GPA (SEEP) Research Archives

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1943 Photo of the Ford GPA Production Line on eBay

• CATEGORIES: Features, GPA (SEEP), Old Images

I think this is the first photo of the GPA production line that I’ve seen.

“1943 Press Photo Sea Jeep production fro the Army in Dearborn Michigan”

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Drums of Tonkin, a book by Helen and Frank Schreider

• CATEGORIES: Books, Features, GPA (SEEP), Machinery • TAGS: .

UPDATE: A 1964 article in the Spokesman-Review highlights their speaking tour following the Indonesian trip.


Map of Frank and Helen Schreider’s Indonesian Adventure during 1961.

In 1954, Helen and Frank Schreider drove a Ford GPA (amphibious jeep) named Tortuga from the Arctic Circle to the southern most town in South America, Ushuaia, Argentina. They published a book about their adventure called 20,000 Miles South: A Pan-American Adventure in a Seagoing Jeep from the Arctic Circle. It was a book I enjoyed.

In 1960, Helen and Frank began a new adventure in India. For unknown reasons, Tortuga was replaced by the Tortuga II (Amphibious Vehicle website has a great comparison information between Tortuga I and Tortuga II). Perhaps the original Tortuga was too damaged to undertake another long trek. The goal of their Indian adventure was to explore the Ganges river plain and write an article for National Geographic (which appeared in the October 1960 issue). I have the article, but have yet to read it.

In 1961, following their India adventure, the pair undertook an even longer expedition. They wanted to explore Indonesia’s Lesser Sundas, a chain of islands stretching 3000 miles from Bali to Timor. Their adventure filled two large articles for National Geographic (Indonesia: Young and Troubled Nation in the May 1961 issue and East from Bali by Seagoing Jeep in the August 1962 issue). They also published a book in 1963 called the Drums of Tonkin: An Adventure in Indonesia.


Both the National Geographic articles about Indonesia and their Drums of Tonkin book are dense with cultural references and photographs. Unfortunately, both the articles and the book over-burdened me with local references to such a degree that for me the story was less compelling than their 20,000 Miles book. This likely reflects a larger emphasis on anthropology, geography, and biology, a result of their funding by National Geographic.

Despite the compelling prose, there were plenty of photographs to enjoy. Here’s just a few. This first one is pretty self-explanatory.

1962-08-east-from-bali-national-geographic1 1962-08-east-from-bali-national-geographic2According to the New York Times obituary for Frank, who died in 1994 in Crete, the couple joined National Geographic in 1967 and continued to have additional adventures by vehicle, foot and boat. However, there is no record that they ever traveled by GPA.

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GPAs from Around the World

• CATEGORIES: Features, GPA (SEEP), Museums

Mark asked about finding a SEEP in a museum. So, I this post reflects GPAs in museums and  around the world. I’m sure there are others. If you know of any more, please email me a link or add it to the comments.

In Bangkok, Thailand, this SEEP is housed with several other jeeps at the Chokchai Museum. This video shows a short walk around. That might be a M-606 next to it.

The Wheatcroft Collection, in Leicester, England, has a great collection of vehicles, including this GPA. Here are many more photos of the collection.


Wheatcroft Collection Ford GPA

The Moscow, Russia, Victory Park has a GPA stored outside. This website includes a variety of closeups as well.


Russia-moscow-victory-park-ford-gpa2Back in 2010 I posted this GPA that’s housed in the South African Military Museum in Johannesburg.

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1943 Photo of SEEP at Tunisian Front on eBay

• CATEGORIES: Features, GPA (SEEP), Old Images

I’ve never seen a photo of a GPA used as an ambulance. But, apparently this one was carrying wounded soldiers from the front.

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1943 Photo of GPA from Fort Wayne, IN on eBay

• CATEGORIES: Features, GPA (SEEP), Old Images

Marc spotted this great photo of a GPA emerging from the river.

“1943- Soldiers from Fort Wayne give Ford amphibian reconnaissance cars a workout on river in Detroit.”

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1943 Photo of a GPAs in Dearborn on eBay

• CATEGORIES: Features, GPA (SEEP), Old Images

I’ve seen similar photos, but always nice to have the accompanying press photo info.

“This is an original press photo. Dept – US Army, Credit – NEA and ACME Photo measures 9.25 x 7inches. Photo is dated 03-16-1943.”

