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First auction of military Humvees to civilians lures bidders

An online auction company contracted by the U.S. government says the first sale to civilians of surplus U.S. military Humvees attracted a record number of visitors and bidders.

By Richard Tomkins
An armored Humvee on patrol duty in Iraq. U.S. Navy photo by Photographers Mate 3rd Class Shawn Hussong.
An armored Humvee on patrol duty in Iraq. U.S. Navy photo by Photographers Mate 3rd Class Shawn Hussong.

PLEASANTON, Calif., Dec. 20 (UPI) -- The chance to own a U.S. military Humvee helped drive a record number of visitors and bidders to an online auction of Department of Defense equipment.

GovPlanet, an online auction company contracted to sell U.S. military surplus, said more than 110,000 were attracted to its auction Wednesday of 25 High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicles and other equipment, such as cargo trucks and crawler tractors.

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The Humvees – in cargo and troop-carry configurations – were unarmored and the first surplus Humvees made available to the general public by the Department of Defense.

GovPlanet said the highest price paid for one of the vehicles was $41,000.

"The interest in the Humvees was very strong, exceeding our expectations in terms of participation and pricing," said Randy Berry, senior vice president, operations and services for parent company IronPlanet. "Our online auction drew record attendance and a record number of bidders -- many first-timers -- to govplanet.com.

"We are looking forward to selling more Humvees and other equipment from the DoD as our GovPlanet marketplace continues to grow in 2015."

Humvees will be included in the site's auction in January, The minimum bid for each is listed as $10,000.

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The Humvees sold, as with other items on the website, came with an inspection report with a thorough description of the equipment's condition and features and photos.

Humvees first entered service with the military in 1984. They were intended as the replacement for the Jeep utility vehicle and as such were not armored. Armor was added following the 2003 overthrow of Saddam Hussein by U.S. troops when Iraqi insurgents and terrorist groups began using improvised explosive devices.

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