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April 1955 Willys News

• CATEGORIES: Advertising & Brochures, Features, Magazine • TAGS: .

Lots of fun articles in this April 1955 issue.

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3 Comments on “April 1955 Willys News

  1. Barney Goodwin

    I learned something. I didn’t know Willys was involved in the development of the Mule in ’55. Always thought they were just an occasional fill-in contract like with occasionally helping Ford’s M151. Amazing how many contracts Jeep had with the government over the years and often loaded up at one time such as our prior comments about Jeep shifting civilian model production to Canada for part of ’69.

  2. David Eilers Post author

    Barney, any sense of whether the civilian or military business was larger for Willys Motors in the mid 1950s? I’ve never run across any financials for that period. My assumption was that the civilian was larger, but I have no basis for that.

  3. Barney Goodwin

    Great question, Dave. I suppose it depends on the way your question is worded = “MID 50s”. M38A1 production ended in mid to late 1955 before ’55 CJ5s came down the line. Between 1950 and 1955 : 1000 CJV35Us for the USMC, 65K M38s and I think over 200K M38A1s. In Patrick Foster’s book, The Story of Jeep, He provides retail (civilian) sales by calendar year and 1950 – 1955 added up to almost 300K. That’s about even. But 4 of those years included Willys cars. And he doesn’t say whether his figures include civilian vehicles purchased by the government such as the AEC trucks we discussed the other day, fire trucks sold, etc etc. In terms of traditional military Jeeps, I’m not sure there was much after 55 until the Marine Corp purchase of M38A1s in the early 60s. Not sure if Jeep was making M35 Deuces yet in the late 50s along with Reo. But it goes without saying that government contracts were the bread and butter of Jeep for a long time. Also, recessionary times of the 1950s may have dampened civilian sales with government contracts of all types helping Jeep take up the slack.

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