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1943 MB? Bargersville, IN $2700


This is a project, but includes a GPA motor.

“I have a 1943 Willys jeep for sale, in process of restoring but moving forces sale, frames is excellent, normal rusted out areas for body, but easy fix, engine does turn over, transfer case is good, still some orginal paint on all parts, “F” stamped transmission and transfer case, GPA motor, rare engine. DOD is FEB 19-29 1943….Have title that matches orginal body/Frame. Engine was overhauled in Topeka KS 08/24/1945 with all STD bearings so you know it wasn’t abused. Has 4 Combat rims
In photo it has cj2 headlights but previous owner just mounted them there, not buckets, has hinged brackets under hood.”

1943-mb-barbersville-in2 1943-mb-barbersville-in3 1943-mb-barbersville-in4

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20,000 Miles South by Helen and Frank Schreider

• CATEGORIES: Books, Features, GPA (SEEP) • TAGS: .

UPDATE II: Not only did they publish a book, but they also filmed a documentary in color, called We Made the “Impossible” Tour, that was part of a lecture tour. In addition, their adventure was serialized in the Saturday Evening Post in 1957:
January 12, 1957, We Made the “Impossible” Tour, Part One: How We Motored Through the Jungle
January 19, 1957, We Made the “Impossible” Tour: Part Two: How We Went to Sea in a Jeep
January 26, 1957, We Made the “Impossible” Tour, Part Three: Island-Hopping the Spanish Main
February 2, 1957, We Made the “Impossible” Tour: Part Four: Trigger-Happy Territory
February 9, 1957, We Made the “Impossible” Tour: Conclusion:The Land of Fire – three agonizing miles of travel in southern Argentina.


UPDATE: This same book is published under a different name with some different photos: “La Tortuga an amphibious journey from Alaska to Tierra del Fuego”. I could not find a copy for sale when I last looked.

20,000 Miles South:  A Pan-American Adventure in a Seagoing Jeep from the Arctic Circle” by Helen and Frank Schreider is a great read.  In the book they relate their first failed attempt to travel south in a Willys Wagon, which leads to their decision to try it in a SEEP (named La Tortuga).  In 1954, they started their journey south, sharing in the book their struggles, successes and failure.  At one point they try to drive down a railroad track, but are forced to give up the effort due to the damage the track inflicted on the SEEP. At another point they enter the country of Colombia by water, only to be told when they attempt to exit the country that they didn’t get the proper stamp (because they entered via the water).  These are just some of the challenges they face.

I’d have to say this is one of my favorite jeep related books that I have read.  After the “20,000 Miles” book they wrote the “Drums of Tonkin“, which is about a trip through Indonesia, and “Exploring the Amazon.” They also joined National Geographic as photographers and authors.

Frank died in 1974 at the age of 70.  He suffered a heart attack in the cabin of his sail boat, Sassafras, while anchored off the island of Crete.  I suspect that’s the way he would have wanted it.  Helen was still alive and living in New Mexico at last report.

La Tortuga was re-discovered in California in 2006 and shipped to Norway.  La Tortuga appears to still be for sale.

It appears you can borrow a copy of the book through the open library project.  Learn more here.  Here are some photos.  This is a shot of the inside cover which shows the path they drove/boated:

This photo was taken after the maiden voyage in Balboa Bay, California.  Helen is holding onto their dog, Dinah, who could often be found riding on top of the cabin.

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GPA Bilge Pump PTO on Camarillo, CA **SOLD**


UPDATE: **SOLD** Was on ebay

Glenn spotted this rare item on eBay. The seller has listed it as “FOR TRADE ONLY”.


PTO has been taken apart, cleaned and freed up so the selectors and gears move freely. the detent springs for the shifter levers need replacing and 1 ball needs more freeing up. some minor pitting inside. one lever is cut short. there are no broken gears or teeth. the propshaft yolk holes are 3/8″.

it will require a rebuild including new bearings and seal and gasket.”


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1943 SEEP Photo on eBay

• CATEGORIES: Features, GPA (SEEP), Old Images

Here’s a good shot of a SEEP’s underside during a test course run.

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1943 Photo of Seeps on the Assembly Line on eBay

• CATEGORIES: Features, GPA (SEEP), Old Images

Marc forwarded this great photo.

