Back in the day during the way, transportation of goods and personnel in hostile places or in areas where ports weren’t available was a challenge but necessary. As such, Sparkman & Stephens partnered with General Motors to produce an amphibious truck that can carry both troops and cargo in and out of the water.
Meet, the GMC DUKW 353, and one example from 1943 is available for sales at Bonhams. Though there aren’t records of this particular DUKW’s wartime involvement, it still is a survivor that was kept as a museum piece.
Designed to carry payload of up to 5,000 pounds (2,300 kilograms) or 24 troops, the DUKW was powered by a 4.4-liter GMC Model 270 engine that makes 91 horsepower (68 kilowatts). It’s said to have a top speed of 50 miles per hour (80 kilometers per hour) on the road and around 6 knots on water.
This specific DUKW 353 for sale was delivered to the British armed forces in June 1943. It served the 19 Amphibious Squadron of the Royal Corps of Transport. As a rare survivor of the war, it was then transferred to the Royal Corps of Transport Museum in the early 1970s, kept in good running condition in its various museum transfers until 2003.
Unfortunately, in its last duty as a museum piece, this DUKW for sale had its fuel drained, which means it will require some work before it can get to a running condition. Then again, that shouldn’t be a problem as there are a handful of talents out there who can work with an old GM engine.
There’s one caveat, though. The 1943 GMC DUKW survivor is for sale with an estimated price of £18,000 – 20,000 at Bonhams, or around $25,000 – 28,000 with the current exchange rates. That isn’t cheap at all. But if you’re interested, it will be at the lot until March 20, 2021.