The military is equipped with monstrous, grisly vehicles to tackle land, air and sea, helping the indomitable soldiers across the globe protect their respective countries. And, although they’re definitely not toys, they all look like a blast to drive or fly around. Lucky for you, there are a ton of military vehicles you can actually own if you’re willing to do a little digging.
You might assume that all used military tactical vehicles are expensive, but the prices for the variety of vehicles available to civilians range from affordable to expensive as hell. There are cars, SUVs, airplanes, and even tanks for sale if you look in the right places and the right countries. You can even grab vintage vehicles from as far back as the 1940s. Sure, you can get a custom mil-spec vehicle with all the bells and whistles at specialty automotive shops, but nothing beats a war-tested, battle-scarred military machine that’s seen some action. Plus, you would have a ball restoring an authentic military ride. We’ve scoured the automotive playground to search for some magnificent, vintage war machines, as well as some insane military rides. If you’ve ever wanted to roll around in an authentic Willys Jeep or sit in an old school fighter jet, this collection of war treasures is for you.
A Brief Disclaimer
Before you race to the list and try to get your behind in a tank, you’ll need to determine exactly what you can do with the vehicle you’re after. We’re pretty sure most places won’t license you to roll around the city in a 62-metric ton monster. There are restrictions on where you can drive and fly certain vehicles, so be aware that even if you can buy a ridiculous military relic, you may not be able to use it where you live. Also, remember the maintenance of some of these adventure vehicles can be pretty expensive if you do plan on cruising in some of them. Don’t forget to check out what you’re purchasing to make sure it’s legitimate. As with any vehicle purchase, proper research will prevent you from buying shiny junk.
The DUKW (pronounced “duck”) is a six-wheel-drive amphibious vehicle used by the U.S. military during WWII and the Korean War. These rugged vehicles were used on the D-Day beaches of Normandy, carrying the brave American souls looking to paint Nazi uniforms red. They have a top speed of 50 mph on rough terrain and six mph on water. Police, fire departments, rescue units, and even tourist transport companies all use the DUKW, so it’s found a new purpose after military service. A plentiful amount of DUKW vehicles were made for the American military and 2,000 were supplied to Britain during its time in battle, offering you plenty of opportunities to land one.
F-16 Fighting Falcon
Originally developed by General Dynamics, the F-16 Fighting Falcon is a supersonic fighter aircraft with a blistering max speed of 1,500 mph. It has a range of 2,002 miles and has been adapted for various missions, including air-to-air fighting, ground attack, and electronic warfare. If you’re looking to get to work quickly, you can’t beat the F-16 Fighting Falcon. In all seriousness, if you dig deep to find one in solid flying condition, maintenance would be an absolute nightmare. In addition, you wouldn’t be able to find one for sale in the U.S. let alone fly it here. But, if you have the resources and property outside America, you can rest assured the F-16 is available. The F-16 is only available on the private market where most of our allies put them up for sale.
John Deere M-Gator A1
John Deere’s U.S. Army-certified M-Gator A1 is a military utility vehicle built for supply deliveries and casualty evacuation. The U.S. Army adopted the Gator back in 1997 and it has been providing reliable service ever since. This compact combat vehicle has a top speed of 20 mph, running on an 854 cc four-cycle diesel engine to help you haul you and your small crew. The M-Gator A1 also includes a collapsible roll bar, large reconfigurable cargo box, and rifle mounts. It’s basically a golf cart on steroids that’s perfect for off-road cruising.
Mercedes-Benz G63 AMG 6X6
When military personnel face the ferocity of Mother Nature off the beaten track, they turn to the Mercedes-Benz G63 AMG 6×6 beast to help them punch through the landscape. The uncompromising vehicle has an advanced automotive transmission with modes for on and off-road conditions. It features a compressor to reduce or increase tire pressure so it can adjust the traction easily to any driving surface it encounters. This means you can transition from powdery deserts to paved streets in less than 20 seconds. It’s packing a twin-turbo V8 with an output of 536 hp and 561 lb-ft of torque. The vehicle was launched in early 2013 but sales of the car stopped in early 2015 to maintain exclusivity.
With the muscle to carry a payload of up to 10,000 lbs, the 290 bhp Paramount Marauder is a burly vehicle built to endure any battlefield. In fact, it’s a mine-protected vehicle able to withstand explosions from 17 lbs of TNT. Made by Paramount Group in South Africa, the Marauder was developed for reconnaissance and peacekeeping missions. Its double-skin monocoque hull can protect its passengers from projectiles up to a STANAG 4569 Level III, which includes grenade and mine blasts activated under any wheel or track location. You can order a civilian version of the Marauder just in case a zombie apocalypse does break out.
Polaris MV 850
If you’re going rogue and need to complete a solo mission, the Polaris MV 850 is the single-seat off-road titan of your dreams. This all-terrain vehicle is built to lug around up to 850 lbs of military-grade payload through extreme terrain. It’s powered by four-stroke SOHC twin-cylinder engine with 88 hp. To tackle the chaos of off-road landscapes, the MV 850 has dual A-arm suspension with heavy-duty shocks and an all-wheel-drive system with electronic power steering. It also has a full underbody skid plate, keyless ignition, and a ‘WARN’ winch capable of pulling 3,000 lbs. Civilians can get a Polaris MV 850 straight from the factory.
Scud-B Missile Launcher
This Russian-made tactical Surface-to-Air Missile (SAM) system is the most prolific of the Scud series. The Scud-B, which is also known as the R-17, had the ominous job of carrying nuclear, chemical, conventional, or fragmentation weapons. It is hauled around by either the older transporter erector launcher or newer version based on the MAZ-543 vehicle, giving soldiers more freedom in selecting off-road firing positions. Its production run ended at about 7,000 examples, so there are quite a few out there if you look hard enough. We’re not sure this will fit in your driveway, but you are able to purchase this colossal transport vehicle and scare your neighbors.
