Happy Halloween!

Witch way do we go?

All you trick or treaters have a great and safe evening.  When you aren’t thinking about candy, think about your WW2 army trucks and check out our items.


Oh, and Army Jill sends a Happy Halloween to you as well!  As we begin to roll in to the holiday seasons, think about what you might like to give as a gift to a special loved one.  Especially those that are crazy about WW2 Willys and Fords and other historical military vehicles of that era.  We have a lot of useful items–books, t-shirts, mugs, etc.  Check it out!

Willys MB Standardized Grille

Willys MB Standardized Grille

Drawing of the grille or brush guard of the Willys-Overland MB. The drawing is copyrighted by o5m6.de and is used here with permission. This is the standard jeep vehicle. It is interesting to note that the grille used on the MB was actually designed by a worker at Ford named Clarence F. Kramer.

Willys made its first 25,000 MB Jeeps with a welded flat iron “slat” radiator grille. It was Ford who first designed and implemented the now familiar and distinctive stamped, slotted steel grille into its cars, which was lighter, used fewer resources, and was less costly to produce. Along with many other design features innovated by Ford, this was adopted by Willys and implemented into the standard World War II Jeep by April 1942.

Today, Jeep makers proudly retain the automobile’s historical connection to the visage of its predecessors by using a trademarked grille featuring a standard number of vertical openings or ‘slots’. However, in order to be able to get theirs trademarked, Willys gave their post-war jeeps seven slots instead of Ford’s nine-slot design. Through a series of corporate take-overs and mergers, AM General Corporation ended up with the rights to use the seven-slot grille as well, which they in turn extended to Chrysler when it acquired American Motors Corporation, then manufacturer of Jeep, in 1987.

Info from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Willys_MB

American Memory Digital Item Display – owi2001006523

Fort Riley, Kansas. A jeep demonstration by men of the 92nd Mechanized Reconnaissance Squadron.

A WW2 jeep on the run near Fort Riley, Kansas.  The photo is dated April 1942.  The troops still have their pre-WW2 Helmets.  There are dozens of jeep and WW2 photos on line at the Library of Congress.

You might be interested in BANTAM, FORD AND WILLYS-1/4-TON RECONNAISSANCE CARS, This is a book filled with photo’s of the early vehicles that would soon become known world wide as the “jeep”.  There are a ton of close up photos so it may be of interest to modelers as well as to those restoring the old pre-standardized jeeps.

Change the oil!

Don’t forget to change your oil.

Now that Fall is really here and for many ol’ man Winter is knocking at the door–it’s time to change that oil.  Most folks don’t run a straight single weight oil these days like 30 weight.  I personally use 10w30 as this matches both ends of the spectrum recommended by the original manufacturers–Willys and Ford.  Stay away from using heavier oils, it isn’t really necessary.  Studies have shown that using a lube with a heavier than necessary viscosity actually increases wear.  So the old saw about using say 20w50 in a tired engine is not really a good idea.  That already worn engine will wear even faster.

Another thing to be on the lookout for is something that looks like gray scum.  This is moisture usually from condensation in the engine that mixes with the oil.  This condition occurs when the engine isn’t run long enough to “cook off” the condensation.  It may look scary but it is normal.  Just make sure to run the engine long enough to cook off  the moisture.  A short drive of 15 – 30 minutes should be enough.

For more about the WW2 jeep and lubrication (as well as many other subjects) consider purchasing my book,Military Maintenance for MB/GPW Jeeps 1941-45.


Don’t forget to visit our website – www.42FordGPW.com.


You don't have to reach the stars.  Just reach for an invasion star!

You don’t have to reach the stars. Just reach for an invasion star!

1/4-ton vehicles appeared during WW2 with what has become called “invasion stars”. This is a star within a circle band. Sometimes the points of the star were cut out and some times not.

Bantam Pilot
American Bantam Car Co. was the first to deliver what would become known as the “jeep”.

Right before entry of the US into WW2, the US Infantry recognized a need for a light reconnaissance vehicle. During the summer of 1940, American Bantam Car Company developed the 1/4-ton vehicle that would revolutionize warfare. Sadly, the first  company to deliver the vehicle would not end up producing them for the war.

These make great gifts.  It is not too early to be thinking about Christmas and the Holidays!
You should use the following procedure for any old military vehicle--especially if the are new or at least new to you!
Just so you know–it is pronounced like “Will liss” and not like something that gives you the willies!

The Willys Quad photo attributed to Chrysler LLC.
Willys’ entry into the jeep race was the Quad. It arrived at Camp Holabird, MD on November 13, 1940. It was not a successful model with the result that Willys was not awarded a contract to produce jeeps until 1941 (after Bantam and Ford).  The Quad was just too heavy to be accepted. This forced Willys to go back to the drawing board and trim the vehicle down to size.  Meanwhile, Bantam and Ford were producing jeeps!
For more about the early Willys,  Bantam and Fords, check out – BANTAM, FORD AND WILLYS-1/4-TON RECONNAISSANCE CARS.

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 148 other followers