The new Bantam jeeps on one of the first field tests.

The new Bantam jeeps on one of the first field tests.

The above photo is from the National Archives and depicts the very early (some of the first 70 prototypes!) out on field maneuvers.

Even the jeep like the Bantam pilot could get stuck! Or is it!!

Even the jeep like the Bantam pilot could get stuck! Or is it!!

Any military vehicle can get stuck.  In the picture above it looks like the Bantam pilot might be stuck.  Is it?   Very likely it isn’t stuck, perhaps just waiting for the GI to engage the front axle.   Looking at a JEEP (Trademark owned by Chrysler) today you might not think that it once was a revolutionary vehicle for the military.  It was tiny compared to other conveyances.  It was very lightweight as well.  Four guys could easily man-handle the jeep out of most situations.

I like to read about the early jeeps -- do you?

I like to read about the early jeeps — do you?

I like to read about the early jeeps — do you?

For more about the Bantam “jeep” check out my book:
BANTAM, FORD AND WILLYS-1/4-TON RECONNAISSANCE CARS. Available from Amazon.com and other booksellers.  The book discusses in detail the pre-standardized WW2 jeeps: Bantam BRC, Ford GP and Willys MA.

Also take a look at the book by Paul Bruno: Project Management in History: The First Jeep (Project Management in History Series) (Volume 1). The PMP info in no way detracts from this great history regarding the Bantam’s development during 1940. Paul has dug deep into the National Archives and found information that many of us thought was lost to the ages! A great companion to Paul’s book is the jeep history by Rifkind, Jeep – Its development and procurement under the Quartermaster Corps, 1940-1942.

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