Canvas top for M274A5 "Mulie Talkie"?


New member
I few weeks ago a 40 year quest was finally achieved, I hauled home a couple Mules. One is in good restorable shape, the other one, though modified, is fully operational. I've not yet decided but one of the two will eventually be what was historically referred to as a "Mulie Talkie". I/E it will be equipped with period correct military communications equipment. You can see from the pictures I have already begun the transformation on the operational Mule(the red one).

My question is in regard a canvas cover. I know I have seen period pictures of Mules with canvas tops(I'm sure they were field expedients) but though I've spent hours searching the internet I've been unable to find them. So now I'm investigating a different angle. I notice the dimensions of my 1952 Bantum Jeep trailer is very close to that of the Mules. So I guess too that the M100, & M416, trailers must also be very close. I've been able to find just the flat canvas cover for these trailers but not the "Prairie Schooner" tall cover and ribs. I know some company has made them because I've seen old adds selling them(nothing current). Does anybody have any ideas?

Some notes on these two examples:
#1, Both came from the same farmer who had been using the red one for over 15 years on his farm. Before him, it had been in use by a local fire department, hence the red paint. Under that red paint it can bee seen that it's original color had been Marine green. From that it went to flat OD, then to Desert Tan.
#2, Is still it's original Marine Green. As it had been in use by a State penitentiary, repainting had not been required. The original price of $400 is still visible in grease pencil as marked at the Mo State Agency for Surplus Property.


New member
Steel Soldiers Supporter
milton, ky
Yes, that's nice! How was it constructed, from what? Here's what mine is currently. I paid extra for OD canvas and got GREEN, I was PO'd!

Dennis, I see you have a large page on QRZ. Dang thats a lot of equipment. N4RJA here, general class. Not very active anymore but I do have a few ICOM low band rigs and an IC-R7000. Heil Parametric receive system , W2IHY Audio Equalizer/noise gate and way too many scanners and digital audio interface boxes.

I bought a tubing bender to make a passenger side foot basket for my mule and then got caught at Knob Creek Machine Gun Shoot in the rain so I decided to bend myself up a top. Its made from 1" DOM steel tubing. The bows are one piece. I had an old piece of military canvas and that's what I sewed the cover with. I have a Tippman hand operated sewing machine and brother, there are alot of stitches in that thing and quite a few tig welds in the framework . I made it so I could take it apart for storage but usually I just unbolt it from the bed and lift it off all in one piece. It was alot of work but gets lots of compliments at KCR and it works very well. It really got used this year at the shoot. 20180915_181129.jpg20180915_191548.jpg20180916_205852.jpg20180930_153655.jpg20181007_170441.jpg
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