The Fire Brigade at Work
In order to understand one issue that plagued Christie, one must travel back to 1924, when a serious conflict between the inventor and the American military took place. It's well known that none of the many designs developed by the Front Wheel Drive Motor Corporation from 1917 to 1924 were accepted into service. Frequently, the issue wasn't with Christie, but with the sluggish bureaucratic machine, where the left hand didn't know what the right was doing. The military often didn't know what it wanted. For example, the 155 mm SPG was redesigned three times and still rejected in the end.
Experimental prototypes built during this period cost the treasury $175,000, a sizeable sum at the time. Christie took the blame. In 1924, the Bureau of Ordnance broke off its relationship with the Front Wheel Drive Motor Corporation, and General Williams cursed Christie. Christie responded by calling his payment "blood money", but didn't stop there.
The packet of patents purchased from Christie in 1920 cost the military $100,000. It included rights to all currently designed types of vehicles and their components. In addition to the patents, his contract gave the military rights to future inventions, a clause which cost Christie dearly.