If you’re going to spend your (leisure) time out in the wild, you might as well do it in an ex-marine vehicle that’s used to rough conditions, so it can provide a dependable base for your activities. That happens to be just one facet of this 1964 Jeep M677 Forward Control, a patina overlanding build that’s gearing up for its debut at next month’s 2022 SEMA.
One could say that converting this cab over machine for adventure purposes, with a tent occupying its bed, means building on a pattern that defines any M677’s life, namely a back-and-forth trip between military and civilian service.
You see, the M677, a four-door cargo pickup truck, is one of the four derivatives of a workhorse the Marine Corps got back the mid-1960s, with the others including the M676 two-door pickup, M678 carryall, and M679 ambulance. These vehicles were based on the civilian Jeep Forward Control (here’s a rusty Jeep FC awaiting a new lease on life). In turn, the latter was built using a CJ-5 chassis and engine (for the four-cylinder models). And the existence of the CJ-5 is inextricably linked to that of the military Willys MB that proved so useful in WWII.
In the booming post-War economy, the Forward Control only found limited success, as it was ahead of its time and not perfectly suitable for either the personal vehicle or utilitarian machine purposes. So production, which had begun in 1956, ended in 1965, which was one of the main reasons for the also-limited activity the M-series FCs had.
This means that nowadays both the civilian and the military machines are rare birds, albeit with the latter winning the contest by a mile. The exact production number remains disputed, but it seems that around 400 units were built for the entire series, with the M677 being the most popular.
And most of these vehicles were assembled in 1964, hence the year listed in the title—for the record, Massachusetts-based Greg’s Restorations, the shop handling the build, doesn’t mention the exact year of the truck in the Instagram post below.
This build has been four years in the making
The company, whose portfolio includes restoring the Back to the Future 1985 Toyota SR5 Pickup last decade, explains that the 2022 SEMA (we’ve covered multiple wacky projects coming to the event) release will be the fruit of four years of labor.
The original 170ci (2.8L) three-cylinder diesel, a naturally aspirated mill that made 85 hp and 170 lb-ft of torque, is gone. This has been replaced by a 4.0L fuel-injected V6 out of a 2000 Jeep Cherokee, keeping things in the family.
The engine works with an automatic transmission, while the list of newer hardware also includes Dana axles at both ends, disc brakes, electric power steering, four-link suspension, and Detroit Steel Wheels shod in BFGoodrich Mud Terrain rubber.
Sure, all those goodies ensure that the contraption is more than worthy of the Jeep name, but the cabin is now a place of comfort. We’ve got a leather interior, complete with a Boss audio system and other amenities.
The final form seen here is a rendering, as the release is kept under wraps for SEMA
The specialist kept the patina look of the M677 Forward Control. And while you can see the initial stage of the vehicle and some build moments in the image gallery, this also involves renderings portraying the machine as we’ll see it in Las Vegas next month (pixel tip to Adam Tolman, aka Box Rocket Designs, for the CGI work).
The Jeep will land on the 2022 SEMA floor together with another project of the company, namely an FJ40 Toyota Land Cruiser—you can check them out in the teaser video below (there’s also a set of renderings for the Toyota on the said artist’s Instagram page).