30 Years In A Barn: 1961 M422 Mighty Mite

Even though it has been repainted, this 1961 M422 Mighty Mite manufactured by AMC was formerly a Marine vehicle and it was originally olive drab. It can be found here on Craigslist in Chloride, New Mexico. The seller is asking $15,000 for this tough Marine.

That’s a pretty friendly looking face for being such a rugged little 4×4. Lumped in with most similar 4×4 vehicles and commonly referred to as a “jeep”, the M422 Mighty Mite was manufactured by American Motors Corporation for exclusive use by the US Marine Corp. Jeff showed us a nice one a year ago and that more closely resembles the look of what it would have left the factory like. They were light at around 1,700 pounds and a bit smaller than a “real” Jeep at around nine-feet in length. They were designed to fit into a military helicopter which is why they needed to be light and on the small side.

This Mighty Mite has a mere 390 miles on it and most of those were from parade duty as it never saw combat or even military use. The seller says, “It was kept at a Marine distribution center in California, and was disposed as ‘military surplus’ when the Vietnam war wound down. This vehicle has a total of 390 miles on it, and almost all of those miles were driving it in parades. It has never been driven on the open road nor on off road trails.” They were designed by Marco (Mid-American Research Corporation) and AMC manufactured them. They made over 3,900 of them until 1962 when production stopped.

This one has been repainted to match another vehicle for parades so that’s why it’s this unusual color. And, it appears that part of the Brady Bunch backyard is on the floor of this one. There are no engine photos but it has a pretty interesting one. It’s an AMC AV-108 which is a V4, one of the few made by an American company, at least in that era. Hang with me on this one: it’s an aluminum, air-cooled V4 with around 50 hp. The seller says that “It has been stored in a barn for over 30 years, and will need new batteries.” Would you restore this Mighty Mite back to how it would have looked or keep it the way it is now?

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  1. mark

    Not sure if it is worth the asking price however this is a great find!. 50 HP for a 1700 pound vehicle would be adequate for it’s intended use. Why no pics of the engine?

    • exartist

      Neat vehicle and a IIRC they are very competent off-road. Asking price seems way above past sales so condition better be PERFECT. Where are the seats? And how much will a repaint cost?

      • Doug

        A repaint should be pretty cheap – I don’t know if they still carry it, but when I did some modifications on my M38A1, Archer Brothers Jeep Parts in Hayward, CA stocked military surplus OD paint in rattle cans…..allowed me to use Honda CB 750 front turn signals attached vertically to the front bumper ( after scuffing and painting ) , thus being able to convert the original blackout lights back to their original function without having the chrome of the Honda turn signals look out of place.

      • local_sheriff

        If you’re anything near my height (6ft4) you won’t need worry about any seats – just sit on the rear tubs

  2. steve

    50 HP for 1700 lbs isn’t that bad…now pile on 6 marines, an M60, ammo boxes with a light field piece behind it? Maybe not QUITE enough power……

  3. James

    Looks like a Humvee’s son trying to look tough like his daddy. :)

  4. Steve

    I own a national award winning M422A1 Mite. The engines are very problematic. The chrome lining flakes off of the cylinders and destroys the bearings and crank. If this happens the engine cannot be repaired because no undersized bearings are available for a ground crank. Other parts are very hard to find. The missing seats are almost impossible to find This is maybe a $3200 vehicle. It generally tales 3 to build 1.

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