Are parts of the future MV hobby dying?

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Al Harvey

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What is the future of certain parts of our Military Vehicle hobby? What I'm asking is are there certain types of vehicles that are going to fade away and never been seen again because they are unavailable to us as collectors? Currently our hobby expands across all aspects of Military vehicles from Mules to M915s. We have collectors with all sorts of vehicles like repleca gun trucks. The gun trucks of Vietnam are very popular among many collectors and are easily (and correctly) built on 2.5 and 5 tons as well as on M151s and M37s. The main reason these are still buildable is because soldiers built these on the base model trucks and transformed them into the awesome gun trucks.

Look back at when the military first started cutting jeeps up (and eventually crushing them) before allowing them to be sold to the public. That honestly hurt our hobby alot. Then the government stopped allowing humvees to be sold to the public, another blow to our hobby. Now our government is using MRAPs and ASVs which can not be sold to the public, and there is no good way to replecate these. Is this going to destroy a certain section of military vehicle collection? There still should be LMTVs sold to the public, but no actual "gun trucks". How are we going to perserve that part of history when we are no longer allowed to own any of them? I know we have different view points on military vehicle history, many are restoring for historical purposes, many use for off-road, and many more like to customize the trucks to their needs and wants. No matter what your use or purpose for owning a military vehicle, you are still maintaining pieces of history and I worry about our hobby in the future as the government reduces our access to these future pieces of history. Remember, one day all veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan will be in the same position our WWII and Vietnam vets (those still with us). Just think of how many vets ask you about your trucks and want to tell you their story. Is this a part we are going to lose for all of us current and future vets?
 

61sleepercab

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Once a war is over We are quick to trash the very items that saved our bacon and brought many servicemen home safe. Just Google pictures of the WWII Air Force graveyards of fighters and bombers, harbors full of subs and ships, and lots full of Jeeps and trucks galore.
I have owned and help preserve a Willys MB , Studebaker WWII deuce ,and now have the care of a M35A2 deuce and M925 5 ton. Sandy the 5 ton was in our county's biggest parade and was announced by the public address system as dedicated to Iraq and Afghanistan War veterans. That was one of the reasons to buy a 25,000 lb road monster that gets maybe 5 mpg. It was worth it all for me to see veterans give the truck a thumbs up when Sandy went by. We no longer have a Army National Guard Unit in our town because of cutbacks and our soldiers and equipment are based in another county.
Those who understand the importance of preserving history will do what we can to keep history alive with restorations ,rescues , reenactments or hauling a bed load of kindergartners with what we can legally buy. I have been luck to see a B17 and B24 fly, take a ride in a SNJ trainer, tour a battleship, a LST, and a German U Boat so far in my lifetime . If we do not preserve physical history items now and support groups that take in the old stuff, will kids 20 years from now have the chance to see a real ship, a plane or a vehicle and have to make do with a Web Photo or a Video Game????? Mark
 

hndrsonj

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There will be plenty of MRAPS for future history buffs to see. As for no civilian ownership, there have been a couple replicas built that look incrediably realistic.
 

swbradley1

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There have also been MRAP trainers that have made it out as well. Too rich for my blood but someone got them.
 

Csm Davis

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There is one civilian mrap out there but his point is valid they are crushing and blowing up hummv and all up armored vehicles and I do have a problem with American people not being able to buy these vehicles. We can buy anything we want but we can't buy it from the government? This makes no sense, if I want Armored vehicles I can go buy them from almost any other government but not my own? It is political but we don't have enough money to get our way. If enough of us were to write our Congressman and call this what it is, a waste and abuse of tax payer money they might start to change this but I doubt it.
 

saddamsnightmare

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November 9th, 2013.

Count yourself lucky to have what we do, all it takes is a couple of fools getting into a high visibility accident or situation, and the demil code can change on a lot of items really quickly. As for myself, the HMMWV is overrated, and no civilian really needs one of those or an MRAP... If you do, start a Federally recognized military museum, you should have no problem getting either one on loan. Between you, I and the wall, there are a lot of loons out there that do not need a MRAP any more then they need a Browning M2 50 HB..... Just weighing in with my .02 worth!
I'm pretty sure you can get whatever you can afford in the Third world, you just won't be bringing it back here to play with most likely....:popcorn:
 

Mercunimog404

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November 9th, 2013.

