Unmistakably distinct for using tracks instead of rear wheels, these models came into their own on rough terrain, where normal cars struggled to venture. Under the supervision of the US Department of Military Material, several prototypes were built, which later gave rise to the famous M2 and M3 models.
Built by the Autocar Company, Diamond T Motor Company and the White Company, the models were extensively tested on civil roads, to improve service conditions as well as reliability. The engines, the White 160AX and the IHC Red Diamond 450 were coupled to an unsynchronized manual gearbox with four speeds and a transfer gearbox with two ratios.
Boasting a more imposing body than its M2 sibling, the M3 Half Track was designed for use in multiple war scenarios, but its main function was to transport troops. Measuring 6.52 meters in length with ten seats at the rear and three more in the cabin, the M3 also carried ammunition and weaponry behind the seats. External supports were often added to carry groceries, backpacks and other items out of necessity.
Built in July 1943, by the Autocar Motor Company, this M3 Half Track with registration number USA 4065552/S was one of 43,000 units registered by the US Army. This very M3 saw front line action during the Second World War.
After the war, the M3 Half Track was put to service in a forestry company. It remained there until it was acquired by the Dutch collector Peter Aalderson, who in turn sold it to Wagenaar, a specialist dealer of historic military vehicles.
In 1987, the model aroused the curiosity of Rigter, a collector who remained on the trail of the M3 until he finally completed the purchase 25 years later in June 2012. Shortly thereafter, the M3 Half Track entered the Dutch workshops of BAIV BV, a specialized company in military vehicles, located in the city of Maarheeze, where it was aesthetically restored. The very precise restoration work included fitting the correct model tracks and the original Firestone WW-II combat tires.