Have you ever said to yourself, “Boy, I wish I owned a fleet of military-grade vehicles"? Well, lucky for you, the US-of-A is flush with retired military hardware—and it's selling them to the general public! You might think a 1986 AM General M923A1 would look a little odd cruising down the street next to a Toyota Camry, but our motto is "waste not, want not."
That in mind, we've combed through auction listings around the country to find a few of the raddest retirees on sale. Sure we can only admire the 1033 Program vehicles—offered only to certain law enforcement agencies because they're often heavily armored and combat-prepped for prime time—but there are tons (literally, tons) of cool support vehicles waiting to find new homes. Our seven recommendations:
My, how time flies. The AM General Humvee entered service way back in 1984, the year after Michael Jackson's Thriller was released. Now that the Department of Defense is trying to replace this old warhorse, there are plenty just waiting to be picked up by serious off-roaders and urban alpha males. Equipped with a 6.5L diesel engine with 185 hp and 330lb-ft of torque, 16 inches of ground clearance, and impossibly steep approach angles, it's fair to say that this thing can go anywhere you'd ask it to.
Auction price: $6,000
Forget the expensive trailer for your track car—just get a long, long ramp and toss it in the back of a retired BMY M923A2 5-Ton 6x6 van truck. These puppies were powered by 8.3-Liter Cummins inline-six engines that cranked out 240 hp and 685 lb-ft of torque. With numbers like that—and the ability to hold a payload of 10,000 lbs—these military warriors are capable of bringing your track-day special—or off-roader—wherever your heart desires. If you're really trying to be adventurous, just convert the long wheelbase version into an off-road mobile home. It'd be impressive, but quite possibly the most impressive part of this truck is the price tag.
Car enthusiasts often have a weird obsession with tractor trailers. Whether it's the astronomical number of gears, impressive towing capacity, or mine-trumps-yours size, the desire to drive one is always there, bubbling in the background. Well, the time has come; although this truck comes equipped with a civilized seven-speed automatic Allison transmission, you'll quickly overlook that unfortunate detail due to the scant 2,674 miles on the odometer—and the 12.7L Detroit Diesel engine.
People spend north of $500,000 on luxury off-road campers. There's something you want out there, from utilitarian simplicity to bespoke builders using artisanal woods and humanely treated leathers. And they're all spendy. Rather than setting a pile of cash on fire, consider spending $13,000 on a diesel off-roader like this M1079. Hell, spend $20,000 on upgrades and you'll still come up $467,000 less than the schmuck with a mortgage on his ride.
Nothing screams ‘Murica more than an olive-drab, 1980s diesel Blazer. It’s loud, boxy, inefficient, and inarguably glorious. The 6.2L diesel V8 was built to last, and will happily guide you through years of shenanigans. With 160 hp and 285 lb-ft of torque, you aren’t going to win any races, but you're too cool to enter a race, aren't you?
When we were six (or 26), we glued our faces to the window when they passed. Now, you can own one. Thanks to the auction site Gov Planet, you can own a fire truck equipped with working water cannons. Sure, the Oshkosh may be a little large, and a lot impractical, but no one can argue with the fact that you are the proud owner of a fire truck.
Unfortunately, the coveted Suburban 2500 was not available to the general public while in production. New models were restricted to government agencies and municipal services. But you can often find these gems gracing auction sites or used car lots around the country. Rather than using the 5.3L V8 you find in the Suburban, these beefed-up SUVs use a 6.0L V8 good for 352 hp and 382 lb-ft of torque. Although those are more or less the power outputs of the current Suburban, the heavy-duty alternator and enhanced suspension means a truck like this one should handily outlast its little brother.