Bantam-FordGP-WillysMA-EarlyJPs Research Archives

Prior to the finalization of the MB Jeep, The American Bantam, Ford, and Willys all created pilot and prototype jeeps in an attempt to win Army contracts. Bantam built the very first jeep, the Bantam BRC. They also built the BRC-60 and BRC-40. Ford built the Pygmy, the Budd, and the GP. Willys built the Willys Quad and the Willys MA. Checker appears to have built one based on Bantam parts. Finally, are rumors of a jeep by York-Hoover, but I’ve never nailed down actual pictures. See this post: http://www.ewillys.com/2010/03/14/york-hoover-all-terrain-prototype/

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1942 Saturday Evening Post with A Ford GP

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

On pages 48-29 of the August 15, 1942, Saturday Evening post featured an ad by the United State Rubber Company titled “Here’s Where Your Rubber is Going”. The ad included a Ford GP.

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November 1941 ‘Our New Army’ Pics

These pics were part of an article in the November 11, 1945, issue of Colliers.

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1943 Ad for Weiners in Ford GPs

This ad may have appeared multiple times, but appear at least once in the January 30, 1943, issue of Colliers magazine on page 29. Included below is a color version supposedly published in 1942.

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Mallory Ad w/ Ford GP on eBay

Anyone know when this ad was published?

View all the information on eBay

“This is an original 1942 ad neatly removed from a vintage magazine. Measure 11 by 14 inches.”

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Ethyl Research and Service Ad With A Ford Pygmy

UPDATE: Through Fred Coldwell’s “Selling the American Wonder“, Maury learned that this unusual ad featuring the Ford Pygmy was published in the August 18, 1941, issue of Time Magazine.

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1941 Photo of Ford GP

This March 02, 1941, photo from the Evening Star appears to show the original Pygmy.

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Escape From Burma in Ford GPs

During a 75,000 mile adventure between 1940 and 1942 Life photographer George Rodger photographed the growing war across Africa, Europe, and Asia. During the latter part of his adventures he found himself using, then abandoning, Two Ford GPs sent to the Chinese as he and his fellow adventurers escaped Burma. He reported on these adventures, through photos, in the August 10, 1942, issue of Life Magazine.

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1942 Photos of Jeep Farm Tests

This series of photos was published June 14, 1942, in the Evening Star. There’s also a post from 2015 that includes some similar photos. Becky Bergmann in a Ford GP was featured in several.

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Video of Ford GPs Leaving the Factory in March of 1941

• CATEGORIES: Bantam-FordGP-WillysMA-EarlyJPs, Features, videos

UPDATE: The bottom clip seems to have been a small part of this nearly eight-minute clip of the Ford GPs being rolled off the line for the QMC. Some of this video we’ve seen and some we haven’t. This was the first batch of 400 Ford GPs, delivered March 19, 1941 (which was part of the first contract of 1500 Ford GPs).

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Originally posted September 7, 2018: 

The video only lasts 23 seconds, but it’s the only one I’ve seen of Ford GPs leaving the factory:

 
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1941 Article about the New Jeeps

This article was published in the May 20, 1941, issue of the Evening Star. It’s rare to see a Willys MA in newspaper photos.

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1943 American Car Company Ad

This May 23, 1943, American Car Company Ad was published in the Evening Star, out of Washington, D. C.. Given Bantam lost the production contract in 1941, it seems an unusual ad, especially many folks probably hadn’t heard of nor seen a Bantam vehicle.

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1941 Ford GP Tucson, AZ $37,500

• CATEGORIES: Bantam-FordGP-WillysMA-EarlyJPs

UPDATE: Back on eBay. Auction ends tomorrow (Jan 3rd).

(12/08/2018) Includes the trailer. Seller will accept offers.

View all the information on eBay

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“1941 Ford GP # 9223. The 1941 Ford GP, as well as the Bantam BRC and Willy’s MA were pre-WW2 limited production models, often labeled as “prototypes” which developed into the common WW2 GPW and MB. The production of the Ford GP, which is very unique to itself, was approximately 4500 units with most going overseas. It is estimated that only a few hundred of the GP’s exist today, most of which are in the hands of collectors. Of the total, it is estimated that less than 100 are restored, with the vast majority of the balance being as non-restorable and in dire condition.

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1941 Ford GP w/ Trailer Tucson, AZ Auction (BAT)

• CATEGORIES: Bantam-FordGP-WillysMA-EarlyJPs, Features • TAGS: , .

