in Vietnam. It’s been in many parades and is always a hit. As indicated on my jeep, it’s ONLY THE BEST. I think it’s a keeper!