1963 AMC Mighty Mite Was a V-4 Mini Jeep Built for US Marines, and Now It’s for Sale
It’s cute. It’s tiny. It’s a legit four-wheeler in excellent condition.
Jeeps are cool and all, but they are—for better or worse—a dime a dozen. Even if you go full-bore when customizing them, there aren’t many ways to truly stand out from the crowd. That’s where this rugged old workhorse comes into play. It’s a 1963 American Motors Mighty Mite: The ultimate mini Jeep with real, proven cred from an actual war zone.
Mighty Mites were built for the United States Marine Corps during the Vietnam War. They were exceptionally lightweight—roughly 1,700 pounds—which made them ideal for airlifting. This one is an M422A1 model, meaning it features an extended 71-inch wheelbase over the original 65-inch Mighty Mite M422. Importantly, the longer wheelbase allowed for extra storage space behind the seats, which helped massively when hauling goods from one site to the next.
All Mighty Mites were classified as quarter-ton trucks.
RM Sotheby’s has this little guy listed with a four-speed manual transmission, but as Four Wheeler notes, it's a bit more complex than that. There's an integral, single-speed transfer case with a 5.24:1 first gear that's deployed when the shift-on-the-fly four-wheel drive is engaged. This is then mated to a normal three-speed gearbox. Technicalities aside, the Mighty Mite is a cool, functional piece of American military history.
Its 55-horsepower, 1.8-liter V-4 engine probably takes a few minutes to propel the tiny off-roader to its 65-mile-per-hour top speed, but that’s not the point. When equipped with a special kit, which includes a snorkel and waterproof 24-volt electrical system, the Mighty Mite can ford up to 60-inches of water—not bad for a scale-modelesque Jeep.
There were only around 4,000 of the mini Jeeps made, so the opportunity to grab one might not come around again for quite some time. We don’t have an auction estimate from RM Sotheby’s but other Mighty Mites in similar condition have sold for under $10,000. That’s a heck of a deal for a cool and quirky off-roader. If you're serious about picking this pint-sized rover up, it'll be heading to auction in late October.
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