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Other Government Surplus Military Vehicle Sources and Auctions
Auctions, conducted by the Federal Government as well as state and local jurisdictions, are the original source of most military vehicles. Other pages of the Olive-Drab section on Military Vehicle Auctions cover the U.S. Department of Defense procedures, while this page is about other, non-military sources.
The non-military parts of the Government also have auctions, most of them organized by the Treasury Department. These sell property, including vehicles, seized by the IRS, by DEA, the Border Partol, Customs, etc.
The Federal GSA has auctions of property from the non-military parts of the US Government with a nice, useful web site at this address. Many of these non-DoD agencies have ex-military vehicles, trailers, and other equipment so its a good source to watch.
How to Find Non-Military U.S. Government Sources
The FirstGov.gov U.S. Government access website also has sections about buying surplus government property, including military vehicles and everything esle. Visit their Shopping Page to find these, many overlapping the DoD or GSA pages.
The Commerce Business Daily is published by the US Government to announce contracts, awards, and other buying/selling activity which requires public notice. Auctions of vehicles or other personal properly will appear there in printed form and in an on-line data base. CBD includes all branches of government so you will find sales for howitzers on the same day (but not the same sale) as a sale of typewriters. Freqently the sales are numerous lots of all different things. You can look at CBD on-line, can get your own subscription, or can find it in most libraries.
The CBD web site (called CBDNet) gives all the details including access to the search function. Here is a sample announcement selected from search results today using the search term "SALE VEHICLES":
As of January 1, 2002, FedBizOpps.gov is the single point-of-entry for Federal government procurement opportunities over $25,000. Some vehicle sales or related parts and equipment may go via that route so check their website too.
State and Local Government Sources of Military Vehicles
The state highway department, local townships, school districts, etc. etc. may have sales which include former military vehicles. Traditionally these sales were announced by newspaper ads (and still are) but many local organizations now have web pages which announce sales. A web service called GovDeals is used by some of these state and local agencies in a similar way the Federal Government uses Government Liquidation.com, so check in there.
Local opportunities to buy from nearby governments and agencies do come up. The fire department, highway department, paramedics, school district etc. etc. may have one or two lonely vehicles that have not been used for years. They wake up one day and decide to sell. They will follow the rules of their jurisdiction for making the sale, but it may not get much attention. If you are on-the-ball you can occasionally buy very good vehicles this way for remarkably low prices.
To succeed in these "very local" sales, you have to watch for the vehicles in agency lots, open garages, parades and displays. Whenever you spot one, ask what department owns it and call or write to the head of the organization (or stop in if it is right in your town). Ask them to put you on the mailing list for any sale they might have. Ask them where they advertise when they do have a sale (do they use GovDeals?). Keep after them with repeated visits to make sure they don't forget about you. You get to meet some nice people and, when the sale eventually comes, make a fair bid and you have a good shot at becoming the next owner.
Here is an example of a local fire department advertisement (on the Web) selling a military truck: