MILITARY vehicles are usually ugly, but somehow it is their ugliness and seemingly deliberate avoidance of aesthetics that makes them lovable to collectors.
Actually, if you look at most collections, or lists of cars that people want to collect, they tend to contain really pretty and really weird stuff, not much of the plain Jane that makes up the fat middle. People are weird like that.
The original Willy’s Jeep ranks as one of the prettiest when it comes to military vehicles and that indicates the starting point for this appearance contest. Bear in mind, one of the reasons the Jeep won over the others was because it was kind of cute. The military has since removed the ‘cute’ box on their list of requirements when they send out survey forms to soldiers.
So here are five of the ugliest military vehicles in the world. Be warned that some of them are so shockingly hideous that you might find them adorable, like a flabby and fleshy bulldog puppy. Or a tiny chihuahua.
Compiling a list of ugly military vehicles is easy, but ranking the top 5 may be a bit controversial. But then again, any list is controversial, which is why a list of anything is popular on YouTube.
5. ZIL 135 - Large military tactical trucks are hard to make pretty but at least some of them look angry and purposeful. They may be not deliberately designed like that, but they do. Take, for example, the MAN SX from Germany which looks like a battle-hardened colonel in a crisp uniform.
The ZL 135, on the other hand looks like an overweight general whose whole career was spent in the rear looking after food contracts.
The rounded corners of the ZIL 135 makes it look flabby while the sloppy detailing gives it the bored look. It is almost as if the vehicle is simply transferring the attitude of the bored designers, who just wanted to finish their work as soon as possible so they can go back to their Stolichnaya.
4. Mercedes G-Wagen - I’m sure many people disagree with this choice but based on the number of examples that are in the hands of rappers, Russian mafia and Middle Eastern princes, it simply had to make the list.
You may say, there is no way the G-Wagen is uglier than the ZIL 135 but I say the ZIL 135 looks like a kindly overweight uncle who is perpetually inebriated and who you feel compelled to be nice to but the G-Wagen is like a cocky teenager with annoyingly loud clothing and threatening hair that you just want to slap on the back of the head.
I think the original G-Wagen, the military one, is not too bad looking, as it had an honest hardworking look to it but the newer civilian versions is in serious need of a takedown or two. Ugh.
This is an example of a brand really pandering to its wealthy clientele, regardless of taste. I know that I’m lashing out against the civilian version here but it is my pet peeve and this is my list.
3. Humvee - One of the most amazing marketing campaigns in the automotive world happened by accident, when Arnold Schwarzenegger, who was the biggest star in the 1990s, took a liking to the US military’s high-mobility utility vehicle, which was called the Humvee.
The Humvee looks like a flattened SUV and that is because it is as wide as an M1A1 Abrams tank, and no one would design an SUV like that unless there is a very good reason for it.
The Humvee is wide because it needs to share the track width of the Abrams because in a battle situation they might have to pass a mine-field and the Abrams would lead, clearing the minefield and Humvee would simply drive along the same track.
It didn’t matter that the Humvee was ugly, The Terminator had one, so other Hollywood celebrities began buying one and that was enough to persuade General Motors, who bought over the Humvee rights from AM General to produce the slightly smaller and less offensive civilian version, called the Hummer.
2. Oshkosh Joint Light Tactical Vehicle - This is the new Humvee, uglier than the old Humvee. That slanted headlamp design looks like they were really trying to make it look a bit mental and scary. In a battlefield you need to instil fear in your enemies and every little bit counts. This is why Vikings put horns on their helmets and soldiers wear black battle paint.
The US military chose the Oshkosh versions over those submitted by AM General, Lockheed and BAE Systems because of its battle capabilities but if they had chosen them based on looks, I think the Lockheed would have won hands down.
1. Saurer M6 - This truck looks like the designer simply took the list of components as a puzzle and put parts next to each other, like you would on that favourite children’s toy, Mister Potatohead.
The result is a vehicle of epic aesthetic uniqueness that it is unchallenged, even by the Soviets.
The M6 looks like a sulking hunchback wild boar with a conspicuously large wart on its left cheek who has just lost its tusk in an unfortunate road crossing accident.
So ugly, it’s cute.