Later today, a certified check for (can't blab, price is too low not to start a riot) will be headed East to South Dakota, where a good friend, one of the world's renowned restorers of old military vehicles, has this Truck, Cargo, Multifuel, 2 1/2 Ton, 6X6, Series M35A2 waiting for me.
The restorer has restored too many vehicles, and has no more room, so he's cutting one or two loose to give him room for the restoration of some REALLY BIG M-series stuff (Like a 5-ton tractor and lowboy hauler trailer).
The restoration is 100% accurate, and 99% complete. The vehicle only needs an output fitted to the transfer case for the propeller shaft to the winch, and the shaft with it's two U-joints to be fitted. I can't manage the transfer case work, but I can and will fit the shaft. Parts are about $3-400. Transfer case labor, who knows. I might also watch and wait for a transfer case complete to come up at auction. The vehicle has a nearly new engine in it, with about 9K miles on it. Everything is strictly GI, no "bubba" parts on the vehicle.
I have an offer of a correct gun-ring mount for it, and either an M60 or a Ma Deuce would be appropriate for the gunner's position. Right now, I'll have to be satisfied with my period-correct M14 rifle riding in the inside gun rack, or, I could carry the CETME Modelo "B" and say it's a NATO exercise and my relief driver must be from the Spanish army...
I waited almost 6 years for this truck, as some of you know. Now, all I have to do is organize an expedition with relief driver(s) to do the long Road March to bring it back to the West Coast. My son, a SERIOUS gear-head and fair meck-a-neck, has volunteered, but I might have room for one more relief driver. If you've ever driven these vehicles (I probably only have 25 hours at the wheel of one, and another 15 in the cab), you know that they are brutal to drive. There is no power steering or clutch! The passenger seat IS an optional sprung seat, though, and for REAL comfort and relaxation, there are two positions open in the Little Black Truck, which will be the "chase car". Very boring for the chase car driver at 50 mph (Road March speed is officially 45, but that's too slow for freeways). But it NEVER gets boring in the cab. The driver MUST monitor the gages, as your first indication of anything wrong will not be noise (this vehicle has the Dash One "C" engine, and it's screamer turbocharger), since the noise is overpowering, and all persons aboard will be wearing Howard Leicht 33-DB ear-muff silencers. You see the first indications in the gages. I might put a demountable Exhaust Gas Temperature Pyrometer on the turbo exhaust outlet, even though I'm NOT going to "turn up" the injection pump. Some do that, but while the torque and horsepower can be improved maybe 30%, the life of the engine suffers.
It looks like the Road March will be in the Sept 15-22 time frame. There will be one overnight stop going out, and two coming back (unless I do get 3 drivers).
Yep, the ol' heart is beating a little faster today, and I feel like I just peeled about 25 years off my life. I just checked, and yes, I DO, by God's Grace, fit into my old Woodland Green cammies...