The Truck, Utility, ¼-Ton, 4×4, M151 or simply M151 was the successor to the Korean War M38 and M38A1 Jeep Light Utility Vehicles. The M151 had an integrated body design which offered a little more space than prior jeeps, and featured all-around independent suspension with coil springs. It has since been replaced by the larger AM General HMMWV in most utility roles in frontline use. With some M151A2 units still in U.S. military service in 1999, the M151 series achieved a longer run of service than that of the World War II/Korean War-era MB /GPW, M38, and M38A1 series combined.
In 1951 Ford Motor Company was awarded the contract to design a ¼-ton 4×4 truck to replace the aging M38 and M38A1 model jeeps. The M151 was developed to specifications and guidance of the U.S. Army's Ordnance Tank Automotive Command. Design started in 1951 and testing and prototyping lasted through most of the fifties. Although the M151 was developed and initially produced by Ford, production contracts for the M151A2 were later also awarded to Kaiser and AM General Corp, a subsidiary of AMC.
The vehicle's dimensions were only slightly enlarged — the 85 inch wheelbase was 4 inches longer than its predecessor, or 5 inches compared to the Willys MB, and the width was increased 3 inches — combined with the improved space efficiency of the integrated body design, the vehicle was a bit roomier than previous jeeps, while retaining the same light weight.
Another area improved upon in the M151 was the suspension. Dispensing with the rigid live axles in the front and rear that all previous military jeeps used (a layout still used on modern day Jeeps, such as the Jeep CJ and Wrangler ), the M151 was instead equipped with independent suspension and coil springs. This made it capable of high-speed, cross-country travel, while boasting high maneuverability and agility. The new suspension also had the added benefit of providing a more comfortable ride.
Due to copyright and trademark issues, the M151 did not feature Jeep's distinctive seven vertical slot grille, instead, a horizontal grille was used
- M151A1 (1964) – Second version: minor changes in the rear suspension, mostly aimed at allowing the vehicle to carry heavier loads. Addition of turn signals to front fenders. The essentials of the rear suspension remained unchanged and the same applies to the handling problems in corners.
- M151A1C – The M151A1C equipped with a 106 mm recoilless rifle on a pedestal-mount. Capable of carrying six rounds of ammunition and weapon tools. Including the driver, it provides space for two men and has a cruising range of 442 km or 275 miles.
- M151A1D – Tactical nuclear variant. This was an M151A1C modified to mount the Dave Crockett Atomic Warhead Launcher (in parallel development with a similarly equipped M38A1 and other tactical vehicles).
- M718 – Front-line ambulance variant with an extended rear body to enable the transport of wounded patients on litters. Crewed by two — a driver and a medic, it could carry three litters. Notably, although the M718 is larger than an M151 in all three dimensions – its greater length, width and height resulted from only minimal changes to the standard M151 design — retaining both the same wheelbase and track width unchanged. The spare wheel was moved from the rear to the side, to allow the rear body extensions, but also resulting in the increase in width. The ambulance "body" of the M718 consisted mostly just of taller bows, and a longer, taller, canvas top. The changes to the body and chassis, compared to the base M151 were remarkably minimal, considering its predecessor, the M170 jeep ambulance, had received a full 20 in (51 cm) wheelbase stretch from the base M38A1 jeep.
- M151A2 (1968) – The A2 fielded a significantly revised rear suspension that greatly improved safety in fast cornering. The M151 now had Semi trailing arm suspension. Many smaller upgrades including improved turn signals. The A2 can be identified by the large combination turn signal/blackout lights on the front fenders, which also had been modified to mount the larger lights, as opposed to earlier A1's that had flat front fenders
Some products may bear minor wear on their package and slight alterations in their content (oxidation) due to normal wear but they do not eliminate the usefulness of the product in any case. Moreover, some products may not be stored in their default packages but may have been repackaged.