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Old 03-23-2015, 11:08 AM   #1
XDCX
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Default Have you ever seen a '98 Jeep M151A2 Encore before?

I was searching through some auction results and noticed a vehicle that I think I've seen before but I didn't think it was available in the U.S.


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The vehicle sold for $3,500 plus 13% in fees. Frankly, I think that's a pretty decent deal based on the looks of the vehicle. It would be a great conversation piece.
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Based on the listing the vehicle appears to have a 17 character VIN but there's no "J" as the second character to designate the vehicle was built by Jeep. Here's the VIN: 1P9UB44B0WC30419
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Here's the link to the auction with more details/photos - click here (I'm sure the link will die at some point but it was working when I posted this thread.)
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Old 03-23-2015, 11:31 AM   #2
79LilRedExpress
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Default M151 mutt

Since World War II the US military has relied on the "Jeep" to get it through the mud and to the front line. There were many incarnations of it, the last being the trusty "Mutt" that was first used in Vietnam and only recently retired in the early 1990s. The U.S. Air Force used it as a mode of transport for its important forward air controllers, who helped call in pinpoint air strikes on enemy positions.


History

The M151 Mutt (Military Unit Tactical Truck) replaced the M38A1. It was designed by Ford and later built by Kaiser, AM General Corporation, and GM. In 1951 the Ford Motor Company was given a contract to develop a Military Utility Tactical Truck (MUTT) to replace the WWII era MB Jeep and it's descendant the M38. A production contract was awarded in 1960 for the 1st of over 10,000 units that would be used by all US and many foreign military forces.
M151 Mutt


Tested and prototyped by Ford through most of the fifties, the M151 MUTT ("Military Unit Tactical Truck") went into production in 1959 and became the principal combat Jeep of the Vietnam era.

Production of the M151 continued for just a short time when the M151A1 was introduced with modifications to carry heavier loads. In 1969 the M151A2 was introduced to try and correct a serious problem with the suspension that made the M151 unstable and susceptible to roll-over in tight cornering situations due to the central articulation of the suspension arms, the lowering of one wheel relative to the frame would make the wheel move inward, effectively over-steering the vehicle and causing it to abruptly overturn. This was corrected by the integration of an 'A' arm with coil spring to each wheel. The M151 and the M151A1 have the pivots on the inside of the wheel. The M151A2 changed the rear A arms to pivot front to back. This greatly reduced the tendency to roll over during a high speed turn.


M151 Mutt Rear Suspension
Additional contributing factors to the tendency to roll over that where suggested was the vehicle having been designed for OFF ROAD USE as its primary mission. The tires used by U.S. and many allied forces, are of the Non-Directional Tread (NDT) type. Simply stated this means there is no specific tread pattern - the tire is made for gripping soft soil or wet unimproved surfaces. Operators of the M151 displayed a propensity for application of civilian automobile handling

characteristics in their driving habits but in fact were using a primarily off road vehicle with no tread on the tires.

The M151A2 was born and was raised in the militia, and it is always ready for the action. Form part of the series of military vehicles 4X4 more versatile of the fact that is had. And must be it, since it manufactures it AM General with their more than 40 military experience years. The M151 series has, as norm equipment, an electrical system of 24 volts that it is waterproof, hermetical to the powder and suppressive has of interferences of radio waves. Permit to ford until a depth of 1.5 meters.
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Old 03-24-2015, 07:18 AM   #3
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Thanks to the both of you. Very historically interesting. I am not a collector, but I do have a 1946 Willys Jeep, 1981 Scrambler, and 1995 Wrangler. I wish I could start the restoration of the '46. I use the '81 on my farm for fence repair, and the '95 is a snow plow I just haven't decided to sell, even though I have no more lots to plow.
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Old 03-25-2015, 11:38 AM   #4
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The odd thing about the vehicle pictured in this thread is it's listed as a 1998 vehicle and it has a VIN number suggesting it was built in the U.S. (First character of the VIN is a "1")

I did a quick search on the Internet and believe the "Jeep" pictured above may have been built by a company in Florida that ended up going out of business after producing vehicles for only two years.

I'll have to do some more digging - I'm really curious to learn what they used for an engine/transmission package.
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Old 03-26-2015, 09:58 AM   #5
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Default Encore Vehilcles - Clearwater, Florida

I did a little more digging and it appears the "Encore" Jeep pictured in the first post was built by Encore Vehicles in Clearwater, FL.

Based on what I've read Encore Vehicles built about 500 of the M151A2 Jeeps in 1998 and 1999 before going out of business.

Here's a picture of Encore Vehicle's advertisement/brochure:


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Old 03-26-2015, 10:09 AM   #6
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Very interesting. I would own one of these if cheap enough. Thanks for the research.
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Old 03-26-2015, 10:09 AM   #7
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Default Encore built new bodies and used Military Surplus for the running gear

Based on what I read in this thread, Encore Vehicles built new bodies for the M151A2 and then used Military Surplus components for the suspension, steering, powertrain, etc.

Apparently due to safety/roll-over concerns the U.S. Government would not sell an operational M151A2 at a surplus auction - they would destroy them by cutting the body in half. Accordingly, there are a lot of parts for the M151A2 but not many bodies. Encore Vehicles developed a business plan where they'd manufacture the bodies and then use surplus parts to finish building the vehicle.

I have no idea why Encore Vehicles went out of business - maybe there's not too much demand for this type of vehicle when there are so many other attractive options.
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