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Made in St. Paul, MN: 1942 Ford M20 6×6

Scotty GilbertsonBy Scotty Gilbertson

One of my favorite George Carlin skits is where he says, “Have you ever noticed that anybody driving slower than you is an idiot, and anyone going faster than you is a maniac?” You won’t have to worry about other drivers in this 1941 Ford M20 6×6, you’ll go where you want to go, when you want to go there, at whatever speed you want to go. This one is on Craigslist with an asking price of $19,995. That price is almost as scary as it would be seeing this thing coming up in your rear view mirror would be. It’s located in Mount Holly, Vermont.

The M20 was a general-purpose armored vehicle, mainly used as a commander’s vehicle, and it lacked the cannon turret of the M8. Ford manufactured the M20 in its St. Paul, Minnesota plant and around 3,800 of them were made for the WWII effort.

Restored versions of the M20 have sold for $60,000-$80,000 so maybe that price isn’t too far out of range, no pun intended. The seller says that they drove it 3 years ago but that it’s “not currently in working condition.” There is no mention of what the issue is but this probably isn’t something that you can drive into your corner garage and have Goober and/or Gomer check it out.

I’m not sure what’s going on in there, but that ain’t no 1942 steering wheel! It doesn’t even look like the same vehicle, padded door cards seems like an unusual thing for a WWII military vehicle. And, red at that! These vehicles were usually armed with either a 0.50 or 0.30 caliber machine gun meant to fight off low-flying aircraft, light-armored vehicles, or infantry. Typically, six armed personnel would be inside the M20.

This is a JDX Hercules inline-six with around 90-110 hp. I believe this is a 1943 model since Ford didn’t start production until July of 1943. This is an unusual one, and the price means that it won’t be a whim purchase for anyone. Are there any military collectors out there? If so, what do you think of the price of this M20?

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Comments

  1. stillrunners

    I’m looking at that rare Dodge cab over in the back ground !

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  2. daniel wright
    1+
    • BIG ANDY

      If the owner hadn’t butchered it.
      It wouldn’t be on barnfinds. Now if it was original then there would be interest.

      1+
  3. KevinW

    When I first saw this, I thought it was a movie prop. I had to Google Ford M20 to see a battle ready version. Is the canopy original? That steering wheel reminds me of the old Sesame Street song “One of these things is not like the other”!

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  4. Howard A Member

    Say what you will, but I think we are veeery lucky to have a guy like Scotty here. I mean, look at this thing. Quite an imagination, he has. There has to be like 3 people in the world that find this interesting, enough so, to do a write up on it, and Scotty is one of those people. Looking at it, it doesn’t make a lick of sense. That “camper shell” turret doesn’t look to safe. I ‘d think a low branch would “take you out”, much less a 37mm tank shell. Must be for behind the lines. Absotively, posilutely, no interest. Thanks Scotty for the late night chuckle. And where’s the air intake? Don’t recall seeing a carb like that. I’d think that motor would have a rough time moving this thing WITHOUT pulling a trailer. And the price is secondary chuckle. Whatever.

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    • jaygryph

      You’re a master of the back handed compliment, Howard.

      At any rate, there’s at least 4 people interested in it, because I think it’s pretty neat.

      I ask again, what is it that you DO like? We’re all pretty familiar with what you don’t like on this site.

      1+
      • Howard A Member

        I think I’ve just found one of my “thumbs downers”. Stop categorizing me as an “all car hater”, jay (?). I like all vehicles, some more than others, it’s why I’m here. I’m not sure what you meant by a “back handed compliment”. Sounds sinister. Scotty is a good friend of mine, and I have the utmost respect for his knowledge. I only said “3” to emphasize my point. Let’s get back to the cars, shall we, and stop this pointless bickering, sheesh.

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      • Howard A Member

        You know what? I’m done here, 10-7, on the side,,,,( and here I just got done telling Mike Burnett to hang in there, but I’m done too)

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      • jaygryph

        Amusingly, I am not one of your downvoters. You are entitled to your opinions of things, just as others are entitled to their own opinions. The flip side of being allowed to espouse our opinions on a public forum is that other people will be seeing them, and will be replying to them. You regularly post as close to first as possible, and very often it is simply to explain why you dislike something. The “I don’t like this and here is why” far out weighs the “I had one of these and it was a great little car” type musings.

        Should you leave? I have no say in that, nor does anyone else besides you and the admins of this site.

        In my view, it gets old, opening car after car to find the same people posting right at the top tearing down something they don’t like and subtly jabbing at the people who do like it.

        Since you were wondering, a backhanded (or left-handed) compliment, or asteism), is an insult that is disguised as, or accompanied by, a compliment, especially in situations where the belittling or condescension is intentional.

