Built: April 20, 1942
first jeep design was
a product of the Bantam Car Company in Butler, Pa.
Bantam worked in cooperation with the US Army to develop the
vehicle in 1940 and 1941. In the fall of 1941, just a few weeks before
attack on Pearl Harbor, the US Government awarded the first contract
standardized WWII jeep to The Willys-Overland Company of Toledo, Ohio. Shortly after Pearl Harbor, the US
Government, seeing the urgent need for many jeeps, contracted with Ford
Company to also build standardized jeeps using the Willys designs. By the end of the war in the
summer of 1945, Ford and Willys had together produced over 500,000
happened to Bantam
Car Company you say? They were
awarded a US Government contract to build jeep trailers and never built
another motor vehicle after WWII...
vehicle is a
Ford-built standardized WWII jeep.
It was built on April 20, 1942, just 5 months after Pearl Harbor. It was probably delivered to Fort
Oglethorpe in Georgia and used for training of soldiers there. It was sold as surplus around 1950
and was purchased by a New Jersey gentleman who drove it
in Manhattan and on his property in New
Jersey. The jeep’s engine failed and the jeep was put in a storage shed
in 1975. The New Jersey man died
in 1997 and the jeep was brought to Maine by the man’s son. This restorer purchased the jeep in
1999 and restored the jeep to its present condition.
The jeep’s equipment and markings
portray the jeep as it would look if serving in the 47th Infantry
the 9th Infantry Division during December of 1944 (Battle
of the Bulge).
restoration of this
vehicle required over 540 hours of restoration work .
A website with over 500 pictures showing the step-by -step
process of restoring this jeep has been developed.
Visit it at:
can spot a
W.W.II jeep by the fact that it has 9 slots in its grille.
Post WWII jeeps and civilian jeeps
have 7 slots.
engine is a 60 horsepower 4 cylinder L-head engine known as a
mounted oilcan is one of many design features of the W.W.II jeep which
GI’s service the jeep in the field.
“jeep” does not appear on this GPW anywhere because the name had
not yet been adopted in 1942. It
was officially known as a “Truck, 1/4
ton, 4x4” at that time.
headlamps on a
W.W.II jeep swing up and back to illuminate the engine to allow repairs