Count yourself lucky to have what we do, all it takes is a couple of fools getting into a high visibility accident or situation, and the demil code can change on a lot of items really quickly. As for myself, the HMMWV is overrated, and no civilian really needs one of those or an MRAP... If you do, start a Federally recognized military museum, you should have no problem getting either one on loan. Between you, I and the wall, there are a lot of loons out there that do not need a MRAP any more then they need a Browning M2 50 HB..... Just weighing in with my .02 worth!
I'm pretty sure you can get whatever you can afford in the Third world, you just won't be bringing it back here to play with most likely....:popcorn:
I'm going to disagree with you. The hmmwv isn't over rated. They are very capable and reliable. Why can't a civilian have an mrap?
 

Al Harvey

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November 9th, 2013.

Count yourself lucky to have what we do, all it takes is a couple of fools getting into a high visibility accident or situation, and the demil code can change on a lot of items really quickly. As for myself, the HMMWV is overrated, and no civilian really needs one of those or an MRAP... If you do, start a Federally recognized military museum, you should have no problem getting either one on loan. Between you, I and the wall, there are a lot of loons out there that do not need a MRAP any more then they need a Browning M2 50 HB..... Just weighing in with my .02 worth!
I'm pretty sure you can get whatever you can afford in the Third world, you just won't be bringing it back here to play with most likely....:popcorn:

Well I don't believe there are many of us on here that collect military vehicles because we "need" them (other then to satisfy the OD bug). As for the humvee, what is the big difference between someone owning a military humvee verse a H1 hummer? My concern is preserving history and from what I read on the govliquidation site they loan military vehicles to state musuems. That then means that the state is in charge of them and you have little true say. Like today, I'm driving my duece to church because we are recognizing veterans day. If it was a state vehicle, there are people out there that would not allow that to happen. I don't see a problem with anyone owning a MRAP if they want to pay for it and maintain it. The weight alone, in most states, will require the driver to have a CDL. I just believe that our hobby is going to be slowly getting smaller and smaller. If the pieces do not get into civilian hands then over time they will disappear. After WWII who would have thought half-tracks and shermans would be rare things to see today. While there is a ton of humvees out there today, in 20 years many of those will be gone.
 

Jeepsinker

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They are just doing the same thing they did with legal transferable automatic weapons. Adopt policy(or pass a law) that makes it illegal for the public to purchase new items, whatever they may be, and you shrink the market, raise the prices sky high, and ensure that eventually all of those targeted items will be gone. All done in one fell swoop.
 

clinto

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What is the future of certain parts of our Military Vehicle hobby? What I'm asking is are there certain types of vehicles that are going to fade away and never been seen again because they are unavailable to us as collectors? Currently our hobby expands across all aspects of Military vehicles from Mules to M915s. We have collectors with all sorts of vehicles like repleca gun trucks. The gun trucks of Vietnam are very popular among many collectors and are easily (and correctly) built on 2.5 and 5 tons as well as on M151s and M37s. The main reason these are still buildable is because soldiers built these on the base model trucks and transformed them into the awesome gun trucks.

Look back at when the military first started cutting jeeps up (and eventually crushing them) before allowing them to be sold to the public. That honestly hurt our hobby alot. Then the government stopped allowing humvees to be sold to the public, another blow to our hobby. Now our government is using MRAPs and ASVs which can not be sold to the public, and there is no good way to replecate these. Is this going to destroy a certain section of military vehicle collection? There still should be LMTVs sold to the public, but no actual "gun trucks". How are we going to perserve that part of history when we are no longer allowed to own any of them? I know we have different view points on military vehicle history, many are restoring for historical purposes, many use for off-road, and many more like to customize the trucks to their needs and wants. No matter what your use or purpose for owning a military vehicle, you are still maintaining pieces of history and I worry about our hobby in the future as the government reduces our access to these future pieces of history. Remember, one day all veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan will be in the same position our WWII and Vietnam vets (those still with us). Just think of how many vets ask you about your trucks and want to tell you their story. Is this a part we are going to lose for all of us current and future vets?
Man, this is a lot of ground to cover.

