Ford


How about a good book with lots of pictures covering the pre-standardized jeeps?
BANTAM, FORD AND WILLYS—1/4-TON RECONNAISSANCE CARS
The 1/4-ton, 4×4, truck of World War Two started out in the hands of the Infantry and a little company called American Bantam Car Company. Bantam worked with the Army’s Quartermaster Corps to produce the pilot model that was accepted and then fulfilled their initial contract for 70 trucks. During testing of the pilot both Ford and Willys-Overland were invited to check out this new vehicle. The vehicles were studied in great detail. Soon, at their own expense, Ford and Willys-Overland submitted pilots for testing too. This book covers the production prototypes–Bantam BRC-40, Ford GP and the Willys MA.

Print: $24.95 plus shipping.  Available through most booksellers.

 

vdaysalute

Happy Valentine’s Day to everyone but especially the GIs overseas.

Ford GP on the production line - May, 1941

American Memory Digital Item Display – oem2002000645/PP

The Ford GP body after being lowered, is securely fastened to the chassis and the headlights adjusted.  Ford River Rouge plant. The letters “GP” did not stand for “General Purpose”.  Those letters G stood  for government, and P for the jeep’s 80 inch-wheelbase.   There is evidence from the original WW2 Army Motors that the GP letters were pronounced as “GEEP.”  It only shows up twice in print to my knowledge….so it isn’t perfect proof but remains an interesting side-bar.

What were the jeeps before they were called jeeps?

What were the jeeps before they were called jeeps?

Today we know what a “JEEP” is and can easily recognize it as a product of Chrysler Group LLC.  But back at the beginning there was quite a bit of confusion as all these vehicles looked a like to most civilians and military men as well.  But there were differences to be sure and in the end only one design could be selected.

Pilots – BRC (”1″), Pygmy, Budd and Quad.  These were models required to be tested and accepted prior to production of the contracted order. The Budd was not accepted nor tested by the US Army and was returned to Ford.

Bantam on test.Bantam Pilot on test

Engineering Models or Educational Order – BRC-60s.  An educational order was used to test the merit of the proposed product and to test the ability of the contractor to deliver the contracted item.

Prototypes – BRC-40, GP and MA (orders that started with 1500 each for experimentation and further development – order totalled more than 1500 as requirements increased as the war in Europe progressed.). These were models “rushed” into production and widely tested.

Bantam BRC

Above, is pictured a Bantam BRC-40 (one of the “1500″).

Ford GP

Above is pictured the Ford GP (one of the “1500″)

Willys MA

Willys-Overland MA, pictured above (one of “1500″)

Standardized – MB/GPW (Willys awarded the contract for the first 16,000 “standardized” 1/4-tons and subsequently the QMC negotiated with Ford to be an alternate supplier). The US Army wanted to standardized on one vehicle, reducing the logistical support obligations to one vehicle instead of three very different vehicles.

girl sitting on jeep.

Postwar picture of one of the thousands of 1/4-tons built by Ford.  It is a GPW built under license by Ford to Willys specifications.  Willys-Overland  had the primary contract and built the majority of 1/4-tons (Model MB) for the war.

In my example, as far as I know only the BRC and Pygmy were “accepted” and led to further production under contract. Well, this is not exactly true–Willys submitted the Quad in Nov 1940 and according to Senate testimony it failed…but because of weight (no mention of engine failures or requiring three engines here). The Willys “pilot” was not accepted until June or July 1941! It was not fully tested according to testimony but was examined.

We see an example of “pilot” in the contract language I listed earlier. Interesting enough, the testimony by Mr. Fenn (Pres of American Bantam Car Co.) on August 6, 1941 indicated he built 70 pilot models! During the hearing those 70 are also referred to as an “educational order”.

Further testimony during the Senate hearings from a Col Van Deusen indicates at least the QMC position. The orders (1500) from Bantam, Ford and Willys were “test purposes”. Originally, it was supposed to be 500 from each supplier. “The 1,500 cars were to be as experimental development type for service tests, quantity tests in service…” A Mr. Fulton on the committee, “And that was because you wanted to experiment further before standardizing your specifications?”. Van Deusen, “That is true.” This really sounds like “prototype” to me.

For more about the early jeeps you might be interested in my book: BANTAM, FORD AND WILLYS-1/4-TON RECONNAISSANCE CARS. Another good book covering the early jeep history is by H. Rifkind, Jeep – Its development and procurement under the Quartermaster Corps, 1940-1942.

You never know what is going to show up on the Internet.  Past editions of the Field Artillery are posted on the web.  For example, one issue contains an article entitled, “The Versatile Jeep“.  The article was written by Captain George Ruhlen, 3d FA.

There are a few pictures of the early “round nose” Bantam BRCs and one picture of a Ford GP.

A note of interest in hour fuel price conscious world of today: “Gas consumption on both long and short trips on roads and trails was about 30 to 34 miles per gallon. Cross country and over difficult terrain this dropped to about 27 miles per gallon. “

There are many more articles on the website that cover various aspect of the Army and Field Artillery in particular.

You also might be interested in Jeep – Its development and procurement under the Quartermaster Corps, 1940-1942 which is an interesting historical work written shortly after the jeep entered service.

Come on over to 42FordGPW.com and check out our information about WW2 jeeps.  Visit a spell and take a look at our sponsors.

