M274 Mechanical Mule


Special K

GT Owner
Mark IV Lifetime
Aug 23, 2016
1,546
Franklinton, LA
For those of you who don’t know me, I like to go really fast or really slow! I also like well engineered machines and quirky designs, so today I thought I’d share my M274 mechanical mules. They are 1/2 ton weapons carriers that were designed in the late 1950s. Being almost completely made of magnesium, they are 4 wheel drive, 4 wheel steer, no suspension, have a 3 speed transmission, 2 speed transfer case and can be operated by a single driver either riding on or walking behind if fully loaded. It can also be mounted with a 106mm recoilless rifle. Both of my mules are of the earliest variant with A1-A5 being the successors. This M274 was meticulously restored by an expert in the “mule world” and utilized some of the last NOS parts in existence. It has won many awards and is regarded as the nicest early model in existence. Some of you may remember seeing one in Stanley Kubrick’s Full Metal Jacket, Forrest Gump, and Maximum Overdrive.
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Special K

GT Owner
Mark IV Lifetime
Aug 23, 2016
1,546
Franklinton, LA
Here’s a cool write up on them from Popular Science circa 1958.352CB787-1A68-4490-A2B0-C61DCBC973DA.jpeg1F3320BA-B74A-417D-88CB-28E505E5C0FB.jpeg86E92DA8-8A99-49B8-9A97-D2C8CBB93010.jpegFEFD13F7-6EA7-4AB1-B5B7-1D8C0E7A4639.jpegCAE57881-1FA5-45FA-8A3B-D53E2DCC0558.jpeg
 
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jaxgt

GT Owner
Mark IV Lifetime
Jul 12, 2006
2,615
That is too cool. Be careful to let the tires warm up someone before hitting the gas pedal - it's so quick - it might get away from you!:):)
 
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Special K

GT Owner
Mark IV Lifetime
Aug 23, 2016
1,546
Franklinton, LA
That is too cool. Be careful to let the tires warm up someone before hitting the gas pedal - it's so quick - it might get away from you!:):)
🤣
 

dreimer

GT Owner
Mark II Lifetime
Feb 8, 2018
93
Ponte Vedra Beach, FL
Thank you - I just learned a whole bunch of stuff today!
 
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twobjshelbys

GT Owner
Jul 26, 2010
5,476
Las Vegas, NV
Way Cool!
 
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Armrer

GT Owner
Le Mans 2010 Supporter
Jan 9, 2007
69
Arizona
I saw one at Knob Creek years ago with an M134 Mini-Gun on it. Love at first sight ; D
 
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Special K

GT Owner
Mark IV Lifetime
Aug 23, 2016
1,546
Franklinton, LA
The tortoise and the hares.60AC93C7-D322-4C0D-8A96-1B35F4152FA0.jpegE236F434-0271-4F2F-8091-88A5C6C9E1A6.jpeg
 
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partssmann

GT Owner
Mark II Lifetime
Jun 1, 2013
663
Scottsdale, Arizona
Looks like a great tow vehicle to move cars around. Bet the Mule has good torque numbers.
 
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Nafod

GT Owner
Mark IV Lifetime
Very cool Kevin,

Thanks for reviving and taking care of a special piece of history. Had never seen or heard of these"mules'.
 
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morsben

Active member
Jun 5, 2020
26
An interesting-looking rig. Like it!
 
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Special K

GT Owner
Mark IV Lifetime
Aug 23, 2016
1,546
Franklinton, LA
My favorite fact about the mule is that it can climb a 60% grade LOADED. Let that sink in...
 

2112

Blue/white 06'
Mark II Lifetime
Insanely cool. Especially the walk behind steering feature.
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