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Photos of the Willys Quad

• CATEGORIES: Bantam-FordGP-WillysMA-EarlyJPs, Features, Old Images

Over the past ten years a number of photos of the Willys Quad (the first ‘jeep’ produced by Willys-Overland) have emerged from dusty files, library depositories, and photo archives. Assembled below are the photos that have been published on eWillys, as well as some others that help tell the Quad story.

I’ve seen it mentioned in a couple places that five Willys Quads were manufactured. While I haven’t seen any specific evidence to back that claim, we do know that two prototype Quads were delivered to Holabird: one was 2-wheel-steer and one was a 4-wheel-steer. I *think* the one with the “3211” license plate on the front was the two-wheel-steer model, while the one marked “USA QMC 1/4 4×4” on the bumper was the four-wheel-steer (but I could be wrong).

Later, circa 1943, one of the Quads was rebuilt with an MB windshield (was this an early Holabird test model or what that didn’t go to Holabird?) and appeared in a few photos.  What happened to the rebuilt Quad and the remaining four Quads (if there were really that many)? No one seems to know.

1 (From July 18, 2019): Mario Maipid shared this great photo taken on the steps of the DeKalb Post Office. According to him the sign reads,

U. S. Army Mobile Machine Gun West;
Same Motor as WILLYS Americar


2. (From May 20, 2019): This press photo was produced in 1990 (mostly likely from an original negative) probably for the 50th anniversary of the Quad. It was featured for auction on eBay.

“This is an original press photo. 1940 Jeep Willys Quad – The original Willys-Overland pilot model delivered to the US Army on November 11, 1940 Photo measures 10 x 8 inches. Photo is dated 10-08-1990.”

1990-10-08-willys-quad-press-photo1 1990-10-08-willys-quad-press-photo2

Here’s another version without the lettering:


3. (July 17, 2018): This photo was auctioned on eBay.

“1941- U.S. Troops Testing Willys Quad Prototype Jeep on Rough Terrain. Photo measures approx. 6 1/2″ x 8 1/2”


There was a crisper, cropped version of this photo used as part of a 2011 Toledo Blade article.


4. (Feb 28, 2017): This was auctioned on eBay: “1941- Sen. James Mead driving Willys Quad prototype jeep up the U.S. Capitol steps in Washington, DC. Photo measures approx. 6 1/2″ x 8 1/2”



And, a slightly different, smaller version that doesn’t show the senator twisting his head:


And, from what I believe is the same event, but from a different angle, we have this photo.


5. From Pinterest: This photo shows off the four wheel steering of the Quad.


6. (November 10, 2015): This photo was sold on eBay.

“1941- Willys Quad Prototype Jeep sits beside a Willys Model 441 Americar during driving tests at Camp Holabird.”



7. (November 11, 2015): This photo was published in the March 18, 1941 issue of the Spartanburg Herald-Journal.


This clearer version was shared on the G503 page:


8. (November 7, 2012): These photos were a part of my archives. The first photo may be the four-wheel-steer model, while the latter two photos were taken in 1943 and have “(Rebuilt)” on the placard, suggesting this was a rebuilt Quad. The latter two also have an MB windshield.

1940-willys-quad-1 1940-willys-quad-2 1940-willys-quad-3

9. (June 12, 2012): This photo was reproduced as a poster for sale on eBay.  It shows the Willys Quad (rebuilt version, again the MB windshield), an MB, an M-38, and an M-38A1 lined up together and photographed in 1964.

10. Expired eBay Ad: This photo appeared on a google search. The photo documents the Quad’s testing at Holabird. Original Press Photo 1941- Willys Quad Prototype Jeep being Tested at Camp Holabird Photo measures approx. 6 1/2″ x 8 1/2.


Another photo of the Quad being tested can be seen here:


11. This photo and caption appeared in The Evening News out of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, on September 29, 1941, page 4. I’m going to guess that this shows the 4-wheel-steer model, as other photos show that model having a dented bumper.


And here’s a slightly different look at the same event. This version appeared in the Harrisburg Telegraph newspaper out of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania on September 29, 1941, page 17.


12. Lee Ekstrom collected these two photos as a part of his Quad research.


 13. This photo is from the Quad’s testing at Holabird.


14. This photo appeared as part of a photo shoot in 1952. It was republished at Four Wheeler.


15. These photos are part of an extensive Quad thread on G503:

1940-willys-quad-interior2 1940-willys-quad-interior1

1940-willys-quad-interior4 1940-willys-quad-interior3

16. This photo shows a test drive up a hill. Again, this was shown on G503:


17. This photo captures a little of the Quad’s underside. Again, this was shown on G503:


18. This photo purportedly shows the rebuilt Quad circa 1943? The biggest difference is the use of the MB windshield on the rebuilt jeep.



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