Mighty Marine: 1962 AMC M422A1 Mighty Mite

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Here’s a rare one: a 1962 AMC M422A1 Mighty Mite. It’s located in Vista, California and is on eBay with an unmet opening bid of $12,500! That’s a mighty price but these are mighty rare.

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The Mighty Mite was designed for the Marines, specifically to be transported in helicopters, so they had to be relatively light – weighing under 1,500 pounds was one of the parameters. As is often the case with parameters, it didn’t quite make it; it came in at 1,700 pounds, even though it had an aluminum body. Although it didn’t meet the “requirement” for weight, it’s supposedly still the lightest of the military trucks made to date and the first to use an aluminum body. These Mighty Mites were made to go through relatively deep-water and the seller says that that system isn’t complete but there’s no word on what part of that system is missing. The early M422 had a 65-inch wheelbase and the later M422A1, such as this one, has a 71-inch wheelbase.

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Another requirement, or parameter, was that the Mighty Mite be small, yet have a sufficient cargo and towing capacity to perform typical infantry tasks. Believe it or not, this vehicle can carry six people thanks to two fold-up seats that were integrated into the tailgate and two folding backrests on the rear fenders. They could carry 850 pounds compared to 800 pounds for other 1/4 ton military vehicles. They were tough and maybe over-designed, if there is such a thing for military vehicles; which could be why they came in with a mighty price of around $5,200, about $41,000 in 2016 dollars. Only around 4,000 were built by AMC before they were deemed obsolete by the Marines due to the new Huey helicopter’s greater cargo capacity over the older Sikorsky chopper’s capacity for which the M422 was originally designed.

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This one has new seat cushions, and I’m guessing that means all new seat material because they look brand new. The interior is, as you would expect, all business here. The seller shows off the “seat belts” in this photo.. ha!

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This mighty engine is a Wisconsin Engine built under contract for AMC and it’s a 108 cubic-inch V4 with around 55 hp. Wisconsin also made engines for the King Midget, how cool would it be to have one of these Wisconsin V4s in a King Midget?! Sorry, I went off track there for a minute.. This vehicle has 31,000 miles on it and is registered, insured, and driven weekly. It will need a bit of detail work but this would really draw a crowd at any car show. Have you ever seen an AMC-built Mighty Mite? I would take one of these over a Willys “Jeep” in a heartbeat, which one would you choose?

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Comments

  1. JW

    Now that is a cool military vehicle, great find.

  2. MathieuB Member

    Looks even more like toy!
    Very interesting!

  3. geomechs geomechs Member

    Sure is a cute little devil. Having Wisconsin build the engine was a smart move. WisCon already had the basics to build a reliable V4. From what I see this one is air-cooled; if that’s the case then WisCon would be doubly equipped to produce one. I keep wondering how many parts would interchange with a motor off a John Deere windrower?

  4. Dave Wright

    These are interesting military history but get boring pretty quickly. I have bought and sold several over the years. A modern quad is much more capeable and exciting to operate for similar money. My son’s New Polaris is an incredible machine, fast, smooth and powerful with unbelievable suspension travel. By comparison this would spend a lot of time sitting in the barn. The Wisconsin engine still has parts support but at a dear price. In most equipment where they were standard equipment, when time for rebuild comes they get replaced by small diesels that last longer, have more power and use less fuel, that are cheeper to buy new than the cost of rebuild for the V4HD. So, if you want something to look at and appreciate the corosponding history, it would be fine, if you want something to use there are better ways to spend your money. I am rebuilding a Military John Deere Gator, it came new with a Yanmar Diesel engine. It has more power than this old girl and will go more places, haul more weight.

  5. Bobsmyuncle

    No Looks to have an exhaust snorkle and intake snorkle. Aside from a cobbled together intake tube it should be capable of fording water. The vent tubes on the diffs aren’t a big deal, I wonder what is “missing”.

    Found my answer. Very cool!

    Marines developed a lightweight flotation kit that could easily be stored on the M442 when not in need, in which four large tubes inflated by exhaust encompassed the bottom part of the frame that allowed the vehicle to swim deeper waters. The vehicle’s spinning wheels provided propulsion and steering in the water

  6. Thorsten Krüger

    First look on the picture in the daily summary, I thought it is a Mercedes G-model from the 70ties…..

    Now I know where Mercedes Benz copied……

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