Well, I haven’t posted in about a year but I still have my 42 Ford GPW.   Right now the jeep is a part in my garage.  I need to reinstall the “new” steering gear.  I had it installed but discovered the horn wasn’t working.  Something was wrong with the contact at the steering gear level.  I resoldered it and placed the gear in the jeep but I still need to hook everything up and reinstall the fender.  I hope everyone stays well during this current medical emergency.

1942 Ford GPW

Happy New Year...you all!

During WW2 soldiers painted designs on their aircraft and sometimes other vehicles.

Often this was in the form of women or cartoon characters.  One such aircraft sported “Ho Hum”.

Nose Art, Ho Hum, Pin-UP

Nose Art, Ho Hum, Pin-UP Buy at AllPosters.com
Art Print

Pinup on the side of a WW2 aircraft.  Sometimes the quality of the artwork is amazing.  You also might be interested in Vintage Aircraft Nose Art (Motorbooks Classic) which is a great book with a lot of “nose art” in it!

What parts do I need to purchase to work on my WW2 jeep transmission??

What parts do I need to purchase to work on my WW2 jeep transmission??


This is a question you will best be able to answer only after you have torn down your transmission, cleaned and inspected the parts.

Richard Grace suggests, “the minimum parts replacement would have to be a Small Parts Kit which includes main drive gear rollers, thrust washers, synchronizer dogs and springs. One other almost necessity is mainline bearings.” 

Of course, you will want a new clutch disk and throw-out bearing (you might consider a new pressure plate as well).  So for a minimum investment (perhaps as little as $50, not including clutch disk and pressure plate), you could have a rebuilt transmission ready to install in your jeep.  Anyway a lot less than a so-called rebuilt transmission from a vendor and you will have the satisfaction of knowing you did it yourself.  You will need to add to your costs any defective or out of tolerance parts that you find during the cleaning and inspection process.

For much more about the WW2 jeep transmission, T-84J, check out my book – Trouble Shooting And Rebuilding The T-84J. This book, written by me, will take you through the process step by step–with lots of pictures!

Did you know that Ford made jeeps in WW2?

Did you know that Ford made jeeps in WW2?

When I bought my first WW2 jeep, it was sold to me as a 1941 “Willies”.  And me being the expert, I thought some crazy farmer had welded in a Ford script patch after cutting out a tailgate in the jeep.  Little did I know in 1981 that Ford also built jeeps during the war.  It was sometime later that I found out that Ford actually built their own model of a jeep–the Ford GP.

Ford was the largest and most financially stable war-time producer of the jeep.

Ford Pygymy

Their production efforts begin with the Ford GP Pygmy pilot model. The Pygmy was equipped with a modified tractor engine rated at 45 hp. It was considered a fairly modern engine for its day.  Ford was selected along with the other two producers (American Bantam Car Company and Willys-Overland) of the jeep to build 1500 examples for further Army testing.

1941 Ford GP

The Ford GP was the pre-standardized production model built by Ford.  Because the Willys vehicle was not ready for production in time both Bantam and Ford built more than the original contracted 1500.  Bantam built approximately 2,600 Bantam BRCs and Ford built approximately 4,450 Ford GPs.

For more about 1941 Ford GPs see Jeep – Its development and procurement under the Quartermaster Corps, 1940-1942, and BANTAM, FORD AND WILLYS-1/4-TON RECONNAISSANCE CARS.

Bantam built the first jeep!

Bantam built the first jeep!

Of those players in the field leading to the standardized wartime jeep, American Bantam Car Company was the smallest with “an approximate investment of one million dollars and employing around 450 men.”  Bantam had been through financial difficulties and receiverships, had applied to the Reconstruction Finance Corporation for first-mortgage loans dating back to 1938.

During the late 1930s, Bantam had tried to interest the United States War Department in the utility of their small cars.  While several where tested, the immediate results went nowhere.  At this same time, the US Army had been testing various concepts for 4×4 (four-wheel drive) vehicles.  They had recently purchased many 1/2-ton 4×4 trucks.  While these trucks performed fairly well, they were just too big, too heavy, too long and needed refinement.