The oldest surviving jeep, a Ford GP Pygmy (pilot)

The oldest surviving pilot vehicle tested by the Army in 1940 is this Ford Pygmy.

WW2 Pilot--The Ford PygmyWW2 Pilot–The Ford Pygmy by Robert Notman.

Explore just about every inch of the Ford pilot Pygmy in photographs and essay. This is one of only two of the original “jeep” pilots known to have survived through today. The other is the Budd bodied Ford pilot. The author had full access to the jeeps in the Veterans Memorial Museum of Huntsville, Alabama. The Ford pilot is an amazing vehicle. See the engine, inside the body and underneath. Tons of detail. Check it out!

Product Details:

· Paperback: 56 pages
· Binding: Perfect
· Publisher: Robert Notman (May 2005)
· Product Number: 21054122

This book is only $19.95 (price subject to change) plus shipping and is available on line by clicking the link or by calling TOLL FREE (US) 877.809.1659 highlighting and giving the operator the above product number.

 

Also be sure and check out www.42fordgpw.com for more WW2 jeep information. Visit with out sponsors to keep this information coming!

What do you know about the Ford Pygmy?  I happen to now a bit about it.

What do you know about the Ford Pygmy? I happen to know a bit about it.

The WW2 Ford Pygmy still exists, read all about it.

WW2 Pilot--The Ford Pygmy
Questions? Order by Phone! 877 809-1659
WW2 Pilot–The Ford Pygmy
by Robert Notman
$19.95 (price subject to change) plus shipping.  Ships Worldwide!
AVAILABILITY: Books will ship in a minimum of 5 business days.

Product Number: 21054122 Order on line by clicking the product number link OR call TOLLFREE (US) at the number at left.  Give the operator the product number to order.

Genre: U.S. Government
Paperback: 56 pages

Description: A photo book exploring the details of the Ford pilot in the race to build jeeps

Synopsis:

Explore just about every inch of the Ford pilot Pygmy in photographs and essay. This is one of only two of the original “jeep” pilots known to have survived through today. The other is the Budd bodied Ford pilot. The author had full access to the jeeps in the Veterans Memorial Museum of Huntsville, Alabama. The Ford pilot is an amazing vehicle. See the engine, inside the body and underneath. Tons of detail. Check it out!

History of the jeep by Rifkind is a very good read covering the very earliest beginnings of the vehicle that would become known as the jeep.

If you are interested in the history of the development of the jeep there is little substitute for the first effort done by H. Rifkind. This book was written from the Quartermaster Corps’ perspective but draws on numerous resources and documentation to put together a pretty good picture of what happened.

Even the jeep like the Bantam pilot could get stuck! Or is it!! Just put into four wheel drive and go!

What makes it even more valuable is that it actually lists the sources. So if you can figure where and how to find them, you find a gold mine of information to research. I know that I have used this information to track down at least one of the players in the jeep story–Major General George Lynch, Chief of Infantry. The Infantry was instrumental in development of the jeep project–they saw the need long before anyone or any other agency jumped on the bandwagon.

Jeep – Its development and procurement under the Quartermaster Corps, 1940-1942 is available from Amazon.com.  Makes a great gift for the WW2 jeep enthusiast!  Buy now for the Holidays.

Also check out our other books at our 42 Ford GPW bookstore complete with Jeep related apparel.

WW2 Pilot–The Ford Pygmy

by Robert Notman

$19.95 plus shipping. Ships Worldwide!

AVAILABILITY: Books will ship in a minimum of 5 business days. Product Number: 21054122 Order on line by clicking the product number link OR call TOLLFREE (US) at the number below. Give the operator the product number to order.

Genre: U.S. GovernmentPaperback: 56 pages

Description: A photo book exploring the details of the Ford pilot in the race to build jeeps

Synopsis: Explore just about every inch of the Ford pilot Pygmy in photographs and essay. This is one of only two of the original “jeep” pilots known to have survived through today. The other is the Budd bodied Ford pilot. The author had full access to the jeeps in the Veterans Memorial Museum of Huntsville, Alabama. The Ford pilot is an amazing vehicle. See the engine, inside the body and underneath. Tons of detail. Check it out!

Book Details:
· Paperback: 56 pages
· Binding: Perfect-Bound
· Publisher: Robert Notman (May 2005)

Order it online by clicking the product number link or call TOLL FREE (US) at 877.809.1659 and give the operator the product number above.

The Ford Pygmy-Pilot Model

The Ford Pygmy-Pilot Model

The Ford Pygmy survived US Army testing and was returned to the manufacturer.  The pilot resided in the Ford museum until it was sold to a collector.  The collector in turn donated it to the Veterans Memorial Museum in Huntsville, AL.

WW2 Pilot Model–The Ford Pygmy.   Explore just about every inch of the Ford pilot

WW2 Pilot - The Ford PygmyWW2 Pilot – The Ford Pygmy

Pygmy in photographs and essay. This is one of only two of the original “jeep” pilots known to have survived through today. The other is the Budd bodied Ford pilot. The author had full access to the jeeps in the Veterans Memorial Museum of Huntsville, Alabama. The Ford pilot is an amazing vehicle. See the engine, inside the body and underneath. Tons of detail.

Ford Pygymy

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

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