        “I think we are veeery lucky to have a guy like Scotty here. I mean, look at this thing. Quite an imagination, he has. There has to be like 3 people in the world that find this interesting, enough so, to do a write up on it, and Scotty is one of those people.”

        Which to me, translates to “I’m glad you people like this ugly thing, because those of us in the majority that don’t, never would have known about it unless there were people like you who inexplicably dig up this weird stuff for the amusement of us more sensible people who like better things than this.”

        I spent years working at a wrecking yard where the only thing the owner cared about was big block Chevrolet trucks. Nothing wrong with those, but it grinds the nerves to hear every single day how worthless every other make or model is and to be publicly derided for not falling in line with their views.

        Stay or go, it’s up to you.

        If you were being hateful, sure I’d down vote you, and if you are going to regularly voice your negative, back handed comments, then I will regularly disagree with you on this, a public forum. I will not however downvote you simply because I disagree with your tastes.

        4+
    • John H

      Someone put a lot of effort into that homemade canopy … considering that isn’t in any way, shape or form military.

      Too bad this thing has been so badly butchered. The Military Vehicle Preservation Association had a national meet at a military base a few miles from my place in the 1990s, and there were a couple of these being shown. Plenty of jaw-dropping restorations on show that weekend. It took my son and I most of two days to feel that we saw most of it! I shot many rolls of film that weekend, too!

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  5. Alex B

    “The world is a freak show, and in the US you get a front row seat – George Carlin”

    My favorite Carlin quote. Whoever painted this blue, replaced the top and still thinks this is worth close to 20K is a freak in my opinion.

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    • Howard A Member

      Hi Alex, I miss him dearly. Why do all the great comedians die young???

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      • Alex B

        Yeah I miss him too Howard. But we still have Mel Brooks and Don Rickles! 🙂

        0
      • JoeBazots

        Bill Hicks is another that was taken too young. I can only imagine the field day he would have had in the years since 1995 when cancer did him in.

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      • Alex B

        Sam Kinison was great too, also went way too young. 🙁

        1+
  6. Ck

    C’mon this is a perfect vehicle if you are a Prepper.With a few modifications you’ll be ready for the Zombie Apocalypse, or the Russians .Which ever comes first.WOLVERINES!!!!!!

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  7. Howard A Member

    I like the shovel ( or the folding military entrenching tool, as it’s known) on the fender. Can you see the poor GI that had to shovel this thing out with that? ( with the CO hollering)

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  8. Van

    I think it’s cool. Original green paint with red innards would go together fine. This would be great for crowd control. You are going to need long arms at the McDonald’s drive through. It would look cool with a blown v8 and zoomes, he he he.

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  9. geolemon

    It’s cool. Just not $20k cool.

    It’d be worth $20k to a person who knew how to restore it for $20k and sell it for $80k, but as someone else mentioned – there’s probably 3 people on the planet who might be interested.

    Now – If it were $5k, it would be fun to swap in a whole different junkyard power train and not worry about ruining it’s authenticity – and actually use it, have fun in it. But no one would do that for $20k. At that price there’s better off-roaders, even brand new.

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  10. Duff

    Scotty… you cleaned up that George Carlin quote really well! Yea… he said something like that.

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  11. Neil

    Restored M20’s in Europe go for around $15,000 converting from European currency to dollars. A restored M8 with a live main gun would go for the figure the seller quotes. Those who own them say they are fun to drive.
    But – those figures are for a vehicle as it left the factory. The cost to rebuild this one to standard probably means its worth less than $10,000 to a serious MV collector.

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  12. Bill Hart

    Carb is military. Similar to the stock carb on my White half-track.

    (Runs better with a Dodge 328 carb, as I could not determine how to rebuild the stock one) The stock one is safely stored for the restoration)

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  13. John

    Just the thing to drive around the local roads to annoy ski traffic. I can probably guess where this is. The guy has a number of strange toys.

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  14. Marshall Curtis

    This thing reminds me of the “combat car” in the 1988 movie “Tucker: The Man and His Dream”.

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  15. MARK BOYCE

    danger will robinson !!! lost in space rover 🙂

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  16. Joe Howell

    Too bad it’s butchered. This thing makes me miss my old Deuce and a Half. At least parts were plentiful for it while I imagine parts for this are rare and pricey when found.

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  17. Jeff

    I love it when you ad different things in,, Great Job,,, remember “Haters are going to Hate”

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  18. johnj

    Really Cool. Seeing it made me do some research, I like anything mechanical so I can appreciate the oddball stuff. Would be cool with a modern power train since its already be modified. Probably a lot more practical as a toy with that home built green house. Or take it back to original, just glad it has survived.

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  19. Doug Towsley

    i LOVE this thing, Cant imagine what I would do with it, or how I could justify buying it, but i do LOVE it.

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