First, the issue with current vehicles not being released (MRAP, HMMWV, etc.) are only part of the problem. I would like to see those restricted vehicles made available to the public, but I'm not going to waste any time or energy trying to make it happen, because it will never happen. I mean, monkeys will fly before these things get released (in any kind of significant numbers).

The two major reasons are that the govt. doesn't want people owning armor and the response of the general public. You can already see that large segments of the population are uncomfortable with the militarization of police departments and a lot of those folks would also have concerns about private citizens having them. The govt. not wanting people to own them is probably in large part due to them not wanting to have to explain why such vehicles are being released.

Certainly a few here and there will be saved (even the military, which practically has no budget for historic preservation, has a guntruck saved) by somebody.

In closing: Never gonna' happen and it's only a single component of the hobby, so we live with it.


The larger discussion of the future of the hobby, preservation, etc.

The MV hobby is part of the old car hobby. Not everyone agrees, but I think it's a pretty valid opinion. I think most of the people I've met in 10+ years have been "car guys", not just "army truck guys". It's amazing how many people in this hobby are ex-musclecar or sports car guys. I talked to 3 or 4 different people at the Ga Rally who are alot like me: They're really into the MV's, but part of what pushed them into the hobby (or pushed them deeper) was the cost of the (other) car hobbies. I say it alot: I'm a refugee from the Mopar hobby. I had cool cars and enjoyed them, but it got to the point that I just couldn't afford it. A project car is $20K+ and then it's another $50K to finish it.

All that being said, I figure there are 4 or 5 different kinds of people in the MV hobby:

1. Hardcore history nuts who want to preserve an important piece of history for the future.
2. Car guys who like the history or the neatness of the vehicles (I think this is me) and they want a toy.
3. Guys who want the ultimate macho dude truck
4. Offroaders who think the mil-spec toughness overcomes the inherent downsides (low horsepower, etc.)

What's the point of the above "tying the MV hobby to the old car hobby?"

Both hobbies share a lot of issues for the future.

1. The car hobbies are having to deal with rapid inflation: Sure, you'll read articles in Forbes about the cooling off of the collector car segment as investment (read: the prices are soft or softening). Anomalies like the recent $52 million Ferarri (http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/20...egrades-us-all-and-here-are-five-reasons-why/) are statistically insignificant outliers. Maybe the values of some cars, or a cross section, have gone down 1.2% (or more likely, they just haven't increased as much as inflation), but the cost of restoring/maintaining them has skyrocketed. I don't think you're going to get a decent paint job on an antique car restoration for less than about $10K. Anyone rebuilt an engine recently? Unless you have something like a small block Chevy where you can buy cams and cranks at Wal-Mart, it's crazy expensive.

And although a lot of our MV parts are inexpensive, due to massive govt. overstocks being liquidated and artificially suppressing the price, eventually the surplus will dry up and the prices will go up.

Wages have been stagnant for 30 years now and everyone (except those at the top) are simply losing ground. There are a lot less people now who have the wherewithal to throw $20K into a toy. So everything is going to hurt: special interest cars, boats, rv's, etc.

2. The MV hobby has gotten bigger and I don't mean the number of people in it. I mean the vehicles got bigger, because all the Jeeps dried up, their values went up and everyone moved on to Deuces and 5-tons. There are a lot of people who aren't in physical condition to deal with stuff of this size and let's not kid ourselves: the old car hobby isn't made up of teenagers. Younger people aren't moving into the car hobby fast enough to replace the older enthusiasts leaving (which I'll touch on later). The larger size of the core vehicles (deuce/5-ton) is also creating a problem with where you put them: Although many members live in rural areas where the physical space and zoning problems are a non-issue, there is a marked movement of people back into urban areas from the suburbs. Simply put, people are either staying in the cities or leaving the suburbs to go back to the cities. The post-WWII expansion into the suburbs was a 60+ year trend and high fuel costs and the traffic nightmares of trying to get in and out of the cities every day are probably partly to blame for the trend ending. How do you have a deuce or something like that when you live in an urban area? Heck, it's hard to park anything in the city.

