I like to walk around my jeep and look at it from all angles.

I like to walk around my jeep and look at it from all angles.

Pre-Standardized Jeep by David DoylePre-Standardized Jeep (Walk Around Color Series)

David Doyle is a prolific author on many military vehicle subjects.  His latest book is about early WW2 jeeps.  According to Amazon.com, the book is “80 pages.  A detailed look at Jeep’s early evolution with more than 250 photographs, color profiles and detailed line drawings. Three distinct versions of a reconnaissance car were produced before they were standardized into the World War II-era Jeep. Bantam, Ford and Willys produced different models to win military contracts. “  Check out the book, available from Amazon.com – Pre-Standardized Jeep (Walk Around Color Series).

You also might be interested in my book covering the same subject, BANTAM, FORD AND WILLYS-1/4-TON RECONNAISSANCE CARS. The book is 172 pages and the majority of the pictures were taken by me as I walked around and crawled under the pre-standardized jeeps.

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 Chrsyler 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.

Check out BANTAM, FORD AND WILLYS—1/4-TON RECONNAISSANCE CARS

This book covers the Bantam BRC, Ford GP and the Willys MA. There are many pages of original documents that have not been published before (as far as I know, anyway).


Lots of detailed photos of all three jeeps!

These jeeps are on display at the Veterans Memorial Museum of Huntsville, AL.

Description:
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.
For more information, see BANTAM, FORD AND WILLYS—1/4-TON RECONNAISSANCE CARS.


(Front Cover)lulu.com, also available from Amazon.com and other fine booksellers!

Product Details:
Printed: 170 pages, 8.50″ x 11.00″, perfect binding, 60# white interior paper, black and white interior ink , 100# exterior paper, full-color exterior ink
ISBN: 978-1-84728-188-3
Publisher: Robert Notman
Copyright: © 2006 by Robert Notman Standard Copyright License
Language: English

Cost: $24.95 plus shipping. Shipped worldwide!


Visit http://www.42fordgpw.com/

“It’s a quarter-ton runt with a mechanical heart and a steady constitution; it has more speed than a backfield full of All-Americans; it can climb mountains; it can fly; it can swim; it can jitterbug across rough terrain at 50 miles an hour, hauling four armed soldiers and a 37 mm gun with the same ease a hound dog carries fleas, and it is the first silk stockingless subject to enter a conversation whenever two or more Army men get together.

‘It’ is the Jeep, obviously.”

So begins an article written by John W. Chapman in 1942 for The Illustrated Gazette, Ottumwa, IA. The real heroes in bringing the US Army (and us) the jeep were “former Navy pilot Charles Harry Payne (left) and Col. W. F. Lee, Infantry (right).”

Harry Payne was a promoter and consultant. His job was to obtain business for companies. Col W. F. Lee was a career Army man working for the Chief of Infantry. One of his jobs was to help develope a light vehicle for Infantry use.

The man that should know the most about their involvement with what would become the jeep is Major General George A. Lynch. He said the Infantry needed the jeep before it was every known as the jeep. It was under his leadership that specifications were drawn up. The article by John Chapman says that Harry Payne came calling in the halls of the Infantry and met with Col Lee and MG Lynch. He first arrived on June 5, 1940 to investigate rumors of a contract being let to build quantities of the ‘Howie Carriers’. Mr. Payne had said that the Chief of Staff was interested in the carriers. But the Chief of Infantry was not interested in that vehicle. After a couple of days of discussion, it became clear to Payne that the Army (at least the Infantry) was not going to purchase the carriers.

“It was at this point that Payne and Colonel Lee began putting their ideas together for the now famous jeep, and Lee’s report said that ‘Payne was very enthusiastic from the start, and continued to maintain an optimistic attitude toward the final results in spite of the many obstacles, technical and administrative, in his path.’ While Payne was primarily interested in getting busines for his company, Lee said, he also showed keen interest in doing what he could to help the Infantry develop the car it needed.”

After the details were worked out, Col Lee needed to obtain support from others on the Technical Committee that worked on advancing automotive ideas toward production. Only the cavalry representitive, Major Frank Tompkins, offered support and then only because Col. Lee agreed to support a cavalry project. The great ‘weapon’ of the Second World War was off to an inauspicious start to be sure. The Quartermasters office was not interested in the small vehicle but agreed not to stand in the way of development. ‘None of the others, including the Field Artillery, would join us,’ according to Lee.

Because the Quartermaster was not responsive to the needs of the Infantry in seeking a lightweight vehicle, MG Lynch agreed with Col Lee’s proposal to move the matter to the Ordnance Committee. Col. Barnes in Ordnance was contact and he agreed to help. He suggested that the requirement of the jeep include a small strip of armor plate for the driver. In those days armored vehicles were developed by Ordnance and non-armored, general purpose vehicles were developed by the Quartermaster Corps.

