What am I looking at?

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6wdcummins83

Member
41
2
8
Location
Hudson valley NY
Found this up the street, asking $3500. One, what is it? Two: is it worth the $3500? I’m pretty knowledgeable on the 5 tons but pretty clueless on these smaller vehicles, but looking for a project that can fit in the garage... ha ha
 

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kb0sfp

New member
10
2
3
Location
Missouri
The data plate says it's an M274A1 which is a mule. But it sure does not look like one. It has Mule controls, and wheels. If it has a good motor in it(which is doubtful) I'd say maybe $2k at most.
 

6wdcummins83

Member
41
2
8
Location
Hudson valley NY
The data plate says it's an M274A1 which is a mule. But it sure does not look like one. It has Mule controls, and wheels. If it has a good motor in it(which is doubtful) I'd say maybe $2k at most.
Yeah, it appears as if the original rivets on the data plate have been drilled out and it’s been placed there. Wife doesn’t have much info on it as it was her late husbands.
 

major519

Member
47
2
8
Location
Nipissing, Ontario, CA
It appears to be too well built to write it off as someone’s shade tree project. It could possibly be some sort of prototype design. As such it could be invaluable. A curiousity at best, it certainly warrants careful research and preservation. I would suggest value is dependent on what is actually there as far as mule parts should it turn out to be a worthless heap.
 

M813rc

Well-known member
Steel Soldiers Supporter
3,486
228
63
Location
Near Austin, Texas
Personally, I'd go for it! (Probably haggle a little on the price though)
Even if it is a 'homebuilt', it appears well executed and would make a great vehicle for displays.

Cheers
 

Grummanflyer

New member
Steel Soldiers Supporter
15
5
3
Location
milton, ky
It surely says it's a military mule but the nameplate is about all that it has in common with a mule. May be some kind of prototype. It sure is cool looking. Wish it was closer to me. Looks to be pretty well made if it was a home built. You might have a real gem on your hands. I'll check around and see if anybody else in my mule community knows what it is.

GF
 

SSGHillbilly

Member
49
10
8
Location
Red creek, WV.
It surely says it's a military mule but the nameplate is about all that it has in common with a mule. May be some kind of prototype. It sure is cool looking. Wish it was closer to me. Looks to be pretty well made if it was a home built. You might have a real gem on your hands. I'll check around and see if anybody else in my mule community knows what it is.

GF
The military had all kinds of crazy things in the past I never knew about . As I watch YouTube history videos I see more and more that are almost no longer in existence.
 

joel

Member
70
2
8
Location
sioux falls,sd
It surely says it's a military mule but the nameplate is about all that it has in common with a mule. May be some kind of prototype. It sure is cool looking. Wish it was closer to me. Looks to be pretty well made if it was a home built. You might have a real gem on your hands. I'll check around and see if anybody else in my mule community knows what it is.

GF
It is a duck from WW2, a landing craft.They called it a Dukw landing craft
 

jhooah

Member
135
2
18
Location
Carrollton/Virginia
DUKW from WWII is 33' long, GPA amphibious Jeep looks nothing like this either. I think it's one of the experimental models that come up once in a while, I would gladly buy it if it were near me in Virginia and you had no interest.
V/R W Winget

Upon detailed examination of the photos, the following is seen: Some Mule components used, but it's NOT a mule. The organization that built it likely stripped a MULE for it's drivetrain, hence the serial number plate and the shifting pattern. The steering wheel looks to be off another Mil vehicle like an Ontos possibly. The starter casting on the engine is broken off. The elaborate 4 pipe stainless steel exhaust may have been conceived of for preventing a fire or such, but is really overkill. Parts inside the tub may or may not be useful or from this vehicle. My bet: prototype, developed for testing at Aberdeen, MD, used in swamps and such for years to go check out weapons effects or watch the bay banks for clearance prior to large artillery shots, etc. Not home built, many pocket compartments along the sides of the inside hull like a radio mount or fuel tank bracket setup. Even the add on mud chains on the wheels seem set up just for this rig. Windshield folds down (maybe) and it had a full enclosure, possible for winter testing, which may also be why the large exhaust might have been used as a hot air source into the cab.(that or it was a Hunters addition) Can't see how people would ride in it without decking, it may have not progressed enough before sinking once or getting held up in mud due to weight and being parked.
MD. Inspection ran out in 1984, you can bet that's around the last time it had real use, check the license plate on the windshield to see what your DMV states, but it would be registered as the mule dataplate VIN.
Neat experimental vehicle, there were a few amphibious MULE attempts, it's not a COOT (another articulated amphib) but looks like an interesting experiment, likely with bilge pumps, hence the round cutouts for access plates.
PS: Ice in the plastic bin means most of that stuff may be only good for patterns.
W. Winget
 
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mulman7

Member
41
0
6
Location
Toccoa, GA
The steering column appears to be Mule looking at the shaft which is a Mule inner shaft and splined bushing being Mule plus the top bearing retainer for the steering gear best I can see is Mule. In the image showing the shifting instruction plate you can see the swing arm that is on the Mule steering gear. The shifting assy appears to be Mule L/H and 1st-rev / 2nd-3rd shifters. The transmission is Mule and it has the external 2nd-3rd poppet plug and the small [starter] cutout found on the 4cyl M274s and A1s. You can see the rear bellcrank with the rear steering rod attached making it a 4 wheel steer. The engine bell housing is a 4cyl Mule and what can be seen of the engine it looks like an AO53 without the shrouding. Hard to identify due to the strap being 1st or 2nd series. The A1s had the 2nd series engines. The wheel hubs are mule 5 stud with non Mule hub caps. The wheels are split secured by bolts to aid in mounting possibly airplane tires 10 ply +. I would say a full Mule drivetrain and steering with the fabricated amphibious shell. Nicely done and required fancy fabrication to make water tight because the tie rod assy for steering must get to the outside through water tight access points. The engine rides too low for the bottom not to be water tight. the steering knuckles must be outside the watertight area to allow steering. My guess is the data plate M274-A1 accurately describes the drivetrain.
 
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ODFever

Madness Takes Its Toll...
Steel Soldiers Supporter
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Location
Orlando, FL
I flipped through Fred W. Crismon's US Military Wheeled Vehicles. Unfortunately I was unable to locate a reference to this unique creature.
 
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