1961 AMC (JEEP) MIGHTY MITE M422A1
Possibly one of the most high tech Jeeps ever made, the Mighty Mite remains a little known enigma. Designed as a role specific model for the United States Marine Corps for the purpose of being carried by their combat helicopter into any situation while still giving the ability to carry other equipment and or troops, hence the size and light weight. Five main requisites were required for the Marine Corps: 1: weight not to exceed 1500lbs. 2: High mobility and maneuverability. 3: Small, yet sufficient cargo and towing capacity for usual military duties. 4: Ease of maintenance and reliability. 5: Versatility to enable it to the various needs of the infantry. The specs were now laid out but no manufacturer could be found. The contract was put out for bid in the early ‘50’s but it took until 1959 before being built by AMC who in 1971 bought the Jeep Corporation. The body was made totally out of aluminium, as are the axle center-sections, transmission and engine. This Mighty Mite is the longer wheelbase version at 71 inches instead of the standard 65 inch and overall length 6 inches longer at 113. Suspension is all independent and apparently balanced well enough to allow the removal of a rear wheel and it will still drive on the 3 left. Brakes are in-board front and rear. Battery power is 24 volts. Power is from an all aluminium air cooled V4 originally built in Wisconsin for AMC. At 108 cubic inches producing 55 horsepower at 3,600 rpm and 90 lb-ft of torque at 2-3000 rpm and would run on 80 octane gas. On this Mighty Mite is the Fording kit with high snorkel mounted on the side by the cowl for breathing and the high exhaust on the left rear. As with so many bureaucratic decisions and delays by the time the Mighty Mite was actually produced the Marines had a helicopter that could lift and carry the standard Jeeps which never allowed for any large production number for the Mighty Mite, somewhere in the 3,000 to 4,000 or so were built. This Mighty Mite has had a really great restoration performed and has been used in parades and shows for the last few years. It has all of what is believed to be the original Marine markings showing it to have been from Camp Pendleton, Southern California. It also has the gun rack mounted in the front of the passenger seat to hold two guns. In the back are three seats that fold open to sit in. Finished in its standard original military Green with all of its markings.
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