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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: 26 Nov 1942 Battle of Brisbane: American and Australian soldiers fight in Brisbane, Australia with multiple fatalities [26-27 Nov].   

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:

US Marine Corps 3rd Mar Div M67A2 Flamethrower Tank, Vietnam, 1968.  The M67 tank is an M48 tank with the flamethrower equipment installed.
M3 105mm Howitzer, designed for air transport during WWII, used by the 320th Glider Field Artillery Bn. Ft. Bragg, NC.
The crew of an M-88A1 Hercules armored recovery vehicle of Headquarters and Supply (H&S) Co., 3rd Tank Battalion, 1st Marine Division, recovers a B Co. M-60A1 main battle tank that fell off a trailer during Operation Desert Shield, 23 September 1990.
Tube and recoil mechanism of an M1 8-inch gun on a transport carriage, towed by the Full-Track Prime Mover M35 (a variant of the M10 Tank Destroyer), 575th Field Artillery Battalion, Monnenheim, 26 February 1945.
Marines of the 3rd Remotely Piloted Vehicle Platoon preparing a RQ-2 Pioneer RPV for flight during Operation Desert Shield, 27 Nov 1990. The RPV launch rail is mounted on an M-927 5-ton cargo truck.
Ford GTB 1 1/2 Ton Burma Jeep, one of a number delivered to the Dutch in the West Indies, Dutch Guiana (Surinam), 1943. Photo courtesy Hans Heesakkers.

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