By Miles Chambers
As military vehicles are designed and built to adapt a diverse range of operational requirements, it should come as no surprise that often times, military vehicles continue to live out far more extended service lives.
While the original vision for these advanced military vehicles might have seen them serve on the battlefield, their adaptability creates for significant repurposing. After serving on the front lines throughout numerous campaigns, some military vehicles can and often are repurposed for use with police forces. The others though have gone on to serve on the streets of civilian life.
After a thorough paint job, these five military vehicles have been transformed for civilian use, ready for the daily commute.
The High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle, or as its better known, the Humvee, has been a stalwart of US Armed Forces since the mid-1980s. Responding to the newer requirements that the original Jeep could no longer satisfy, Humvee became the jack-of-all-trades, replacing all light tactical vehicles on the battlefield.
Since its inception, it has seen service in many modern battlefields as various models and modular designs.
It’s civilian counterpart first rolled off the assembly line in 1992. This was thanks in part to Hollywood actor Arnold Schwarzenegger lobbying American Motor Corporations for a civilian version. Since that introduction to civilian life, AMC was bought out by GM, which has since rolled out two subsequent versions of the Humvee; the Hummer H2 and Hummer H3.
The Willys-Overland MB was the original automotive war hero. This versatile vehicle received praise for its maneuverability, strength on the battlefield, and adaptive nature. This light tactical vehicle would go on to engage in battlefields in both the European theatre and the Indochinese peninsula.
With its years of military service behind it, the original Willys-Overland MB paved the way for its civilian interpretation; the Jeep. Having celebrated its 75th anniversary in 2016, the Jeep has gone on to commercial success, featuring a range of models that perform exceptionally well in both on- and off-road performance.
Beloved by oligarchs and celebrities alike, the Mercedes-Benz G-Class is the pinnacle of refinement. A luxury SUV, the G-Class was created to conquer challenges on six continents. It’s galvanized steel body, sturdy ladder frame, and exquisite cabin appointments make the G-Class a standout vehicle on today’s roads.
The G-Class was born out of a suggestion made by the Shah of Iran. As a major shareholder with Mercedes at the time, the Shah of Iran proposed how nice it would be if Mercedes had an SUV. A military development program was initiated in the 70s and the G-Class, known as the G-Wagen then, soon entered military service.
Throughout its military career, the G-Class has seen operational service with over 60 armies, including NATO.
An amphibious vehicle that made a splash during the Allied invasion in the European theatre, the DUKW served as an amphibious platform that carried troops, supplies, and equipment into the crucible of war. Built by General Motors Corporation, the DUKW, or as it's colloquially known, the Duck, has found its way into civilian use after its wartime efforts.
Finding a home in numerous cities, the Duck now functions as an amphibious tour bus, particularly in harbor, river, and lake cities. While the first duck tour started out in Wisconsin, it has since expanded, offering tourist attractions in cities like Dublin and Singapore.
A real marvel of modern warfare, the mine-resistant ambush protected (MRAP) vehicle was driven to production by the evolving nature of asymmetrical threats. The prolific use of Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) and other ballistic threats created the need for a light armoured vehicle capable of balancing superior firepower, survivability, and tactical mobility.
Its modular design allows for exceptional protection and mobility, even in the harshest operational environments. This perhaps is what makes the MRAPs such a popular law enforcement vehicle. Many local police departments and even the FBI now boasts MRAPs within the fleet of automotive vehicles. Ohio State University has even picked up a surplus MRAP for emergency situations.
The qualities that make military vehicles perfect for the battlefield also make them ideal for civilian use. Military vehicles embody the same qualities and great designs that draw in civilian customers; thoroughly rugged, easily serviceable, and have long lifecycles. While they no longer serve the front lines, these marvels of warfare continue their legacy as desirable peacetime vehicles.
Senior International Business Development and Sales Manager, NIMR Automotive LLC
Miles Chambers joined NIMR Automotive in October 2016 as Senior International Business Development and Sales Manager. In this capacity, Miles oversees NIMR Automotive’s expansion to Global markets, particularly into Europe and Southeast Asia. In addition to his responsibilities at NIMR Automotive, Miles is the Chairman of the Azerbaijan-South Africa Chamber of Commerce.