Got Your Goat: 1971 CONDEC Gama Goat

I have to say I have never heard of the Vietnam era Gama Goat nor have I ever seen one in any of the Vietnam documentaries on Cable.  But after finding this one on my local CL, I have to say it looks like the ticket for after the Zombie Apocalypse (although I’m not sure if zombies can refine diesel).  Find this 1971 CONDEC Gama Goat for sale in Granite Falls, WA for $16,500 via craigslist.

The Gama Goat was the result of a DARPA project to develop a light tactical truck for use in Southeast Asia after the French struggled with U.S. Army provided trucks in their Vietnam experience.  The winning design was from Chance-Vought, the aircraft manufacturer of Corsair and Corsair II fame, and the truck was built by the Consolidated Diesel Electric Company (CONDEC).  The truck cost the U.S. taxpayer Army $8,000 per copy ($61,000 in today’s dollars), so not much has changed.

It was powered by a 2.6 liter Detroit Diesel with a 4 speed manual and 6 wheel drive.

About 14,000 Goat’s were built over its 5 year production run.  It was used until the 1990’s.  Due to cost cutting, it never lived up to it’s original design goal of being “general purpose”.  Drivers had to have special training as it was tricky to steer, prone to roll over and had a tendency to sink when used in amphibious operations.  Additionally it’s double hull design and complex drive-train made maintenance very intensive, not the thing for the jungles of Vietnam.  This copy is said to be street legal and comes with a hardtop for the cab and soft top for the troop trailer.

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Gianni is Daily Turismo’s Pacific Northwest correspondent.