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Buy This 1943 Studebaker Weasel and Turn It Into a Grocery Cart

This small, tracked personnel carrier is the best idea for a neighborhood grocery vehicle.

Small neighborhood vehicles make a lot of sense for most people in cities and suburbs. Quick runabouts in small vehicles like golf carts, cargo bikes, and light World War II-era tanks just make more sense than firing up the ol’ family truckster and heading down to the … wait, what?

OK, so WWII-era light personnel carriers on tracks aren’t strictly ideal for grocery detail but you’re welcome to make that decision for yourself. This 1943 Studebaker Weasel is for sale in Tehchapi, California, near Bakersfield. The current owner reports that the semi-amphibious hauler runs and drives but needs some TLC to get it back up to shape. For $11,000, the Weasel is equipped with a six-cylinder engine rated for 70 horsepower on 70-octane fuel—with or without sticks and dirt and mud. The transmission offered three speeds, with a two-speed transfer case, resulting in six gears, which basically makes the Weasel a Ferrari.

Conceived by a British inventor for an operation that never materialized and assembled by Studebaker in South Bend, Indiana, the Weasel dutifully served in the European and Atlantic WWII campaigns as a personnel and cargo carrier that specialized in snowy, muddy, semi-submerged, or other wonderfully tricky terrains. Its top speed is reportedly 36 mph, but that’s likely downhill, with a light load, tailwind, and assuming you brushed your teeth in the morning. This specimen nearly 80 years old likely has its fleeter-of-track days behind it. 

U.S., British, Canadian, and French armed forces used the Weasel for more than two decades into the 1960s, when they were retired for civilian duty. This Weasel can report for your civilian duty if you trailer it home, and you’re welcome to use it for whatever you like. I suggest trips to the local butcher’s shop. 

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