built on a Ford Model T chassis

The 1917 U.S. Signal Corps Utility Truck, also known as the Model T improvised truck, was built on a Ford Model T chassis and used by the U.S. Army Signal Corps during World War I. The truck was designed to be versatile and adaptable to various field conditions. It could be used for transporting personnel, supplies, and equipment, as well as for scouting and reconnaissance missions.

Signal Corps. Model T with aircraft tow dolly

The truck featured a simple, open-air design with a wooden bed that could be used for carrying cargo. It was powered by a four-cylinder engine that produced 20 horsepower and could reach a top speed of 28 miles per hour. The truck was also equipped with a two-speed planetary transmission, which allowed it to traverse rough terrain.

One of the unique features of the U.S. Signal Corps Utility Truck was its ability to be converted into a mobile radio station. The truck was outfitted with an early radio transmitter and receiver, which allowed soldiers to communicate with each other and with headquarters while on the move.

The Model T improvised truck was used extensively during World War I, and its versatility and reliability made it a popular choice among soldiers. Many of the trucks were later sold off as surplus and put into civilian use. Today, original examples of the U.S. Signal Corps Utility Truck are highly sought after by collectors and enthusiasts.