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The Forgotten Full-Size Jeep: The M715

What is it?

Originally designed to replace the Dodge M37, the Jeep M715 was conceived around 1965, and many believed it would revolutionize light transport for the United States military. Ultimately, however, it was the M37 that saw more action than the M715.

 

The Jeep M715’s legacy is defined by its overhead-cam six-cylinder engine (OHC), also known famously as The Tornado. OHC motors weren’t initially successful, but they eventually went on to revolutionize the auto industry. By the late 1980s, OHC had gone on to become the industry norm in small displacement motors.

Why was it forgotten?

While the OHC motors eventually went on to change the auto industry for good, little was known about the overhead cam design at the time of their conception. Additionally, the M715 consumed oil far too excessively in its infancy. There were several safety concerns associated with this military vehicle; M715 models with front winches were known to be dangerous. The winches often separated from the drive shaft when traveling across rough terrain. This caused the shaft to foul the steering of the truck, in turn, resulting in loss of control. These safety and efficiency concerns eventually caused military officials to phase the M715 out of operations.

What’s going on with it today?

The South Korean Army currently utilizes an M715-type vehicle known as the KM450, which is produced by Kia. It’s commonly known as a remake of the M715. Additionally, many hobbyists and collectors enjoy restoring old M715s. Most recently, Jeep brought the concept behind the M715 back to life for the company’s annual Easter Safari in Utah; the revamped M715 design is called the “Five Quarter Concept.”

Army Jeep Parts Cares

Here at Army Jeep Parts, we are obsessed with the rich and little-known history that’s behind the modern day Jeep model just as much as you are. That’s why we are an industry-leading provider of parts, fuel pump repair services, and transmission repair services for Army Jeep drivers. For more information about the parts and services we offer, check out the rest of our website, or contact us!