Ah, government surplus. Two words that just seem odd when paired together. Earlier this week I stopped by the semi annual auction of state vehicles at the regional NYSDOT HQ. This year the object of my attention was a collection of diesel powered Jeeps. Yup, you read that right. Nowadays a diesel powered Jeep is not that difficult to obtain but what about back in i986? During the height of the cold war around 2300 of these unique CJ variant Jeeps were produced by AMC. They were designed for the USAF to move equipment tugs and aircraft. A six cylinder Nissan diesel (the very same used by International in the Scout) was dropped under between the square fenders and behind the ten slat front grill. A simple three speed automatic transmission was bolted to a transfer case permanently locked in low range to help give more grunt to these little Jeeps than the tiny Nissan could produced on its own. With heavy front and rear bumpers and 2000 pounds of ballast in the rear these little trucks topped the scale at 6000 pounds with a final tow capacity of about 21 tons. Yikes!
All of these trucks were marked as running and in fairly good shape considering many of the other lots. NYSDOT used these trucks at the New York State Fair to pull trams around the grounds for a variety of years before being replaced by new Chevy pickups. Rust and other defects were minimal. According the Jeep experts this model of Jeep shared the same underpinnings as the Wagoneer so it’s possible to chop and extend the frame to have an interesting trail rig.