Bantam Pilot

In accordance with the agreement in its bid, the American Bantam Car Company built and delivered the first pilot model to Holabird in 49 days.  During the construction of this original model, the bugaboo of weight cropped up again.  It became evident to both Bantam and Holabird that strength and material limitations, as well as other engineering factors, would make it virtually impossible to meet the 1275 pound weight requirement.  Hence all 70 jeeps weighed some hundred pounds more, although still less than the 2100 pound limit set in the tentative specifications of July 7, 1941, or the still later revised military characteristics of July 3, 1942, which raised the final weight of the jeep, for the period covered by this study, to not more than 2450 pounds.

Bantam BRC rear view

When the jeep reached the using arms (Infantry, Cavalry and Field Artillery) in the field its success was instant and sensational.  At posts, camps, and stations all over the country, it won the admiration of everyone for the manner in which it performed.  The demonstrations it gave of climbing and leaping, and its all-around ability to push its way through tough situations, impressed all beholders…Its four-wheel drive proved that it could operate over the roughest terrain.  Water eighteen inches in depth was forded with ease.  Although riding in the jeep was far from pleasure driving, it auxiliary transmission, providing six speeds forward and two reverse enabled it to hit a mile-a-minute clip on the highway or claw its way upgrades of 60% or better, in low.  In its appearance, too, the jeep was radically different. Soon well-known to every school-boy on the street were its squat, rectangular, utilitarian shape in its coat of olive-drab, lustreless enamel that had been developed shortly before; its low silhouette; the flat fenders on each of which an additional man could be carried if necessary; the heavy brush guard protecting the front; the folding windshield and detachable folding top or canopy; the pintle and towing hooks; the heavy duty mud-and-snow tread tires; and the front and rear blackout lights.”

The jeep proved so very successful that it has remained in production with minimal changes so that even today “every school-boy” still recognizes a jeep vehicle.  Unfortunately, the jeeps’ success would not be tied to the success of the American Bantam Car Company. The company would lose the bid for the standardized war-time jeep to Willys-Overland. Then through negotiations, Ford Motor Company would be selected as the alternate producer of the Willys jeep. Bantam after delivering its last Bantam BRC would never again produce cars for the government or anyone else. During the war, it produced trailers pulled by the Willys MB and Ford GPW. The company survived the war for a time producing civilian versions of the jeep trailer. The company was bought by another concern and quickly faded from the scene. A sad ending for the first designer and builder of the jeep.

For even more about Bantam and other early jeeps, check out Jeep – Its development and procurement under the Quartermaster Corps, 1940-1942.   Warbaby by William Spear is an excellent read on the Bantam Car Company’s effort to produce the jeep for the War Department in 1940-41.

Of those players in the field leading to the standardized wartime jeep, Willys-Overland was the mid-level company with a $50,000,000 capitalization.  It also had been through financial difficulties and receiverships, had applied to the Reconstruction Finance Corporation for first-mortgage loans dating back to 1939.

Willys Quad

The Willys Quad went thru testing by the Army but it was not successful.  Ultimately it was rejected as too heavy and deficiencies needed to be corrected before production could begin.  Meanwhile, Bantam and Ford went on to produce their initial runs and more.

Willys-Overland did not win the bid to build the first 70 pilot models. That contract went to American Bantam.  Willys was awarded a contract for 1,500 vehicles as were Bantam and Ford. The Willys-Overland net price was $949.41 per vehicle.  (This compares with the net prices for the Ford ($925) and Bantam ($946.04).  These pre-standardized jeeps were generally successful, each vehicle exhibiting certain pluses and minuses. The Willys was favored for its’ 60 hp engine among other attributes.

Willys MA 1941

The Willys MA was very almost what the military wanted.  It grew into the Willys MB which used attributes from the Bantam and the Ford.  The most notable attribute from Ford was the grille!  A 9 slot pressed grille that morphed into the eventually trademarked 7 slot “Jeep” grille.

For more information about the Willys MA and other pre-standardized WW2 era jeeps, check out, BANTAM, FORD AND WILLYS-1/4-TON RECONNAISSANCE CARS.

W.A.A.F.: a Young Lady Sheds Her Civvies and Puts on Her Women's Auxiliary Air Force Uniform

Pinups were very popular during WW2 and many photographs and paintings exist from this time.
W.A.A.F.: a Young Lady Sheds Her Civvies and Puts on Her Women’s Auxiliary Air Force Uniform

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Giclee Print

This company has many quality reprints of WW2 or related pin-ups.  If you’re not interested in posters then maybe books about pinups would be more your cup of tea? The Great American Pin-Up Two hundred eighty pages of pictures from an age when eroticism was still innocent. Gathered from calendars, posters, and others.