Was this ever true?   Doubtful.   Some jeeps where in fact  sold in crates by the government after the war but never for $50.  When you go to a show you can often hear someone claim they have a friend that knew a friend that ”almost” bought a jeep in crate for $50.   But of course nothing ever came of it.   After the war some veterans received a priority allowing the purchase of surplus items which included jeeps, trucks and other items.  For more information check out the Olive-Drab website.

A WW2 Ford  GPW jeep in a crate.A WW2 Ford GPW “jeep” in a crate. Some jeeps were shipped overseas in crates for reassembly at a staging point.