OT: anyone here own a Duece & a Half?
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Thread: OT: anyone here own a Duece & a Half?

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    Question OT: anyone here own a Duece & a Half?

    I've looked and looked at these listed online, seem to be rebuilds. I confess I've always wanted one, so thought I might ask if anyone here owns one (or used to), and ask what your experiences with it were or are (good and bad), how much you used it week-to-week (or monthly), how hard or how expensive it was to maintain, et cetera.

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    Owned quite a few over the years. They were rank common in this State after Civil Defense shut down years ago. The Government gave away hundreds to municipalities, townships, villages, ect. Most saw very little use, maintenance is straight forward however fuel usage is Astronomical.
    Past that you best have a place to park it if you don't live in the sticks.

    Price has really jumped on Duces. Up through the 90s I was still discovering near perfect examples parked out in the weeds behind township and village garages for several hundred, sometimes a lot less. Usually you needed a new battery and a flush of the fuel system at the minimum to get them running. After that they were a quick roll over for a fast grand give or take. I'll add that many of the ones that local governments owned if you asked they often had a corner somewhere with New old stock military spares, one I snagged came with two crated engines, three sets of new canvas and two pick up loads of other military spares as that's how Civil Defense often liquidated the stock when they were shut down.

    Plenty of these up here ended up being sold for little to nothing at County/City Auctions. Buyers were generally Loggers & Concrete folks who modified them to their needs for skidding stumpage or as gravel trucks. You still see them abandoned in their boneyards.
    Why abandoned ?
    Part of it was fuel economy, another was extremely poor handling on the older models as well as braking. One Redimix had a duce gravel truck overturn on a flat curve, killed a family in the oncoming lane. Huge lawsuit, after that most insurance companies wouldn't cover modded up ones so to the boneyards they went.

    The newer Duces are much improved in terms of basic handling and braking however they remain gas hogs.

    one final point is while they can take you through unbelievable conditions their turning radius is pretty wide due to the length more than any other factor and once you get stuck in a Duce you will likely need a D8 Cat to pull you out of the muck, been there and done that twice in my life..

    You might want to contact military bases in AZ and ask to speak to whomever is in charge of the public auctions on base and get yourself signed up to receive their listings. Been awhile since I was active in base auctions, late 90s but up here you would regularly see newer Duces, 4x4 pickups and other vehicles at Airbase auctions some of which sold extremely cheap. I know some of this changed post 911 as to what went on auction and what ended up with DRML for disbursement to local and State governments but I kind of doubt Duces would have been affected much.

    Anyways I have owned a mess of them. I can't really comment much on newer ones, most of my experience was with 1950s through 60s production. Most of mine I was lucky to get 50 miles on them once they were road worthy again and pressure washed. Always had a couple or more reenactors or collectors on file waiting for the next one to fully rebuild and at the time where I lived they just didn't store well. More than one on my property was a certain visit by some City Inspector.

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    never owned one but drove them for 4 years...never got stuck...drove all over South Korea in one..gas hogs but I never broke down in one..those things can carry a crapload of stuff and if you get a hard body version you can make one hell of a motorhome out of it..

    RV.Net Open Roads Forum: Truck Campers: Moab truck camper

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    Oh, forgot to mention in my opinion a much more practical military vehicle were the old 4x4 Ambulances like you see on MASH. Local buddy of mine has a real nice one I sold him for a song years ago he planed on cutting holes in the floor and using as an ice fishing rig. Fortunately he became married with children so it still sits right where I parked it in his barn. This one is near perfect, still has the stretchers and other equipment. Been working on trading him out of it, he knows it's worth a lot more than he paid me. Probably keep that one once I pry it out of him but while hogs they are a bit more practical particularly as a driver and MUCH neater than ANY Duce. Main issue is they do tend to be a bit top heavy and easy to roll if one is playing the stupid card.

    Don't get me started on Half Tracks and Bren Gun Carriers !
    both were once popular with loggers to skid timber once much of the armor was torched off

    All this crap used to be so stupid cheap even into the 90s, it still astounds me how much it brings currently.

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    Gas hogs, huh? Dammit...

    How about an M3 Scout Car? But I wants me a duece...
    Jim Fuller, BH_4000/abernaturlich/IvanDrago, and Sheepdog Concept

    Do no business with these crooks.




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    I know someone who has one. He said he gets something like 4 miles to a gallon.

    What are you looking for? Just a basic off road? Look at the military blazers. They were diesel

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    Scout & Command cars are not much better on MPG and most I have ran into have been rust buckets up here with stupid money asked. Body bits and new canvas are pretty scarce. The few that migrated out of CD to local governments often ended up snagged by connected folks who figured they were uber cool hunting rigs however they actually kinda suck based on my quite limited experience with them.

    Even back in the 80s Scouts in anything remotely close to running order were three grand investments and had often seen hard use.

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    Duce and a half's are all right, if you want something that is meh.
    REAL MEN drive M813 5tons! I loved those old Bastards, and even ensured that I got one off of an MPF ship back in 2003 so I could go tour Iraq. Thing leaked all over (that is a good thing), and never let me down. If the Wife would not kill me, I would buy one. Even have some old TM Manuals around here waiting for the day!

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    I don't understand the attraction, but you might want to see if these things could even be driven on the road.
    Have fun with it.

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    www.steelsoldiers.com is where you need to go to learn everything you ever want to know about military vehicles....it is the akforum of the military vehicle world.
    Hootbro and Delacroix like this.
    "Asked what the 250,000 Swiss militiamen would do if invaded by a half million German soldiers, a Swiss replied: shoot twice and go home."

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    A few years ago I looked into military vehicles too for the cool factor, but holy fucking shit the costs involved scared me away for keeps...
    "There really is something broken between your ears. You know this, yes?" - Redbear

    Closed captioned for the drinking impaired. Wait...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Averageman View Post
    I don't understand the attraction, but you might want to see if these things could even be driven on the road.
    Have fun with it.
    The duce 1/2 you can

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    Own two M35A2 Deuces for a few years now.

    They are easily road registered.

    The A2s get around 8-10 mph (diesel) - depending on load, engine condition, tire size etc.

    They can run on a mix of used oil and diesel as well to keep costs a bit lower.

    They are big trucks- but not that big. ~13k empty.

    Parts are readily available from lots of suppliers - and some can even be grabbed at NAPA.

    They do take some regular maintenance - nothing major really - just basic care and feeding usually.


    As BadBrad said - www.steelsoldiers.com is the place to go to learn a whole lot about them - and other options.
    Delacroix likes this.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 10Gauge View Post
    A few years ago I looked into military vehicles too for the cool factor, but holy fucking shit the costs involved scared me away for keeps...
    They don't exactly blend in either.

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    Don't have one, but you being in AZ now you can register anything with wheels on the street. I'm looking for a scrapped one as we speak with a good set of Rockwell differentials.
    Delacroix likes this.
    The only worthy boltface...

 

 
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