Although it makes no sense in retrospect – considering the heavy armor of Panzer tanks in the European Theater – the M8 Greyhound was originally designed as a tank destroyer. Developed by Ford for the US military as a response to German weapons, the M8 failed its original mission. Its main 37 mm gun was not powerful enough to engage the heavy armor of the Panzer tanks produced by the Axis forces, which led to it being quickly redeveloped as a reconnaissance vehicle.
Unlike other armored vehicles of the time, the M8 Greyhound was fast, reaching 56 kilometers per hour with its 110-horsepower Hercules JXD engine. At 8.2 tons, 16.5 meters long, and 8 meters wide, it was light for a car of its size while still managing to hold four people. In addition to the car’s 37 mm cannon, it also had a .30 caliber machine gun.
Unfortunately, the fast, lightly-armored M8 Greyhound had one simple problem including its weak main cannon that would make it ineffective on the battlefield. This inefficiency would lead to the end of the mission, with today’s light military vehicles, such as the LAV fleet, becoming the US standard in the 1980s.