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Government Surplus Military Vehicle Auctions

NOTICE: As of 18 June 2014, there was a change in US Government policy regarding sales of many military vehicles, due to EPA regulations on the engines. The issues were apparently resolved in August 2014, as explained at this link. This episode shows that availability of surplus vehicles in the future cannot be taken for granted.

The information in this Olive-Drab.com section will help you understand the U.S. Government system for auctioning surplus goods, especially military vehicles. You will find the exact guidance you need to find what you want, get started bidding, winning, and receiving your surplus treasures.

You will also find warnings of the problems and pitfalls, along with pointers on what to do and where to get good advice.

M-35A2 For Sale at US Government auction
Kaiser Jeep Corp. Model M-35A2 Cargo Truck, on sale at Ft. Gillem, Forrest Park, GA by Government Liquidation.com, February 2005.

Today in WW II: 24 Nov 1944 First B-29 Superfortress bombers originating from Tinian, in the Marianas, raid Tokyo, 1550 miles away.   

U.S. Government Military Surplus Vehicle Auctions

Wrecked and cannibalized Kaiser Jeep Corp. Model M-35A2 Cargo Truck For Sale at U.S. Government auction, Ft. Lewis, WA

Government surplus military vehicles are just waiting for you to pick up cheap, right? Not quite. The main impression to take away from this section is that the government surplus auctions are a wonderful source of military vehicles, equipment and gear of all types but it is not necessarily cheap or easy to get. As usual, there is no magic, no fabulous secrets, and certainly no free lunch. There are risks and not every vehicle is a prize, like the M-35A2 on the left that was on sale at Ft. Lewis, WA.

The information here is primarily written regarding military vehicles as the target of interest, but everything pretty much applies to other types of goods available as well. If you want to buy sleeping bags or a boat, you can follow the same procedures and pointers as if you were looking to buy a truck.

Government Surplus Military Vehicle Auctions Guide

Before you think about bidding on a U.S. Government auction, there are many things you need to know. These sections will not only tell you where to go and how to find trucks, trailers, and other vehicles or equipment, they will also arm you with practical advice drawn from the experiences of Olive-Drab.com and our contributors.

M-1009 For Sale by Government Liquidation at  Letterkenny Army Depot, Chambersburg, PA
Event Id 1331, Lot Number 5, closed 11 February 2005. Described as "1985 CHEVROLET MDL M1009 BLAZER, 3/4 TON, 4 X 4, V-8 DIESEL, AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION. ODOMETER INDICATES 81, 891 MILES. BUYER MUST LOAD. THIS VEHICLE STARTS AND RUNS". For Sale by Government Liquidation.com at Letterkenny Army Depot, Chambersburg, PA.

Be sure to take the advice seriously. Just because a truck looks good in a photo, doesn't mean you can buy it, hop in and drive home. Far from it. Get yourself prepared for the reality of these sales or take advantage of alternatives like dealers who will take on many of the risks for you (at a higher price, of course).

These sections answer all the common questions and will inform you of many things you probably never thought of if this is new to you. Follow up on the links and other sources to go more in depth.


Find additional photos and hi-res versions of military vehicles of all types at the Olive-Drab Military Mashup:

1/4-ton 4x4 truck (jeep) coming up out of water to beach. This vehicle has a record of staying under water for 71 minutes and its depth of submersion is limited only by the length of the exhaust pipe and the deep sea diving equipment of the driver. Between Coal Pier and Pier X, Hampton Roads Port of Embarkation, Newport News, VA, 22 April 1943.
Crating Dodge Army trucks for overseas shipment, circa 1942. The trucks are shipped in lots of two, four or six to a box. When crates contain only two trucks, wheels and tires are included in the box, but where they are shipped in lots of four or more, there are separate boxes for the chassis, cabs, express bodies, wheels and tires, and sheet metal.
1963 Diamond T Truck Co, 5 ton, 6x6, M52A1, tractor truck, mfg s/n 640987, 5 speed manual transmission, with Mack diesel engine, odometer 48621, hour meter 0093. Courtesy: Government Liquidation LLC.
Members of Co C, 25th AAA, 25th Infantry Division, fire a 155mm Howitzer into a Communist-held hill while the infantry advances on the west central front in Korea, 30 March 1951.
Soldiers from Co. B, 2nd Bn., 8th Cav., receive instruction about the 120mm round to be used in the M-1A1 Abrams main battle tank during Operation Desert Shield.
Two burning Sherman medium tanks M4A1 hit by enemy antitank guns near Yigo, Guam, circa July-August 1944.

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