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1943 Modified GPW Bozeman, MT eBay

• CATEGORIES: GPW (Ford MB), Sedan-jeep, Unusual • TAGS: , , .

Thanks to Roger Martin for sharing this unusual vehicle. The buy-it-now price on this highly modified GPW/truck is $14,995. I’m not clear how the seller arrived at the price, but the vehicle itself is a whimsical item that seems to need some work.

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“This is a very special vehicle I found a few months ago that came from a ranch in eastern Montana. Perhaps some handy rancher wanted a Jeep pickup before Jeep ever offered one. Perhaps he could not afford or justify the cost of one and decided to build one from a WW II Jeep, an extra WW II Jeep frame, an early Dodge pickup cab and the front of an as of yet unknown early steel pickup box.

This truck appears to have a chassis made out of a pair of WW II Jeep chassis that were cut off and butt welded together in the center to make a chassis that has a wheelbase just over 2 feet longer at 105-1/2”. That is 25-1/2″ longer than the stock WW II Jeep chassis that has an 80″ wheelbase. Someone then added a cab from a 1933 to early 1935 Dodge pickup or 1-1/2 ton truck so they would have some weather protection from the sometimes wild weather here in Montana.

What really impressed me about this truck the moment I first saw it is the amount of work some reasonably skilled craftsman went to to build a 4 wheel drive pickup out a tiny WW II Jeep. I have seen literally hundreds of WW II and later Jeeps in my life so far that have had cabs added to the original Jeep body but I have never seen one that had a pickup or truck cab installed on it like this truck has. Add to that the fact that the cab on this truck has the very attrractive backward opening “suicide” doors from the early 1930’s and one has a very special vehicle.

Not only was a completely different cab installed on this “stretched” Jeep chassis, but that cab was subjected to some very interesting modifications. The most obvious modification is the very special rounded cowl that adapted the cowl of the Dodge cab to the back of the flat Jeep cowl right bvehind the Jeep hood. I am very sure that that cowl adapter was not hand formed but I have not yet figured out what that specially formed piece of sheet metal may have been used on originally.

Please also notice the very significant fact that the as of yet unknown Jeep builder adapted a “V” windshield to the front of the Dodge cab that originally came with a flat whidshield. I have yet to figure out what vehicle that “V” windshield originally came in. Please help me here if you possibly can. Another modification to the Dodge truck cab would be the fact that it has a steel insert in the top of the roof rather than the original fabric roof that it came with when new. I have seen hundreds of Model A Ford and other similar vehicles from the 20’s and 30’s that had similar steel roofs installed when the original fabrick roofs went bad.

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The front half of the frame appears to be from the Ford GPW Jeep because of the hat shaped stamped steel front crossmember rather than the tube type front crossmember that was used on the Willys MB. I have not yet looked for a serial number on the left frame rail near the steering gear where it would be on a Ford GPW. The center of the 3 tags on the glove box door indicates that the front of the body on this gem came from a Ford GPW. It has the serial number of 96596 stamped into it. I have not yet looked for any of the parts on this vehicle that might have the Ford script “F” stamped on them indicating that Ford made them.

The rear _________ of the what appears to be pickup box is actually the back of the WW II Jeep body tub that never had a tailgate. They then added the front ___________ of a pickup box to the front the Jeep body tub to make a pickup box that measures __________
long. There is a tiny wrecker boom made from 2 pieces of _____________ pipe in the back of the box. A ___________ electric winch is attached to the top of the wrecker boom. This wrecker boom is obviously too light to lift the front of a vehicle so I am completely baffled as to what it might have been used for. I have to wonder if it was used to lift an 80 pound or so bale of hay that might have been fed to cattle. Please let me know if you have any idea what this “mini-wrecker” was ever used for.

As you can see in the photo of the engine compartment, the engine in this vehicle is from a post WW II Jeep because of the “JEEP” markings on the top of the cylinder head. I suppose the original WW II Jeep engine became tired at some point and was replaced with a later Jeep engine. I have had the engine running and it does not smoke or make unusual noises. It runs a bit rough so I suspect itn needs a carburetor rebuild and perhaps an igniton tune up. The clutch is stuck and will not release so that will need soom attention too. Otherwise the brakes work and the truck drives fairly well at lower speeds. I never took it out on the highway and do not intend to.

The pair of front wheels and the spare are the original 16″ Jeep style while the pair of rear wheels are later 15″ Jeep wheels. The original WW II Jeep gas tank was relocated to the left front corner of the pickup box. It is leaking so I placed an extra red heavy steel gas tank in the box as you can see in these photos.

There are some small rust holes in the back of the cab and the cab floor but the bottoms of both doors look fine. There are a couple of tiny rust holes in the rear part of the box as well. This is not a gem due to it’s condition but it definitely is due to it’s uniqueness and heritage.

Most purist WW II vehicle collectors will not be interested in this very special vehicle but a few people like me appreciate customized vehicles like this. I know that if one took this to a Jeep or millitary vehicle show that it would get a lot of attention. I have seen many different cabs adapted to Jeeps in the last 50 years I have been interested in collecting vehicles. I would be willing to bet that there are no others out there with cabs that have the very stylish backward opening or “suicide” doors like this truck has.

If you have any idea what the front and sides of the pickup box on this truck are from please let me know. I do not presently have a title for this vehicle but I started the process of getting one here in Montana and should have it in 2 or 3 weeks or so.

 

3 Comments on “1943 Modified GPW Bozeman, MT eBay

  1. Dexter

    Gotta commend the seller for the great (and lengthy) sales pitch. But for me, that “special” Jeep is not worth $15k. Sorry.

  2. Jeremy in KS

    Looks like it’s from the children’s book “The little blue truck”, honk honk, beep beep.

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