Lot 1094

The Littlefield Collection

M59 Armored Personnel Carrier (APC)


$60,375 USD | Sold

United States Flag | Portola Valley, California



Addendum: PLEASE NOTE: This lot is being sold on Bill of Sale only

Weight: 21.3-tons (19,300-kg)

Length: 18’ 4” (5.61-m)

Width: 10' 8” (3.26-m)

Height: 9’1” (2.77-m)

Crew: 2 + 10


-Hull Front: 0.6” (16-mm)

-Hull Sides: 0.3” (9-mm)



1 x .50” M2HB machine gun


2,300 x .50”

Engine: 2 x 6-cylinder inline petrol, 146-hp each

Power/weight: 13.7-hp/ton

Fuel Capacity: 135-USG (511-l)

Range: 120-miles (190-km)

Speed: 32-mph (51-km/h)

The vehicle being offered, M59 armored personnel carrier, serial number F3961, was built by FMC in May 1958. It is an older restoration and is in excellent condition inside and out. The wheels and tracks are in very good condition. It runs and drives well using fuel from its own fuel tanks. The interior appears to be complete with the passenger bench seats in very good condition. The driver's seat and instruments are complete and function normally. A U.S. Army placard in the driver's compartment indicates that the vehicle had been overhauled at the Pueblo Army Depot in September 1962. The commander's cupola rotates and the gun mounts elevates and depresses normally. The padding around the commander's cupola will need replacement. A radio and pioneer tools are included. The radio has not been tested for functionality.

The M75 APC of 1952, based upon M41 Walker Bulldog components, proved to be excessively expensive and heavy. The Army wanted something better, so FMC was awarded the contract in1953. The requirements were less cost, be amphibious and preferably have a lower profile. M59 achieved all these requirements.

Unfortunately, it achieved them by cutting corners. Instead of a single, powerful engine, the M59 was equipped with two smaller truck engines, with the accompanying problems of getting the two to work together. And, of course, having twice as many engines to go wrong and maintain. To top it off, it was slower than the requirement and as a result, the armor was cut to the bare minimum.

Still, for the lesser price, the vehicle provided theoretically greater capability. It could even serve as a ferry: with the rear seats folded up, the M59 could carry a Jeep or similar sized cargo.

One additional variant was produced, the M84 4.2” mortar carrier. In total, some 6,300 vehicles were built before it was replaced in production by the vastly superior and incredibly successful M113.

Transport Cost to Storage: $2,600