Marc William Hampton, former Army sergeant, shares his top reasons why you should own an M35 “Deuce and a Half” truck.
Guns.com caught up with Hampton at the Knob Creek machine gun shoot in West Point, Kentucky on April 8. He drives his M35 to the shoot twice a year and sleeps in it. Other people drive theirs, and they hang out and talk and work on them.
M35’s are a 2-and-a-half-ton, 6×6 cargo truck used by the United States Army dating back to the 1940s. Newer models are still in use. Older decommissioned units are sold as surplus to people like Hampton as inexpensive trucks capable of off-road operation, and possibly armageddon. They have developed a cult following. You can buy one for as little as $2,500.
Hampton’s truck is an M35A2 model built in 1971. It’s all wheel drive, so neither snow nor rain slow him down.
It’s got a 2 1/2 ton capacity off-road and a 5-ton on-road capacity. So, it will haul just about anything you want.
It has a 50-gallon diesel tank that burns a variety of fuels. Hampton uses motor oil cut with gasoline.
Power is derived from a multi-fuel Hercules in-line six-cylinder engine that’s turbocharged. It produces only about 187 horsepower, but it’s got a boatload of torque.
There’s no air conditioning but the side and front windows open on the cab. This provides a great deal of air flow, especially at speed.
Insurance on an M35 in Kentucky is cheap – about $209 a year. This is mainly because not much can damage a Deuce and a Half. Hampton’s been rear-ended and T-boned in his, and nothing happened. He fixed the damage with a spray can of paint. The other cars were totaled.
He daily-drives his M35 like other people drive a regular car. He’ll take it to the corner store to get a pack of smokes.
It’s obvious that Hampton loves his truck. ‘I’ll drive it until the wheels fall off.’ he says. ‘And I’ll bolt them back on and keep going. That’s the God’s honest truth. This truck will live forever. It will live longer than me.’
Driving a Deuce and a Half is also a good way to buy America, says Hampton with a smile. ‘You drive a Deuce and a Half, boom! ‘I America’d today.’