3. Younger people have to replace older people in a hobby. At one point, the most valuable collector cars were like the Ford Model A's. They dominated AACA events and pulled the most money. Today? They've fallen greatly in value because most of the people who liked them enough to push their values up are dead. At some point, the same thing will happen to musclecars and classic ('50's and '60's) sportscars.

But who's going to be a car collector 20 years from now? Younger people are seemingly turning their back on cars in general, both as transportation and as a special interest item. Much ink has been spilled (both in print and digitally) about this and the opinions vary-some folks think this is because young people are broke; with astonishing debt from college and low paying entry level jobs that don't leave enough money for a used Honda Civic, let alone something cool or old. These people think that if the economic conditions improved that these younger people would become car nuts. This view is well explained here: http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/20...a-shows-that-young-people-do-care-about-cars/


The other train of thought is simply that the cost of interesting cars-whether it's a '55 Chevy, a '66 Mustang, an old Triumph, a GPW, a turbo RX7-whatever, is pushing the younger folks off (I don't think it's just millennials), regardless of economic conditions. This means that even if they started making better money, they've decided cars, either as a transportation appliance or as something fun/cool just aren't worth the expenditure. I think this somewhat dovetails with point #2. This viewpoint is explained here, although I don't think it's a whole-hearted attempt: http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/20...air-with-the-car-over-americans-driving-less/

In closing (tl; dr)

It's hard to say where the future of the MV hobby is going. It may continue to grow, as refugees from the car hobby look for something fun and cheap(er).

It may shrink, for any # of reasons-higher prices, continuing economic doldrums, higher fuel prices (think about what $6 a gallon diesel would do to the hobby).

Unfortunately, I don't think we have a lot of control where it goes. The external factors are things we don't have a lot of control over. I think the best we can is to be good stewards of the cause: We take care of the equipment and when we're gone, try to make sure it ends up with someone who will care for it.

Once a war is over We are quick to trash the very items that saved our bacon and brought many servicemen home safe. Just Google pictures of the WWII Air Force graveyards of fighters and bombers, harbors full of subs and ships, and lots full of Jeeps and trucks galore.
If the military spent any (significant) money on preserving history, there'd be millions of people screaming about them wasting money. I don't agree with it, I think if we can afford to spend 43% of total global military expenditures, that we can set aside a few million for some better and more diverse museums.

As for myself, the HMMWV is overrated, and no civilian really needs one of those or an MRAP...
You must think everyone in the hobby is only an offroader. What about all the people interested in the history? What about the collectors who are ex-military who want a vehicle like what they drove in the service? The MV hobby is not just guys going to Moab.
 

Al Harvey

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Thank you clinto for the awesome response. I believe you have hit the nail on the head about the hobby in general. Part of my movement into the Military Vehicle hobby comes from serving in the Army Transportation world but I would say more from being into muscle cars. My dad has always been into collecting military items like uniforms and the sort, I was never really big into it. I thought it was neat but not quite my cup of tea. But when we mixed our hobbies and started collecting Military Vehicles we actually became even closer by sharing the same interest.

Man, this is a lot of ground to cover.

First, the issue with current vehicles not being released (MRAP, HMMWV, etc.) are only part of the problem. I would like to see those restricted vehicles made available to the public, but I'm not going to waste any time or energy trying to make it happen, because it will never happen. I mean, monkeys will fly before these things get released (in any kind of significant numbers).

In closing: Never gonna' happen and it's only a single component of the hobby, so we live with it.
Now I do wonder how much of this is because it will never happen or because no one wants to put in the effort to change things. I am encouraged by how many people are willing to try and get changes to help our hobby. One good example is Swiss's thread trying to get MV recognition in GA. I admit I've been one to just accept that we can't change things but now I'm starting to look into what would be needed to get Tn to recognize MV for registration purposes. I do wonder if we could get enough change allow Humvee's to be released since they are not armored? Just my thoughts on it.

