AM General was founded in 1967 by Kaiser-Jeep corporation, as the Defense and Government Products Division. When AMC purchased Kaiser-Jeep, they realized how important that Kaiser's former Defense and Government Products Division could be. So, in March of 1971, it was renamed AM General. This offshoot of AMC had its headquarters in Wayne, Michigan, and its production facilities located in the old Studebaker plant in South Bend, Indiana. Over the years, AM General/Kaiser Defense and Government Products Division has produced many vehicles including buses, postal jeeps, and the more famous military vehicles such as the M151 MUTT, the M715/AM715/AM720, deuce and a half trucks, 5 ton trucks, and many others. But perhaps their most famous vehicle is the Humvee, which has been produced for the armed forces as well as the civilian market, Among other things, this page will cover the history of the Humvee, it's competitors in the 1981 US Army search for a HMMWV or High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle, the M715/AM715/AM720, and other vehicles produced by this company.
An M715. These were produced by the Defense and Government Products Division of Kaiser. They were the first in a line of civilian vehicles used by the army to keep costs down, a line which includes the Dodge M880 truck, and the "CUCV" Chevrolet Blazers and pickups. In the M715's case, there was a better vehicle for the job in the form of the Chevy XM705, but the M715 was accepted instead because of its lower cost. This decision ended up costing the army, with them M715 only staying in service for about 10 years before having to be replaced.
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This thumbnail is one of the AM715, produced by AM general once the order was completed for the M715 in 1978. Once the contract with the U.S. Army for M715s was up, AM general started to produce this model for export. Countries like Israel used this vehicle. The AM715 featured "disc" wheels, a 131 inch wheelbase, civilian front sheet metal, and a decreased overall weight of 7,300 lbs.
(Click on the thumbnail to view a larger picture)
This is the AM720, which ended up replacing the AM715 in once the order for them was up. This vehicle used the updated civilian sheet metal, complete with square headlights, and a more powerful engine. These were also sold to other countries, such as Egypt, where it was also produced by AAV. The AM720 was also available with the civilian bed, unlike the AM715 and M715.
This is a sales sheet for the AM715 that I recently got on Ebay. This is what the outside looks like. On the inside, it has the vehicle's statistics, which I will scan when I get the time. The back of the sheet looks like this:
The back of the sheet shows the dimensions of the vehicle, as well as "On Vehicle Equipment". Note that in the corner, it says "July 1976". I always thought that the Am715 came out in 1978. Could this be a typo, or an indication that the vehicle was in production before most people thought?
These are the vehicle specifications page 1. This includes dimensions, weight, performance, and engine specifications.
This is the second page of vehicle specifications for the AM715, including Clutch, Transmission, Transfer case, axle, frame, electrical, steering, brakes, and spring data. Note that the specifications are given in both English and metric.
This is the Am General AM7, a militarized version of the CJ-7. In the World Directory of Modern Military Vehicles, the Am-7 is described as "Truck, ,5 ton, 4x4, utility (Jeep AM7). 6-cyl 4.2 liter petrol engine w/ 4F1R Gearbox and 2-speed transfer box. Wheelbase 2375 mm. Overall dimensions 3890x1520x1720 mm. Weight 1275 kg. GVW 1880 kg. Militarized Jeep CJ-7 model, commercially available in Left or Right hand drive, with various 'severe use features'. Auto trans. optional. came out in 1982." This could possibly be the same thing as the Keohwa M-7.
Another view of the AM7, this time from a brochure for Jeep "Special Purpose Vehicles" The AM7 was a militarized version of the CJ7.
I am very confused about this particular vehicle. Called the "Jeep Personnel Carrier", it seems to be a militarized version of the J20. However, wasn't that the AM720? The AM720 was available with the civilian-style townside box, which leads me to believe that this vehicle is related to the AM720.
Apparently, there was also an AM8, as well as an AM7, AM715, and AM720. It was a militarized CJ8, which could possibly be the vehicle featured on the Lebanon page. I am not sure of any other body styles that this vehicle had besides ambulance, but there probably was a personnel carrier version.
This is another odd vehicle that I have never heard of. It was called the Jeep "Mobile Education Vehicle". It was Cherokee-based, and apparently had all kinds of recording equipment in the back, leading me to believe that the point of this vehicle was to be something of a mobile TV studio.
This is the brochure that all of these vehicles came from. The brochure itself was from the Jeep Corporation's International Division, so these vehicles were obviously intended for export.
On to the Humvee page
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