“Amphibian Jeeps Assembly Line 1943”

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1943-04-04-seep-photo1 1943-04-04-seep-photo2

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Two Photos from Alex

• CATEGORIES: Features, GPA (SEEP), International, Old Images

Alex, who directs Tahiti-Pacifique Magazine, forwarded these two photos.

For unknown reasons, the driver of this DUKW (thanks Bob) must have had quite a drive!

indochine commandos jeep 1953

Alex writes, “Photo of 1954 peace treaty delegation between the French and the Vietminh. The French army used mostly US WW2 surplus equipment in that war. The US took over after the 1954 defeat, Indochina became Vietnam, the Vietminh became Vietcong and the issue was the same 20 years later. “

indochine traite? de paix 1954

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1943 GPA/Seep Model Kit **SOLD**

• CATEGORIES: Features, GPA (SEEP), Models

UPDATE: **SOLD** Was on eBay

Here’s a rare kit that looks complete.

“U.S. Army Amphibian Jeep (Quack)
MOD-AC Manufacturing Co
Los Angeles, Calif.
1/2 Inch Scale Wooden Model
I believe it is from 1943.
Very hard to find in used good condition.
Please examine all pictures carefully as I do not know if all the pieces are there.
The body of the Jeep is in very good condition as are the pieces and parts I do have.
The box does have wear and tear (see picts).
The paper portion of the kit does have some of the pieces cut out (see picts).
I am selling this model “as-is” with no warranty or returns.
I can only accept PayPal as the form of payment.
I will only ship within the United States.
If you have any questions please feel free to email me.
Thanks for looking.”

1943-gpw-quack-wood-model-kit4 1943-gpw-quack-wood-model-kit3 1943-gpw-quack-wood-model-kit2 1943-gpw-quack-wood-model-kit

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Photo of Ford Seep in Samoa on eBay


Marc spotted this photo.

“Size: 2 3/4” x 4 5/8″………13/8/8”

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GPA Nottingham, NH eBay


Marc forwarded this GPA for sale. Price is $110,000.

“Original WWII piece.
Will assist with arranging for shipping/transportation at no cost.
Please contact for more details.”

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State Archives of Ukraine

• CATEGORIES: Features, GPA (SEEP), International, Old Images

Marc found these photos at the Ukraine State Archive website.

ukraine-archives3ukraine-archives1 ukraine-archives2

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1941 Comic Book Ad for Baby Ruth Featuring a GPA

• CATEGORIES: Advertising & Brochures, Features, GPA (SEEP)

UPDATE: **SOLD** Was on eBay

Suddenly, a Baby Ruth bar is sounding good!

“This old comic book ad (which ran in publications as a promotion, and measures approximately 6×9 inches) is heavily creased and worn, but I hope it gets a good home! Not a photocopy or more recent reproduction.”

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 1944-baby-ruth-bar-seep-gpa-ad copy

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GPA Dataplates on GPW Lid — Boise, ID **SOLD**


UPDATE:  **SOLD** Was on ebay

“THIS EXTREMELY RARE AND ODD! This is your opportunity to own WW2 GPA AMPHIBIOUS 1/4 ton! Well, kinda! 🙂

You are bidding on an FORD GPA data plate but this data plate has been factory stamped and mounted on a GPW glove box! (someone was probably drinking on the assembly line that day)

Anyways, what you are bidding on is glovebox door with three data plates and a matching # stamped section of frame. I will also include a bill of sale if you need.

The data plate and frame section is stamped GPW 115416 and the data plate has a dod of 5/3/43. Unfortunately the jeep that these went to was parted out before I got to it.

Again this data plate is a real oddity and something very unique. I’d speculate this is likely the only one in the world.”


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Some Random Seep Photos

• CATEGORIES: Features, GPA (SEEP), Old Images, Women & Jeeps

Here are a few SEEP photos I found today.

1) This was posted at . The link includes photos of a GPA restoration.

seep-getting-a bath

2) This one is from Photobucketseep-military-women


3) This one is from the World War II Database. The caption reads: Canadian Prime Minister King and General Harry Foster walking by a Ford GPA amphibious Jeep, England, UK, 18 May 1944


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A Ford GPA Makes James’ Day


James was driving today in Colorado and spotted this Ford GPA SEEP parked just off the road.

