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Four Great Vehicular Vets - Cars to Celebrate Veterans' Day

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author photo by J. Mark Sternberg November 2011

We can't come up with a better way to celebrate Veteran's Day or show your support for the armed forces than by cruising around in one of these vehicles that wouldn't look out of place in any parade...Or battlefield. 

1986 AM General HMMWV "Humvee"

In the late 1970s the United States put out a request to carmakers around the world. The military needed something that offered more room and capacity than the famed Jeep, while still being more versatile than the bigger trucks.

In 1983 the High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle was officially adopted by the armed forces. Much later - and after some petitioning from Arnold Schwarzenegger - a civilian version was sold to the general public.

This beast is no civvie, though; it's a full-blooded Humvee, not terribly unlike the ones in service in Iraq and Afghanistan today.

1942 Ford CPW "Jeep"

At the outset of WWII in Europe, America was in trouble. The armed forces of the day were few in number and woefully under equipped. The Army at the time was getting around on horses, motorcycles and modified versions of the Ford Model T. Knowing that quick movement in Europe's battlefields was key, America turned to its car makers for solutions.

The first Jeep was designed in just two days, and the first prototype was built in 47 days later. After a little refinement, extensive testing and some contract shuffling, Ford and Willys began pumping out the little off-roader by the thousands.

Built in 1942, this restored Jeep looks just the way it would have rolling off the assembly line as men and machine alike went off to war.

2004 Jeep Wrangler Willys Edition

After the War, vets bought up surplus Jeeps in droves. Such was the demand for the little truck that Willys started adapting the mil-spec model into something civilians could buy. The current Jeep brand of vehicles was born out of this demand.

Today's Jeep Wrangler is a direct descendant to the original military design and in 2004 the company produced 1000 special editions of the truck as a throw back to its military roots.

The truck came in moss green, with detachable half doors and a fold down windscreen just like the military 4x4s that rolled across France in the 1940s.

1952 Dodge M37

While vehicles like the Humvee and Jeep hold the spotlight, trucks like this Dodge M37 was behind the scenes, keeping the the military going.

The M37 was built to address the shortcomings of another Dodge truck that were discovered in the during the second World War. The resulting M37 was a workhorse; it was used to haul ammo, supplies and any other cargo that was needed. Some models were retrofitted to work as fire engines, ambulances and rescue vehicles.

This truck is restored to look as it would have before heading off to support the war effort in Korea.

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.
Four Great Vehicular Vets - Cars to Celebrate Veterans' Day - Autotrader