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York-Hoover All Terrain Prototype

• CATEGORIES: Bantam-FordGP-WillysMA-EarlyJPs This site contains affiliate links for which I may be compensated.

UPDATE:  I posted this article back in 2010.  It’s been a few years, so I wondered if anyone newer to eWillys knows anything about the York-Hoovers?

A few days ago I was searching and came across a reference to the York-Hoover prototype. I’d never heard of the York-Hoover All-Terrain Prototype, but according to the YorkBlog, such a vehicle existed and could be viewed at the York County Heritage Trust’s Agricultural and Industrial Museum in Pennsylvania. So, I contacted the museum and received a response from the curator notifying me a few years ago the vehicle had been moved to the Motts Military Museum in Columbus, Ohio.  I tried contacting Motts, but had no success.

Anyone familiar with this story or the vehicle?

According to, “Before World War II, the York-Hoover Body Co. produced a prototype for a military vehicle that could navigate all types of terrain. The company then successfully completed orders for 69 more vehicles.

But, alas, York-Hoover turned down another order for 4,500 sturdy vehicles because it had pledged its resources elsewhere. Future work on the Jeep, with the York-made design and minor modifications, went to Willys Co. and the Ford Motor Co.”


11 Comments on “York-Hoover All Terrain Prototype

  1. Joe Friday

    Any possibility someone has mangled the story? York Hoover made one or more bodies for BANTAM and that sure sounds like the Bantam story.

  2. STEVE

    I would propose that Bantem reused the tub of the 1st prototype and comissioned York Hoover to build the additional 69 bodies for the 70 unit order?

    From the article:
    York-Hoover, Checker Cab, Bantam Mfg, Ford, General Motors, Willys-Overland and others produced prototypes prior to the build-up associated with the start of World War II. York-Hoover produced a light-weight all-terrain vehicle for the program, eventually producing 69 examples for testing.

    from another souce:
    the Bantam prototype was delivered. Having tested it to destruction and being satisfied with its performance, the army commissioned 70 more to be built.

  3. STEVE

    Ok, further thought. The below site said bantam had their own production facitlites which was adequte for production. 70 units was the orignal bid to all 135 manufactureres. So the 69 number is closerly related to the original bid.

    So did york-Hoover try to meet the contract but ran out of time and was excluded from that point on. But if that was so, why would they be offered a contract for an additonal 4,500 units? There were only
    3 producers, bantem, willys and ford so york hoover had to be in cahoots with one of the three?

    Per the article roy evans controlled two of the bidders. he was a salemen not a manufacture so my money is that he was associated with york hoover. willys outsourced a lot of production and he would have had a lot of contacts.

  4. mmdeilers Post author


    This mystery is keeping you busy 🙂 I’m in agreement with your assumption and of the three, the connection with Bantam seems most logical. If we can track down the vehicle/body sent to Motts I’m sure we’ll solve this.

    – Dave

  5. Joe Friday

    I don’t have the time to track down the Bill (William) Spear aka Polar Roller posts on G503, but York Hoover did build a Bantam body, and that is what the blog is in fact referring to. Of course they still build steel body tubs, but they are coffins…

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