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Autotrader Find: Giant 8-Wheel Drive Military Vehicle

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author photo by Doug DeMuro February 2017

Today on Autotrader Find, I present to you ... a 1990 HEMTT M977. I have absolutely no idea what that means, and apparently, neither do Autotrader's vehicle databases: This is listed as a "1990 Ford Other," with "Other" being completely accurate.

Before we dive into this particular vehicle, I'll share with you what I've learned about the HEMTT M977 after roughly 5 minutes' searching on Wikipedia. This is a giant military "heavy tactical truck," manufactured by the Oshkosh Corporation since 1982, with "HEMTT" standing for "Heavy Expanded Mobility Tactical Truck."

According to Wikipedia, the M977 -- that's this one -- is the "base member of the HEMTT family," which means that it doesn't come with all the great luxury features of other HEMTT models, such as a rocket launcher (in the M985, for example). Instead, this thing looks like it just carries cargo. How boring.

Except, obviously, it isn't boring. This thing has eight wheels, and all eight are powered, meaning it has 8-wheel drive. (The ad says the 52-inch Michelin tires have "95 percent tread.") Under the hood is a 12-liter Detroit Diesel engine that makes 445 horsepower. Annoyingly, the torque figure isn't quoted on Wikipedia, but I think we can assume it's massive, considering the M977 weighs 42,500 pounds. By the way, it's also 409 inches long, which is almost exactly two Chevy Tahoes.

Your next question is probably along the lines of... Is this even legal? And the answer is, yes, absolutely. The federal government has sold off more and more of its military surplus vehicles in recent years, and that looks to be the case here -- although this one isn't being sold by the government, but rather a private seller who likely bought it from the government.

Speaking of that private seller, he's located in Benicia, California, in the East Bay, and he describes the vehicle as a "fun truck to drive." Maybe -- but it probably isn't as fun for the cars you squash.

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This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
Autotrader Find: Giant 8-Wheel Drive Military Vehicle - Autotrader