Payne became known as an ‘annoying pest’ as he tried to sell the idea of the light reconnaissance car to the other using arms and services. It was considered nothing new but only a light car.

It took Lee and Payne about a week to draw up the characteristics of the new vehicle.

After the QMC was involved, Holabird took over and the jeep became the Quartermaster General’s ‘baby’ according to the Chapman article. The article alleges that Willys-Overland took a different turn in the quest for the 1/4-ton and became very interested in building it. According to the article W-O representatives were seen doing a ‘minute’ inspection of the Bantam vehicle.

The article further alleges that W-O won the standardization contract by offering a ridiculously low bid. This effective ended Bantam’s production at approximately 3,000 1/4-ton trucks. Also claimed that a Mr. John Biggers was involved with the award to Willys. Mr. Biggers worked at OPM. This led to an investigation of the QMC and Mr. Biggers by the Truman committee. Whether or not any wrong doing was ever found is not indicated but Mr. Biggers left the OPM shortly there-after.

Mr. Payne was let go shortly after helping to win contracts of about 3,000 trucks for Bantam. Payne revealed that he was never an ‘official of the Bantam company but acted as assistant to the president.’

In closing, Col. Lee had this to say, ‘My only interest in the development of the car was to contribute something useful for Infantry combat and I believe that what I have done toward the project warrants the assumption of some credit for a fair share of that contribution. I have not made a definite effort to obtain such credit nor did I believe I should make such effort…What can be done will probably be started by Mr. Payne because it means a livelihood to him. I would like to see him rewarded for the results he obtained because he helped us produce the car we knew was greatly needed.’

This is allegedly the ‘true’ story of how the jeep came to be. Looking at documentation that once belonged to MG Lynch it seems that the story presented here is correct. We may never know the complete story.

What we do know is that jeep went on to become one of the great weapons of war for the Allies during WW2. After that war the 1/4-ton, 4×4, truck has continued in one form or another. Everyone recognizes the “Jeep” (”Jeep” is a trademark of Chrysler LLC.)

For more about the early war-time jeeps take a look at Jeep – Its development and procurement under the Quartermaster Corps, 1940-1942.

The BANTAM, FORD AND WILLYS—1/4-TON RECONNAISSANCE CARS book is available from a number of sources, including Amazon.com.

This book covers the Bantam BRC, Ford GP and the Willys MA. There are many pages of original documents that have not been published before (as far as I know, anyway).


Lots of detailed photos of all three jeeps!

These jeeps are on display at the Veterans Memorial Museum of Huntsville, AL.

Description:
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.
For more information, see BANTAM, FORD AND WILLYS—1/4-TON RECONNAISSANCE CARS.


(Front Cover)lulu.com, also available from Amazon.com and other fine booksellers!

Visit http://www.42fordgpw.com/
73+ megabytes of jeep & related info.

Product Details:
Printed: 170 pages, 8.50″ x 11.00″, perfect binding, 60# white interior paper, black and white interior ink , 100# exterior paper, full-color exterior ink
ISBN: 978-1-84728-188-3
Publisher: Robert Notman
Copyright: © 2006 by Robert Notman Standard Copyright License

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.

You need these books.

Are you in to WW2 jeeps, like me? Then you will want these books!

If you have a WW2 jeep or are interested in them…these three books are a great introduction.

All American Wonder, I, II, III
All American Wonder, Vol I
By Ray R Cowdery
Price:
$29.95 plus shipping

All American Wonder, Vol II
By Ray R Cowdery
List Price: $29.95
Price: $29.95 plus shipping

Both of these books are great reference books. They may be dated with some information but they were the first books written to help the WW2 jeep collector figure out exactly what he had. You really should add all three All American Wonder books to your collection.

Volume III is really pretty good but would have been better if it had stopped at WW2. This book continues on into the the Hummer era. So it is rather comprehensive in its’ jeep history coverage. Vol III can be a bit hard to find.  Last time I looked it was published by Reddick Enterprises.

All prices subject to change.

 

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.

While the photo below does not show a jeep, it does show a Dodge that is receiving its’ registration number

The additional pictures did not show the detail of the connectors being removed but I suppose they were.

Notice the square dots between the USA.

BANTAM, FORD AND WILLYS—1/4-TON RECONNAISSANCE CARS

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Paperback, 170 pages
BANTAM, FORD AND WILLYS—1/4-TON RECONNAISSANCE CARS
$24.95

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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.

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.

Check out the excellent work of Oliver at http://www.o5m6.de/ for even more WW2 vehicles. The emphasis is on Russian vehicles but also includes foreign designed vehicles as used by the Russians. It’s a great site, check it out.

This concludes the series on WW2 jeep grilles, we hope you enjoyed it.  For more about WW2 jeeps see Military Jeep: 1940 Onwards (Ford, Willys and Hotchkiss) (Enthusiasts’ Manual).

Check out our website 42FordGPW and support our sponsors by clicking on their ads.