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The Four Wheel Steer Bantam in Pop Mechanics

• CATEGORIES: Bantam-FordGP-WillysMA-EarlyJPs, Features, Magazine • TAGS: .

I spotted this brief note about the four-wheel-steer Bantam BRC-40 on page 167 of the May 1946 issue of Popular Mechanics.  Why it appeared five years after it was built seems a little strange.  I can’t imagine the army keeping this model top secret for any reason.  Maybe they needed some filler for the issue?

Here is a link to the Google page that shows the whole article


8 Comments on “The Four Wheel Steer Bantam in Pop Mechanics

  1. Dj Bill

    Weird that the people in the picture appear to be civillians. Wonder if it is just someone who bought one of the prototyupes as surplus?

  2. Gerald

    I owned a Bantam 4 wheel steer. Fixed it, drove it, looked at it and sold it.

    Like Steve said it really was not such a good idea. How tight of a turn do you need to make. Above 25 mph it was hairy.

    Mixed in with other military jeeps, the first indication you had it was a 4 wheel steer was in the first bend and by then it was too late.

    Yeah it was rare and I put a down payment on my first house with the money.

    People give me grief I left it go. It was a Banatm it was rare.

    Oh well…….

  3. frankthecrank58

    you can’t live in a bantam nearly as comfortably as you can in a house. i mean…..where would you shower?

  4. Mr. jeep

    I don’t think this was one of the factory 4 steers. It sounds to me like they converted a standard surplus BRC themselves post war.

  5. Leo

    Look closely at the drawing in the article, it can’t work like that, if you follow that drawing the wheels of the rear and front axle turn in the same direction….I suspect the writer never saw the actual thing himself, or the artist who drew the illustration never really understood the principle.

  6. Steve E.

    Five years after the start of WWII the soldiers returned home. People could afford to buy and had time to read magazines. Most likely, Popular Mechanics Magazine wasn’t published during the war. (Please correct me if I’m wrong.) No one was making new cars, and you couldn’t even buy tires. WWII was definitely a war where Americans really felt the pinch at home and wanted to win the war, unlike today. Most people today are apathetic about our troops overseas (regardless if we think we should be there. I occasionally help a friend who continuously sends care packages to our soldiers. She is one reason I work hard at not being apathetic.)

    So, the war was still a fresh topic in 1946, and people were buying magazines trying to get back into civilian life. When I put myself in the mood of the times immediately following WWII, this article makes sense when reading about a “new” idea applied to the familiar Jeep.

    **Steve E.**

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