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In 1981, the army, dissatisfied with their current fleet of light cargo vehicles, began to search for a new HMMWV (High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle). It had to meet these requirements-

In the end there were 6 companies competing for the contract- American LaFrance, FWD, General Dynamics/Chrysler, AM-General, Teledyne, and FMC (Food Machinery Corp.)  After testing, the AM General design was accepted, and AM General was given the contract.

Many, many thanks to hmmwv/ for much of this information and many of these pictures.



This is FMC's original entry in the program, known as the XR311. This is what the original caption from the book that I got this from said- General Data-This high mobility vehicle was designed and produced by FMC Corporation as a private venture in 1969/70. Offered to the US Army for examination as a military vehicle it proved to be a trendsetter. The XR311 featured a space frame, a rear-mounted engine and extra-large 4-ply tyres or nylon construction. The project was later transferred to AM General Corporation (qv) Technical Details- Chrysler V-8 petrol engine. 5200cc (99.3x84.1 mm) 190 bhp (gross) at 4000 rpm. Chrysler A727 3F1R automatic transmission and chain-drive transfer box with control slip differential and manual lockup. Controlled Slip diffs. in both axles. 4.89:1 ale gear ratio. Hydraulic disc brakes. Independent suspension with torsion bars. 124-16 tyres. 24 volt electrics. 98-litre fuel tank. Dimensions and Weights- Wheelbase 3070 mm  Track 1630 mm  Overall length and width 4340x1930 mm. Height 1600 mm (roll cage)   Ground Clearance 280 mm (chassis)   Angles of approach and departure 75 degrees and 50 degrees   weight 2087 kg  GVW 2767 kg. FMC decided to sell the project to AM General and not compete in the project because of already over-committed production facilities. for more information on the XR311 and other military vehicles, try this site-  That is where I got the second XR311 picture.


Eventually, AM General Corp. took over the XR311 project and started developing it on their own. Here is what the book, World Directory of Modern Military Vehicles, has to say on this vehicle- "V-8-cyl. 5.2 litre petrol engine (Chrysler) with 3F1R automatic transmission. Single-Speed transfer box. Full-time 4 wheel drive. No-spin diffs. Wheelbase 3070 mm. Original Concept taken over by AM General from FMC and modified to meet the XM966 Combat Support Vehicle Specifications." Note the strange windshield.


This is what the XR311 had turned into after a few years of AM General development. Note the hatch in the top of the roof.


AM General's final prototype designs. As you can see they now look almost just like the Humvee that we know today. Also included are the specifications for the original Humvee, and some good old photos of them. Note how the grille was much fifferent at first, with horizontal bars.


This was Chrysler's first prototype for the HMMWV program. Built in 1978, it was known as the Expanded Mobility Vehicle. It could either have a 360 Chrysler V-8 or a 488 Deutz diesel engine, which seems to be very common in the earlier prototypes for the Humvee. The vehicle had Dana axles, and weighed 7,800 lbs. It had a range of 400 miles and could ford up to 30 inches of water.

This is a revised version of the Expanded Mobility Vehicle, released in 1979. This was to be Chrysler's last entry because Chrysler's defense group would soon be bought out by General Dynamics. The vehicle was now only available with the Deutz diesel and the weight was down to 7,000 lbs. Chrysler claimed it could carry a 2,000 lb payload, as well as go 90 mph.

(click on the thumbnail to see a larger picture)

After General Dynamics bought out Chrysler's Defense Products group, they modified the Expanded Mobility vehicle and came up with this. It was called the XM998, and 11 of them were sent to the army for testing in mid-1982, featuring both Deutz and Chrysler engines. None of the vehicles were accepted. The vehicle was available in a troop/cargo version, as well as a weapons carrier. You can read more about this vehicle in the article in the thumbnail above. Note that 2 of these vehicles have humvee-like rims, but one of them has more civilian-like rims.

An official General Dynamics picture of the XM998. Note the similarities between the wheels on this vehicle and the wheels of the modern day civilian Hummer.  Thanks to for this picture.


The XM998 was recently posted on ebay with a starting bid of $49,000 dollars. It had sat for a while and appeared to have a new paint job. A truly amazing vehicle, but a relatively expensive price.


This is Teledyne's original entry. Known as the Cheetah, it was a license-built Lamborghini "dune buggy," for lack of a better word. It was built in 1977 by a company called Mobility Technology, and was taken over by Teledyne. It had a Chrysler 5.9 litre V-8 gas engine. It had a 3000 mm wheelbase.

These are the second (1980 prototype, bottom right) , third (1981 prototype, bottom left), and fourth (1982 prototype, top) Teledyne prototypes. Note the rather crude bodywork on the 1981 prototype. If you look closely, you can read the article on the vehicle from World Directory of Modern Military Vehicles, which ought to supply you with all of the information on it that you need.

Teledyne's 1982 prototype in cargo/troop carrier guise. Note the cloth doors. Also note the one mirror mounted on the driver's side door, unlike the other 1982 prototype, which had mirrors on each side. According to U.S. Military Wheeled Vehicles by Fred Crismon, this vehicle has a 2,500 lb cross country capacity, and its height was reducible to 50 inches. This was probably true of all other Teledyne prototypes.


These are American LaFrance's prototypes for the HMMWV project. They appear to be very small. I know absolutely nothing about them, what year they were made, or there official designations. American LaFrance is well known for building fire apparatus. Thanks to for these pictures.


This is FWD's prototype for the HMMWV project. I know that their is a complete description of this vehicle in Jane's Guide to military Vehicles and Logistics 1986 ed. but I haven't had time to get the book as of late. I will get it and post the information as soon as possible. Like the LaFrance entry, it appears to be very small.


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