It's Independence Day here in the U.S. and in honor of that event, today's Nice Price or Crack Pipe candidate is a fightin' man's Jeep, albeit a little one. You'll need to decide - before the fireworks start - if its price makes you want to indepen-dance.
When you were a kid, you may have enjoyed a refreshing Capri Sun, which came in a silver mylar bag. Yesterday's 1973 Mercury Capri was also silver, but to 60% of you, its price wasn't likely to quench anyone's thirst for value. That's too bad because it was cool car and you just don't see them around any more.
You know what else you don't see around much? That's right, old-school military Jeeps. Well, that may be a different case today as I'll bet you there's a slew of them carting flag-saving kids and venerated veterans along in the many 4th of July parades that are occurring today all across our great nation.
Another that you will definitely see is this 1961 Jeep M422 Mighty Mite. I mean, have a gander, it's right there.
Development of the Mighty Mite began just after the end of WWII (the Big One) with the intent of providing the U.S. Marines with an ultra-light and compact jeep that could be carried by helicopters to where the shootin' was going on.
The actual mandate was for a quarter-ton 4WD truck that was less than 107-inches long, 60-inches wide and able to fit in a 171 cubic foot box. An early prototype - the MM100 - was powered by a Porsche four and eschewed an exhaust system for a hollow frame pathway. Not a good idea. Nor was the thought of importing engines from Germany so those apects of the MM100 were rejected.
The final M422 ended up not quite as weird or reliant on former enemies, however compared to the traditional military Jeep we all know and love, it was a radical departure in every single way. First off, it's an all-aluminum body. That helps to keep the weight down, and in fact the M422 comes in at a featherweight 1,700 lbs.
What else is shock and awesome about the Mighty Mite? Well, how about 4-wheel independent suspension on quarter ecliptics, and a Posi diff at each end. Not eclectic enough? Well, there's also the 104-cid air-cooled V4, a mill that cranks out a stout 52-bhp.
Only a little over 1,000 of these babies were built by American Motors and it's doubtful that many are left today. That makes this one worth twirling a sparkler over, or blackening the sidewalk with some snakes. What, you never did that? Where did you grow up?
The ad says that the trucklette is complete, original, and in working order. Plusses include a rebuilt carb, new glass in the tiny windscreen, and new tires. It has lights and is presently plated so it is street legal, but with only 52 ponies, don't expect it to be a highway star no matter how light it is. You might also want to grab a pillow off your mom's couch for the seat as it looks to be cold, hard metal.
Today being the 4th, which perhaps might make you feel a little more patriotic, maybe you'll also feel a little more charitable when considering this veteran's price tag. Or maybe you won't need to. The seller is asking $6,500 for this amazing piece of military history and you now need to say whether that's a deal or not.
What do you think, does that price for this Mighty Mite make the Military grade? Or, has this tinyJeep's price gone AWOL?
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