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Manteca veteran owns 1951 Army M37 weapons carrier
classic car
Steve Matthews with his M37 - photo by JOSH SPOONER/Bulletin correspondent

A Manteca resident drove a piece of history this Memorial Day weekend as his 1951 Amy M37 weapons carrier stood out on the streets of downtown. 

William “Steve” Matthews is a 23-year Navy veteran with a distinct interest in his jeep-like vehicle. 

He especially likes to point out the vehicles’ lack of air conditioning, recalling a ride in the M37 in the United Arab Emirates in 1990. Temperatures that day reached 130 degrees, and the passengers only had one way to keep from overheating: rolling down the windows. 

Matthews’ first encounter with the M37 came during his service on the aircraft carrier USS Midway when the carrier operated in support of Desert Shield and Desert Storm. He recalls working five levels above the flight deck to assist the flight crews on the Midway and his next ship, USS Independence.  

Today Matthews is a member of the Military Vehicle Collectors’ Club California (MVCC). He exhibited his historical vehicle at the organization’s event at Castle Air Force Base in Atwater on Memorial Day. 

Upcoming MVCC events in the 209 include:

uGalt on July 2. Galt Historical Forces Association Parade at 9 a.m.

uRipon, July 4, Fourth of July Celebration Ripon The Clinton McCausland American Legion Post 190 will be co-hosting the event with the Ripon Chamber of Commerce. Along with a very large fireworks display, the community event is  featuring military vehicle / equipment display. Contact Ernie Tyhurst at 209-275-5264.

uAtwater, July 9, Military Appreciation Day at Castle Air Base. Contact for more information.

More information on the MVCC and vehicles like Matthews’ M37 can be found at