He writes, “I found this gem along side of the road today. I was on my way to pick up my 1947 cj2a. It turns out the owner is also an eWillys reader! It’s amazing that these cars are still being driven and not stuck in a museum. This made my day!



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1943 Issue of London News Includes GPA Article on eBay

• CATEGORIES: Features, GPA (SEEP), Old News Articles

It may only be one page, but the May 1, 1943, issue of Illustrated London News includes a full page of Ford GPA pictures.

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Somewhere in Southern France in a Seep

• CATEGORIES: Features, GPA (SEEP), Old Images

UPDATE:  Alex makes a good argument that these images are more likely on the Mediterranean rather than in the Arromanches,  which is an area in Northwestern France.

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Lionel Forge and his SEEP/GPA “Amphib”

• CATEGORIES: Builds, Features, GPA (SEEP)

UPDATE:  This was first published Jan 23, 2011.

About a year and a half ago I posted a story about Ben Carlin and his famous SEEP “Half Safe”.  What I didn’t realize at the time was there were a few other nuts crazy enough to modifiy a GPA and travel the world.  One of those explorers was a Canadian named Lionel Forge.

I learned about Lionel’s adventure through a website operated by Colin Stevens, who eventually purchased Lionel’s GPA and began the restoration back to its original condition (he then sold the GPA to a USA collector in 2004).  Thanks to Colin, we have a record of both Lionel’s transformation of the surplus GPA #4545 into “Amphib” and along with a summary of his story.

On his site, Colin writes, “[Lionel] had the book HALF SAFE which is about a GPA that was modified for world travel and which was travelling around the world. Lionel decided to modify his GPA and travel as well. One key difference is that he did not plan to sail across oceans with his.”

According to this newspaper article, Lionel planned to drive down through Central and South America, ship the car to Africa and then travel through Eastern Europe.  One of the places he really wanted to visit was Montevideo, Uruguay, a country about which I posted yesterday.

According to Colin, Lionel made it to Central America, but then discovered the cargo ship he planned to use to make it to Africa was longer in service.  So, he shipped ‘Amphib’ to a friend’s house in Florida and continued some additional traveling, though whether he made it to Montevideo is unclear.

Lionel eventually brought Amphib back to Canada, where it sat for at least 11 years on blocks (most likely much more) until Lionel’s death in 2001.  Lionel’s family later sold the GPA to Colin, who photographed it extensively, recording all kinds of information about it. Colin then sold it in 2004 to an American collector.

You can read the entire story here at Colin’s website

Colin also wrote a 2 part article in Convoy Magazine in 2002 about the entire adventure, which he pieced together from Lionel’s images, passports and other information.   Unfortunately, the magazine is no longer published and I can’t locate any back issues online.

Here are a few images from Colin’s website:

This is GPA#4545 at the salvage yard:

This shows Amphib after the 1949 Dodge Station Wagon top was added:

This is a newspaper article about his upcoming trip:

Amphib with the tent on top:

Lionel in Guatemala (Pyramid #1 at Tikal) in 1967

I also thought it appropriate to include an image of Colin Stevens with his 1944 MB.  The photo was taken in 2000. You can see more images here.

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Redy Cut SEEP/ GPA Wood Model on eBay

• CATEGORIES: Features, GPA (SEEP), Models, toys

This is ready to assemble according to the seller.


View all the information on eBay

redycut-seep-gpa-wood-toy1 redycut-seep-gpa-wood-toy2 redycut-seep-gpa-wood-toy3 redycut-seep-gpa-wood-toy4

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Lake Jeeping from 2010 in Spooner, WI

• CATEGORIES: Features, GPA (SEEP), Reader Stories

Louie asked me if I’d be interested in some pictures from the 2010 Redbull Historic Military Club gathering, which included jeeps, seeps and floating trailers. I did not know those Bantam trailers floated so well!


Louie writes, “For a number of years a military collector ( Kevin Kronland of Spooner Wi.) held a 3 day event at his Cranberry farm. He had almost 100 vehicles of his own and our Redbull Historic Military Club would attend with about another 50 to 100 vehicles. Of course we all had a great time showing ,driving,and talking about our vehicles. He had a DUCK, a GPA, and other collectors brought there am fibs to run in his cranberry pond. (A real lake.)





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