Ever since the motorized forces became integral parts of the military world, the industry has dedicated enormous time, money and effort to design and produce specialized military vehicles. And not just tanks, transporters or amphibious vehicles, but all kinds of off-road models, including light tactic or reconnaissance cars and ATVs. Of course, as the military industry moves forward, the gap between civil and military vehicles is getting bigger and bigger.
However, there were several moments where the civilian car industry and the military vehicle industry have crossed paths, creating interesting vehicles to use on the streets. The obvious example is the Jeep brand, which was born from necessity due to the outbreak of the Second World War. But there are many more similar examples. So, read on to learn about 20 military vehicles you can buy and drive on the streets.
Off-road vehicles were born out of necessity and the legendary Jeep Willys is the best example of that. They conceived the idea just before WWII of a light military vehicle capable of going over any terrain. It had to be durable enough to withstand bullets and explosions, as well as harsh conditions, too. And the Jeep turned out to be one of the weapons that won the biggest war in history.
The production of the original Jeep started in 1942 as the U.S. entered the war. And it ended in 1946 after they built more than 600,000 Jeeps, exporting them to all parts of the world. Also called the Willys MB or Ford GPW, it was a simple machine, yet it was incredibly tough and dependable. It got its power from a diminutive 2.2-liter four-cylinder engine producing just 60 HP. Also, it used a simple four-wheel-drive layout, which was an innovative concept for the 1940s.
But despite being a military vehicle, Jeep proved its worth after the war as a practical machine that drivers could equip to do numerous things, from towing to plowing. Some owners even turned them into agricultural equipment. The unique concept of a rugged, compact and extremely capable off-road machine evolved into the Jeep brand. Over time, they became the biggest producer of off-road vehicles and SUVs as well as a true legend of the segment.