This video is really interesting for about a 100 different reasons. For the obvious, we get to see 1935 vintage Chevy trucks being put through their paces in the muck and mire. The deeper reasons are that the video speaks to the state of the US Army in 1935. Today we think of the American military and all of its might around the globe. Well, in 1935 it was the opposite. The military of the USA was not in the greatest of shape and it was certainly not prepared for what was about to come less than a half a decade later when Germany kicked off WWII and then Japan sucker punched our country from the West and all of a sudden, things got serious.
When one looks at the trucks in the video and then considers what army trucks looked like this 10 years into the future the differences are stark. War is the about the worst thing human beings do to each other but it is also an incredible crucible of innovation and technological advancement. That includes everything from weapons to transportation. WWII being the first truly mechanized war, it was perhaps even more incredible what was accomplished during the conflict.
These trucks we see here are heavy duty models. They likely have the 70hp Chevrolet six cylinder engine and the heavy duty manual transmission that had gear ratios straight out of what you’d find in a tractor. With engines that did not make a ton of power, gearing provided the mechanical advantage needed to haul guns, people, and whatever else. You’ll see that these trucks are fitted with some tracks that go over the tires and make them pretty capable in the muck and mire.
When WWII started, trucks like this were the workhorses of the Army. They were not man enough for the job in many cases and the industrial might of the country replaced them with suitable stuff in short order. This is a cool video.
Press play below to see this 1935 video of the US Army testing Chevrolet trucks –