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Government Surplus Military Vehicle Auctions

NOTICE: As of 18 June 2014, there has was a change in US Government policy regarding sales of many military vehicles, due to EPA regulations on the engines. The issues was 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: 29 Aug 1944 US Army 28th Infantry Division parades down the Avenue des Champs-Élysées in a victory celebration for the liberation of Paris a few days earlier.   

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:

Personnel of D Co, 13th Engineer Combat Bn utilizing a Brockway B-666 bridge erection  truck to transport sawn lumber, Korea, November 1953.  The hydraulic bed was built by Heil, Model M-11.
U.S. Army military policemen observe an M-110 203mm (8in)howitzer passing by with a convoy of other vehicles, December 1978.  Jeep to right is M151A2.
HMMWV is discharged from the S.S. Equality State during an Army and Navy joint logistics-over-the-shore (JLOTS) exercise conducted off the coast of Puerto Rico in summer, 2009. Performing JLOTS is necessary when deep-water ports are not available or sufficiently equipped to offload equipment in port.  In the exercise, 115 heavy trucks and high-mobility, multipurpose, wheeled vehicles (HMMWVs) were moved from the shore to the ship and back ashore.  M939 series 5-ton truck is to the right.
LCPL Joseph Estrada lifts a giant freezer with a Tractor, Rubber-Tired, Articulated Steering, Multi-Purpose (TRAM) at Combat Outpost Gorgak, Garmsir District, Helmand province, Afghanistan, 4 Aug 2011.  Estrada, from Staten Island, NY, is a maintenance manager for 3rd Truck Platoon. Originating from Marine Corps Bases Japan, 3rd Trucks Platoon is attached to 1st Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment and is responsible for logistical deliveries throughout the 1/3  area of operations.
German Army Panther tanks on the way to the Ardennes, prior to the Battle of the Bulge, December 1944.
XM274 1/2-ton 4x4 Infantry Light Weapons Carrier manufactured by Willys Overland, pictured at Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD, circa 1954.  106mm recoilless rifle is mounted on the XM274.

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