Your new daily driver is this 1971 M-792 Gama Goat. Traffic jam? Slow left lane driver? You get the idea. This traffic monitor is on eBay with a current bid of $2,500 but the reserve isn’t met and there are almost three days left left to get your bids in. This rig is in Pilot Rock, Oregon and I’m guessing the shipping for this one may not be inexpensive.
The Gama (or, sometimes, Gamma) Goat was named for a combination of its inventor’s last name, Roger Gamaunt, and having the abilities of a mountain goat. Or, at least theoretically the abilities of a mountain goat. They are actually a six-wheel drive articulated vehicle, not a four-wheel drive vehicle pulling a trailer. The front and rear wheels steer for some decent maneuverability and a turning radius of 29-feet.
The official military name for this unit was the M-792 and it was the 6×6 1-1/4 ton ambulance version of the M-561 cargo Gama Goat. Only 1,758 Gama Goats went to the Marine Corps with the remaining 12,516 going to the army. They were made in and for the Vietnam War era, from around 1969 to 1973, and they were designed to be air-transportable and could be dropped with a parachute. A very, very heavy-duty, tough parachute, as they weighed about 7,300-pounds. The tail gate is missing on this one so hopefully you know a military collector for spare parts.
This Gama Goat has a working emergency brake but the brakes aren’t currently in working order. “Hello, Pep Boys? Yeah, I’ve got a ’71 Gama Goat and..” If you don’t want this thing after watching this YouTube video of it in action, well.. I don’t know what to think! This M-792 (or, the M-561) will cruise at a top speed of 56 mph! That’s movin’!
Here’s the power behind this tough ol’ goat: a 160 cubic-inch, three-cylinder Detroit Diesel 53 two-stroke engine with about 100 hp. The noise was so great that operators had to wear ear protection! And maintenance wasn’t easy given the double-hull construction for amphibious duties and the articulated drivetrain. A lube job took six hours. I would have absolutely zero use for this monster, but I want it! I don’t think I could drive it the 40,000+ miles a year that I currently drive, but I fantasize about having something like this on the road sometimes.. Would you have a use for this fantastic machine?