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Photo of M-151 With Odd Wheels on eBay

• CATEGORIES: Features, Old Images This site contains affiliate links for which I may be compensated.

The price ($99) is steep, but the photo is interesting. Anyone recognize those odd wheels?

View all the information on eBay

“Vintage Army Jeep Photograph Weird Prototype Tires
8 1/2 x 11″
I can not find another image like this anywhere/please advise
There is a reflection from my lights on the photograph”



13 Comments on “Photo of M-151 With Odd Wheels on eBay

  1. Barney Goodwin

    Maybe that was an experiment at Aberdeen Proving Grounds to find a way to keep them from rolling over so much.
    But really, I have no idea.

  2. Barney Goodwin

    Gayland – It’s a Ford or Kaiser Jeep M151A1 (see turn signals on fenders). The M151 and M151A1s were prone to quick, unforgiving rollovers in certain conditions where the wheels came up off the ground. This may be testing to determine limits as they seek to mitigate the issue. The large, conical-shaped wheels allow the suspension to flex to the limits while allowing the vehicle to remain upright and moving during the testing. While never completely corrected, improvements came with the advent of the M151A2 with improved rear suspension including trailing arms. In Vietnam, where combat expediency superseded motorpool inspection, heavy plates were welded in the back to keep the rear on the ground. Machine gun tripod mounts were installed to act as primitive roll bars.
    This is a neat photograph showing this testing. Glad this forum now has it to see.

  3. Barney Goodwin

    As I said for the first entry. It’s an M151A1. We know it’s the mid 60s A1 for the turn signal on the visible fender. The 2 light canvas places it early/mid 60s also. This is a great photo showing the testing of the chassis in light of sudden, unrecoverable rollovers prone to this model. The problem was the lack of support under the rear axles which “dangled” from a differential bolted to the unibody frame. If the vehicle went airborne, the rear wheel bucked under and the vehicle rolled over. This photo shows not a test of wheels, but custom conical wheels to test the limits of the chassis without the vehicle rolling over in the test. They knew after the first couple years production there was a problem. All Jeeps roll over including the preceding M38A1 under certain conditions. But this one did it so suddenly that there was no chance of escape. In Vietnam, where combat expedience superseded motorpool regs, they welded heavy plates in the back to keep the rear on the ground. They also installed MG tripod mounts (even if they didn’t have a gun) to act as a primitive roll bar. The problem was later mitigated (not eliminated) with the M151A2 which had trailing arms on the rear suspension. Towards the end, they would install a 400# ROPS retro kit complete with netting, seatbelts and 6-point roll cage anchored to frame. This is a great photo that speaks much to the issue at the time.

  4. Barney Goodwin

    Sorry for the duplicate entries. My 7:10am entry did not post until after Keith’s, so I just thought I forgot to press the Post button. My mind runs on XP and they haven’t serviced that for years. I hope my comments are respectful and helpful.

  5. David Eilers Post author

    Oh boy … I meant to type “M-151”, but it came out M-38A1 .. ugh! I got the latest booster the Friday before last and today is the first day I feel normal.

    Barney, I don’t know why sometimes your comments post and sometimes they need approval. But thanks for all of them!

  6. David Eilers Post author


    I suspect the tire tests in the video are along the same vein as shown above.

    – Dave

  7. Barney Goodwin

    A spare tire normally mounts under the smaller rear window. In the late 60s they went to one window.
    This was really an awesome offroad vehicle. You just had to respect it’s limits, especially on hard surfaces.

  8. Keith

    At least it wasn’t me…

    When I posted there were no other comments…

    If anyone knows what the funny wheels were, it might be Bob W.

    I owned an M151A1in the 1980’s. Sold it to buy MB parts.

    The original M151 and M151A1 had similar swing axle independent rear axles that are subject to a ‘jacking effect’ where the axle tucked under. adding weight wasn’t a good solution. A similar condition killed the Corvair and gave us Ralph Nader. When the M151A2 came out, they had a lower control arm design that didn’t allow large increases in Camber with changes in ride height.

    The new suspension was manufactured in Kent Ohio at Highway Products. That is the same company that made the postal Jeeps and Seloucki. They went out of business in the 1970’s and all the records were auctioned. The records are rotting away in a barn.

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