Special Forces RHIB
Powered by twin diesel engines, the Rigid Hull Inflatable Boat (RHIB) is an all-weather on-water transportation vehicle utilized by special forces. The standard RHIB for Naval Special Warfare can haul a maximum of 10 passengers. There are a few variations of this boat, including one with a fully-rotating forward-mounted M2HB .50 cal heavy machine gun and another with a rear-facing MK19 40mm grenade launcher. Obviously, you’re not going to find one for sale packing heat, but the boat is impressive on its own. It’s a speedy watercraft that tops out at 60 knots, which was also used to transport Marines to and from shores and guard against enemy infiltration. It’s just as smooth as a speedboat and would be the perfect way to escape into the outdoors and beat everyone to the best fishing spots.
Sikorsky UH-60A Black Hawk Helicopter
In June 1979, the Sikorsky UH-60A Black Hawk Helicopter entered service with the U.S. Army’s 101st Combat Aviation Brigade of the 101st Airborne Division. The nimble war helicopter made its combat debut during the invasion of Grenada in 1983. It also played a role in the largest air assault mission in the U.S. Army’s history during the Gulf War in 1991 where more than 300 Black Hawk helicopters were used. The battlefield bird can carry 11 troops and lift up to 2,600 lbs internally and 9,000 lbs via an external sling. It’s equipped with high-tech avionics and electronics, such as the Global Positioning system for superior survival capabilities. This one will definitely make a dent in your wallet.
Developed by Poland and Czechoslovakia, the OT-64 SKOT (Sredni Kolowy Opancerzony Transporter) is an amphibious armored personnel carrier. There are different variants that seated anywhere between 2-18 passengers. Some were built for air defense and others were re-equipped as tank hunters, using the AT-3 Sagger missile. It has a full-armored interior and packs an air-cooled Tatra T-928-14 V8 diesel engine capable of 177 horsepower. You can find a rusty fixer-upper for around $10,000 or get lucky and find a restored classic for about $20,000.
FV432 Armored Personnel Carrier
The FV432 Armored Personnel Carrier is part of the FV430 series used by the British Army, in which all are built on the same chassis. This tracked design has the engine sitting at the front and the driving position to the right with the hatch for the vehicle commander placed directly behind the driver. When armed, these monstrous transport vehicles are usually packing a pintle-mounted L7 GPMG (General Purpose Machine Gun) to go along with the two three-barrel smoke dischargers at the front. The FV432 is powered by a Rolls-Royce K60 multi-fuel engine capable of 240 hp. Although an upgraded version is still being used today, you can find a few older ones on sale.
Willys Jeep MB
There are plenty of vehicles on this list that would squash the Willys Jeep MB like a bug, but this classic ride is too handsome and historically important to leave off the list. It is the iconic primary wheeled transport for the Allies in WWII and makes for an incredible vintage ride if you can and restore one. They were manufactured from 1941 to 1945 and used as lightweight off-road transport vehicles. General Eisenhower stated that most senior officers thought of the Willys Jeep MB as one of the six most important U.S. vehicles to help win the war. It went on to serve in the Korean War too and it inspired a whole category of recreational 4WDs and SUVs. It’s a tough antique vehicle that you’d be lucky to find.
The HUMVEE aka HMMWV (High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle) is the core of the U.S. Army’s vehicle fleet and it comes in 17 variations. It took the place of the Jeep, taking over the duty of being the primary wheels for personnel and light cargo transport behind the front lines. In 1996, the M1114 HUMVEE was created, providing armored transportation for soldiers. Made from hardened steel and bullet-resistant glass, the M1114 HUMVEE is able to protect passengers from small arms fire. These vehicles are highly customizable with a plethora of options, including a winch with a maximum load capacity of 6,000 lbs, supplemental armor, and mounting for the M134 Minigun. The HUMVEE is produced in high numbers so there’s plenty out there for civilians to purchase.
MK10 Chieftain Tank
Throughout the 1960s to the 1970s the MK10 Chieftain Tank was the top dog in the United Kingdom. It was the first tank in service to utilize the Chobham armor upgrades, making it a brutal battlefield bruiser. The Chieftain has a heavily sloped hull and turret, elevating the effectiveness of its frontal armor and it packed a 120mm L11A5 rifled gun that’s able to fire a variety of ammunition, however, its main ammo was the high-explosive squash head (HESH) and armor-piercing discarding sabot (APDS). Its secondary armament is a coaxial L8A1 7.62mm machine gun. Made with non-reactive armor, the tough tank is able to travel 30 mph on the paved road and 19 mph rough terrain. Some of these beasts are now used for TV shows.
Vought F8U-1 Crusader
Serving in the Vietnam War, the Vought F8U-1 Crusader is the last American fighter with guns as the primary weapon, earning the title of “The Last of the Gunfighters,” which sounds like an epic Western movie that was never made. This supersonic, carrier-based air superiority jet debuted in 1955 and was retired in 1976. During its time in the Vietnam War, the Crusader was the best dogfighter the U.S. possessed to battle against the speedy North Vietnamese MiGs fighter planes. You can own this old military veteran and perhaps turn it into a cabin instead of fixing it up for flight.
Wartime Heroes: 5 Best Military Motorcycles
Now that you’ve seen some of the crazy military monsters you can actually purchase as a civilian, it’s time to get into some vintage two-wheelers. Check out our picks for the 5 best military motorcycles and see if you can track some of them down yourself.