With Veterans Day right around the corner, if you are looking to give a perfect gift to a veteran in your life, or you are a veteran looking to expand your off-road toy collection, then what the city of Beverly, Massachusetts is doing deserves some attention. 

The city is auctioning off two used military vehicles just prior to Veterans Day. “Both vehicles would make wonderful gifts for the veteran in your life,” the city stated in a press release.

One of the vehicles will be very familiar to people; the other one not so much, as its service life ended a long time ago. 

“[A hundred percent] of the proceeds from the auctions goes back to Beverly,” the city added. “These funds are used for road maintenance, setting up local events for residents, community programs, public safety initiatives, and more.”

Mule vehicle with 106mm rifle
A vintage Mule with a 106mm recoilless rifle and ammunition attached. (Wikimedia Commons)

The news media site MassLive.com was the first to run the story.

The city of Beverly is a suburb of Boston along what is known as the North Shore. It was originally part of the town of Salem, Massachusetts.

Beverly claims that it is “the birthplace of the United States Navy.” The first ship commissioned for the U.S. military was commissioned by the U.S. Army (the U.S. Navy didn’t yet exist). It was the armed schooner USS Hannah under the command of Captain Nicholson Broughton. It was outfitted at Glover’s Wharf and first sailed from Beverly Harbor on September 5, 1775.


Off to the Races

The first vehicle being auctioned is an HMMWV M998 (MOD) 4X4 Military All-Wheel Drive Cargo Carrier, also known as a HUMVEE or Hummer. It was made by AM General and is street legal as it comes with a Massachusetts Title, the city said. It also comes with various military and commercial radio equipment installed, although the condition of the radio equipment is unknown.

Hummer interior
Interior of the Hummer being auctioned off by the city of Beverly, Mass. (MassLive.com)

Although the Hummer was in long-term storage, the city of Beverly states that it starts and runs. A detailed inspection of the vehicle is recommended. The current bid online is $15,300.00.

The other vehicle for auction is the iconic U.S. Military M274 Truck, Platform, Utility, 1/2 Ton, 4X4 or “Carrier, Light Weapons, Infantry, 1/2 ton, 4×4,” also known as the “Mule”. The Mule is a 4-wheel drive, gasoline-powered truck/tractor type vehicle that can carry up to half a ton of cargo or personnel off-road. It was introduced in 1956 and used until the 1980s.

The Mule was completely open and exposed. Because of its suspension and the way drivers pushed the envelope while operating it, it developed a well-deserved reputation as the “most dangerous vehicle in the Soviet inventory.” 

The particular Mule in auction was manufactured in February 1969 by Automatic Sprinkler Corp (Baifield Div).

“It has a gas engine and was modified by the military to use wide tires and a 12-volt electric system. Non-military additions include a passenger seat and roll bar, as well as additional lights,” the city said. It comes with a spare pair set of rims, tires, and a spare tow bar in addition to the one for the vehicle.

Mule vehicle
The Mule up for auction in Beverly, MA. painted red as an emergency response vehicle. (MassLive.com)

The Mule being auctioned off was fitted with a roll bar and has a bank of lights attached. These lights would not be placed on a military-issue Mule. 

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The vehicle was also kept in long-term storage. When it was put in storage five years ago it ran but “it would not start after removal from storage and the carburetor to air cleaner adapter was lost in the process.” The current bid for the Mule is $3,600.00.

The auction is open online at municibid.com. The public can bid on each of the vehicles until the auction ends on November 8.

For the veteran who has just about everything, these may be the perfect gift for off-road use. But as a vet who has ridden in a Mule, those vehicles can be a dicey operation.