Matt spotted this nice looking Ford GP.

https://bringatrailer.com/listing/1941-ford-gp-prototype-series-1/

“This 1941 Ford GP  (#9223) is an early model Series 1, one of 1500 from the earliest series. Restored over 30 years ago by an active member of the MVCC (Military Vehicle Collectors of California), it was sold to the most recent Montana owner over 20 years ago. It is powered by the original spec 120 cubic inch 4-cylinder engine with a 3-speed manual transmission and includes a matching military trailer. This GP checks all the boxes with correct top, trailer with canvas, all of the blinkers , reflectors, extinguisher, flashlight, engine crank handle, and correct lighting.

The correct instructional tags are mounted on the dash, and the combo gauge is center mounted. There are 2341  showing on the odometer, but the true mileage is unknown.

The genuine GP engine # 9547 and drivetrain were rebuilt at the time of restoration. The seller says that it runs and drives great, and smokes a little when cold but clears up once warm. An oil service was completed five miles ago and coolant was also flushed. Brakes and steering operate as designed, and the engine does drip some oil after driving.

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1941 Photo of Landing Jeep off Barge Test on eBay

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

I can’t tell for sure, but that might be a Ford GP. The hood doesn’t look very tall to me. The date makes it probable.

View all the information on eBay

“This is an original press photo. New River, N.C. — Jeep splashes shoreward from a marine landing barge during maneuvers of the Marines Amphibious Force. Sturdy little car tows a light field piece.Photo measures 8.75 x 7.25inches. Photo is dated 11-25-1941.”

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Ford GP at the Military Air Museum in Pungo, VA

• CATEGORIES: Bantam-FordGP-WillysMA-EarlyJPs, Features, Museums

John stopped by the Military Air Museum in Pungo, Virginia, the other day. There he found this nicely restored Ford GP. I asked him how he liked the museum. HIs response was,

Dave, The whole facility is extraordinary! Two surprises, 1) a hanger from Cottbus, Germany, was found intact but damaged. The guy bought it, had it disassembled, shipped to the states and restored and reassembled. Every thing inside is German with one Italian with some of the stuff experimental.
2) Same for a British control tower, every brick was shipped here, rebuilt, and what was broken or missing was replaced from Britain, not the States.

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Additional pics:

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Ford GP-related Photos

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

The Henry Ford Museum’s digital collections contain a few interesting photos. It appears all of them can be purchased:

  1. This great photo is available for purchase at The Henry Ford website.
    https://www.thehenryford.org/artifact/221777/#slide=gs-184319

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2. These images appear to be frame drawings for the Ford GP. The images aren’t reproduced well:
https://www.thehenryford.org/collections-and-research/digital-collections/artifact/430077

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3. This image purports to be a December 1941 drawing of a set of GP springs, but by that time, Ford was gearing up for the GPW.
https://www.thehenryford.org/collections-and-research/digital-collections/artifact/429633#slide=gs-377168

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4. There are a few more jeep-related pics int he digital collections database at The Henry Ford: https://www.thehenryford.org/collections-and-research/digital-collections/search-results#terms=jeep&years=0-0&perPage=10&pageNum=1&sortBy=relevance

 
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York-Hoover’s Design of the Original Bantam BRC Body

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

This 2015 article in the York Daily Record shares the story of York-Hoover’s construction of the two original Bantam BRC bodies in 1940.

https://www.ydr.com/story/news/history/blogs/yorkspast/2015/12/07/earliest-jeeps/76956416/

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1955 CJ-3B Carmel Valley, CA $14,500

• CATEGORIES: Bantam-FordGP-WillysMA-EarlyJPs, CJ-3B

UPDATE: Price dropped to $14,500

https://monterey.craigslist.org/cto/d/willys-jeep-cj-3b-classic-1955/6678702970.html

“One family owned 1955 CJ3B Willys Jeep with Warn Hubs and Ramsey Winch. Jeep is in very good condition, and has been lovingly maintained and kept garaged for more than 60 years. 1/4 ton 2 door, 4-cyl., F-head engine with 3 speeds, 4-wheel drive and compound low. She had an engine and drive train overhaul, exhaust manifold and brake replacement with all records available, and she has been repainted.”

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Photo of Bantam T2E1 on eBay

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

UPDATE: Another version of this press photo is on eBay. See similars one posted on eBay in the past below.