But who's going to be a car collector 20 years from now? Younger people are seemingly turning their back on cars in general, both as transportation and as a special interest item.If the military spent any (significant) money on preserving history, there'd be millions of people screaming about them wasting money. I don't agree with it, I think if we can afford to spend 43% of total global military expenditures, that we can set aside a few million for some better and more diverse museums.
I do believe the future of MV is in the youth. I enjoy seeing how many have their children directly involved with their rebuilds because they will be the future of the hobby. Also I'm noticing that more people in their 20s are getting involved in Military Vehicles, even if most of them look at the off-roading side of it. But many of those same people will restore one and once you restore one it is hard not to do another.

I do wish our government or more specifically our military would spend a little more to create better and diverse museums. It's always sad to drive by a military musuem and see soo many restorable pieces in the back that are rotting away.
 

TehTDK

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Having sat in the drivers seat of an MRAP I can't imagine why anyone would want one. Your view out the front windows are virtually non existant and you can't see out over the bonnet for life of you. If you wanted to own one you would need to clad it in camera's all around to even have a chance of seeing something in front of or around you without hitting it.
 

iatractor

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Clinto made some very good points pertaining to the collector car segment. The same thing can be said for the tractor collectors like me. Since I'm no longer farming, the fun of messing with tractors has waned some (you will never get the farmer out of me though). Now that there isn't a place for me to play with the tractors, all you can do is parade them around or go on tractor drives. Both are ok, but after spending years operating in a field, driving down the road is kind of boring. With a deuce and a water buffalo, I've found that not only is the hobby somewhat inexpensive (compared to spending thousands on a tractor and not getting it dirty), and that the vehicles are practical. To a point. You can haul stuff, take them on a sunday drive, pull stuff, haul people, and haul maple sap. I've actually used my truck way more than my tractor in the last 18 months.
 

Merc1973

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There is one civilian mrap out there but his point is valid they are crushing and blowing up hummv and all up armored vehicles and I do have a problem with American people not being able to buy these vehicles. We can buy anything we want but we can't buy it from the government? This makes no sense, if I want Armored vehicles I can go buy them from almost any other government but not my own? It is political but we don't have enough money to get our way. If enough of us were to write our Congressman and call this what it is, a waste and abuse of tax payer money they might start to change this but I doubt it.
Don't forget, We The People already paid for these. They belong to us....:-(

Clinto, I agree 100%. I am a muscle car guy as well, but i cant afford to finish my project car ($10k for a 408 Cleveland stroker motor and $15 for body work, no thanks). I feel part of the younger crowd (35 y.o) that needs to keep other hobbies from dying, like MV and CB-Ham radio.




BTW, yes we should be able to own Browning M2. It's my god given right.
 
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nofearnohope

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Part of the problem is we keep catering to the lowest common denominator. A large majority of the population will do what they are supposed to with MVs, guns, whatever. We are locking up and banning things that there is no reason most of us will take care of and use properly. I'm with Clinto on just about everything he said. I got into this hobby because I'm a car guy and a military brat, so it just made sense. Its cheap, fun, practical (kinda) and is a great hobby for my family. I hope they do start releasing the Humvees and the MRAPS and the LMTVs without running the price up so high.
 

Whiterabbit

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"BTW, yes we should be able to own Browning M2. It's my god given right." So is eating poision ivy or owning nerve gas? That mantra doesn't take into account common sense.

You have to realize we are very fortunate there has been no major incidents with a military vehicle. Uncle Sam could just as easily shut down the whole MV sales system. Look at the M151. Deemed unsafe, chopped & flattened then sold as scrap even though the issue was resolved with the A2 version. Wide brush stroke that all were unsafe for public roads.
It wouldn't take long till you saw an armored vehicle used in a bank robbery or something. They are even worried these "home grown terriorist" groups will put them to use. We don't "have the right" to have any of the military's surplus. We're just lucky we do get to have some of it.

The MV hobby? It's a hobby. It floats some people's boat, some could care less. If people are worried about keeping a roof over their head and food on the table it's hard to justify a 5tn no mater what age group. Economy booming? You buy "toys" and have expensive hobbies. Economy in the toilet? There goes you 401, pay cuts,low paying jobs, high debt and "hobbies". The younger generation is still raiding your fridge and living with you because of low pay, higher education school debt (the big lie) and on and on. Not alot of them are gonn'a buy a MV when they can't even buy a car.
 
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