Seen on the way to the Tigers game

The family and some guests from out of town headed over to Detroit to catch the Tigers and Yankees on Memorial Day, and we passed this machine on I-96:

They must have been doing about 60 MPH, and didn’t seem to be part of a convoy of any sort. I didn’t see any other military vehicles at all. Probably headed out to or back from a parade somewhere, I imagine. Murdoc gave them the thumbs up and got it back in return. Looked like everyone was honking or waving as they passed.

Couple more closer pics below.


  1. MO, Beats me what it is. No bumper numbers in the rear, either, so no unit affiliation evident. Are those studs for reactive armor on the flanks? This is what would happen if an M577 mated with a BTR. Btw, is that your shirt reflected in the mirror? You make a bold statement, brother.

  2. It looks almost looks like a USMC LAV-L, but they typically have a dual door rear hatch and not a ramp. The rear props are covered too. The hull is a little off. Despite the US flag, our consensus is that it is a Canadian Bison, based on the LAV Gen II chassis (USMC vehicles are Gen I). Echo Co, 4th Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion, USMCR is based in Syracuse, NY, but I do not believe they have any strange LAV-L’s.

  3. I was also going to guess Canadian LAV II or III variant. The guy in the hatch is definitely wearing U.S. Army ACU’s. Testing something new? Looks like some kind of racks or armor screens have been removed from the side since the last paint job. Maybe they just stole it from the Canadians and went joy riding for the weekend.

  4. Did you see any Tigers fans at the game? Last time I went to a game in Detroit (Tigers v. Indians) I didn’t see a Tigers hat for the first hour I was there, and there was only two Tigers fans in our section, which was otherwise full of Indians fans.

  5. it looks like an LAV III-CV, the command and control variant or logistics vehicle. don’t forget, US Army TACOM is right of I-696 & Mound Road, so it’s not uncommon to see such vehicles around metro Detroit.

  6. No stencilled reg. numbers or service branch designation. From the looks of the condition of this vehicle it could have seen a score of years in the Canadian military and relinquished to the bone yard. Check out the tire rims. They don’t appear to match. My guess is that it was purchased by a civillian and is used in parades or rented out for movie battle reinactments. Then again, if that were the case, he should have State tags if he’s driving on a public highway.

  7. AFAIK, all the LAV-III/Strykers that the Army has are painted straight OD green. I haven’t seen any in NATO 3-color. USMC LAVs on the other hand, are painted in 3 color. With the Army guy in ACUs in the hatch, I’d say that the supposition that it’s an older LAV variant belonging to TACOM is the best bet.

  8. this vehicle is way too big to be a USMC LAV. it is some type of LAV-III. if you haven’t made it out to the ramp at TACOM there are numerous test vehicle of various configurations.

  9. Although it’s a bit hard to tell from the pics, the guy in the hatch is in Army ACUs as noted above. I meant to mention it but forgot. I got a better look at him as we passed.

  10. And, yes, there were actually a fair number of Tgers fans at the old ballgame. They’re in first and have (at least they did at the time) the best record in MLB. Lots of Yankee fans, of course. Also, that is indeed my shirt in the right side mirror. I was about to crop the mirror out, but decided I’d leave it in and see if anyone said anything. Wouldn’t have guessed it would be comment #1, though….

  11. MO, Recall that in another life I was an intelligence analyst. Root being ‘anal’. And although prounced similarly, it ought not be confused with an ‘anal-ist’, a profession I have nothing whatsoever to do with.

  12. I consulted one of our ‘experts’ in the office. Some years back the Army did purchase a number of Bison’s for testing. It is not an LAV-III, the drivers hatch, hull, and wheels are wrong.

  13. You think that’s strange, I passed an olive-drab tanker truck in U.N. markings as I drove through Forth Worth this week. What’s up with that?

  14. Well, its not a LAV type 3 hull. It is missing the external winch drum and looks like the LAV-PC/CC/E variant sold to the Saudis. Those vehicles did not have propellers (not needed in the desert). The Army did buy a couple of battalions of LAVs back in the ’80s for the 9th Infantry Division HTLD (High Tech Light Division). They fitted out 2 battalions with these and 5 battalions with Fast Attack Vehicles. Remember Megafarce, I mean Megaforce? The dune buggys were FAVs, though the 9ths carried a lot less firepower (i.e. no fake missiles). The same hull was used in the Saudi Command & Control, (CC) personnel carrier (PC) and engineer (E) vehicles. The difference was in radios, and internal equipment and, IIRC, the engineer vehicle had a small A-frame winch for moving obstacles. I was a contractor there for a while working with the company that was assisting in the transition to the LAV family from the older V-150.