View all the information on eBay

“1941 Press Photo John McCloy & C.M. Drury inspect a new gun mounted on a jeep. This is an original press photo. As the Army’s first “Tank killer” battalion showed off its new fighting technique today, John McCloy (left) assistant secretary of way, and C.M. Drury, assistant special weapons–A 37m. anti-tank gun mounted on the famed “jeep” reconnaissance car. U.S. Army land vehiclesPhoto measures 9.5 x 6.5inches. Photo is dated 08-27-1941.”

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#2: Originally posted 05/08/2018

“1941 Press Photo The Army’s fast “jeep car” with anti-tank gun at Fort Meade. This is an original press photo. As the Army’s first “tank killer” battalion showed off its new fighting techniques at Fort Meade, Maryland, Wednesday, John McCloy, assistant secretary of war, and C.M. Drury, assistant military attache in the Canadian legation, inspected one of the unit’s special weapons. It is the Army’s fast “jeep car,” now equipped with a 37 mm anti-tank gun. United States Army – Equipment – Guns Photo measures 10.25 x 8.25 inches. Photo is dated 8-28-1941.

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1946 Jeep Herder Movie Pics **SOLD**

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

UPDATE II: Here are pics of the Ford Pygmy and Ford Budd to use for comparison with the jeep in the movie. To me it looks like the film makers built a custom vehicle based on the Ford Budd, which Maury points out, in the comments section below, was in Hollywood at the time.

FORD BUDD:

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FORD PYGMY:ford-pygmy-budd-comparision

Note the differences between the two above and the “jeep” below: Angle of the steering wheel, position of the front fenders vis-a-vis the hood, length of cowl at the step, the rolled edges of the body (same as Budd, Pygmy didn’t have them), short rear handle of the Pygmy (Budd had long hand), incorrect hubs ..  I wonder if that is a Bantam chassis?

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ORIGINAL POST … these photos were sold on eBay: Thanks to Maury for spotting these pics from the Jeep Herders movie. There are a couple Ford GPs pictured. I’m not sure what’s going on with the side of the Ford GP. Looks like it is similar to the original Pygmy GP.

“Originally by Planet Productions, 1946, re-released by Astor Pictures in 1949. Story is returning vets use Jeeps to herd cattle.”

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1944 Article about a Bantam BRC-40 named “Old 72”

Mario shared this on Facebook.

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1940 Ford Pygmy Photo on eBay

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

The bottom is a more familiar photo. I can’t remember if I’ve seen the top one.

View all the information on eBay

“1940- Ford Pygmy during testing at Camp Holabird. The Ford Pygmy is the pilot vehicle submitted by Ford Motor Company in response to the U.S. Army’s requirement for a “light reconnaissance and command car” during the military buildup prior to World War II. It is the only known survivor of the original pilot vehicles built by Bantam, Willys, and Ford and tested by the Army. Photo measures approx. 6 3/4″ x 8 3/4″ ”

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1941 Photo of Willys Quad Being Tested on eBay

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

Here’s a rare photo.

View all the information on eBay

“1941- U.S. Troops Testing Willys Quad Prototype Jeep on Rough Terrain. Photo measures approx. 6 1/2″ x 8 1/2”
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Seth’s CJ-3A VW Diesel Conversion

• CATEGORIES: Bantam-FordGP-WillysMA-EarlyJPs

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Seth just finished his winter project: a VW diesel conversion on his CJ-3A. Last November he bought a 1949 CJ-3A, but didn’t discover it had a bad block until he pulled the engine apart. So he decided to install a VW engine, while keeping everything else as close to original as he could; it still has the t-90, Spicer-18, Saturn overdrive, Dana 25/41 (lockrite F/R). As a result, the new engine produces 110hp/190ft and he is averaging 38 miles per gallon!

I asked Seth a few questions. Here are his answers:

1) What gave you the idea to us that engine?
I’ve always been a fan of diesel swapped jeeps. My CJ-5 has a Mercedes diesel in it. When I started rebuilding the CJ-3A I realized the l-head would need some work. So, I thought rather than spend money on that, why not put a TDI in it? The engine was already sitting under the work bench as a spare for my daily driver (TDI jetta wagon). I have a small lathe & mill in my basement. It took endless nights making chips and taking measurements. But it’s in and it works!

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2) Did you run into any unexpected issues?
I ran into many issues. Some were expected, others were a total surprise. My biggest challenge is that this was not a previously documented swap. So, I was on my own. Honestly there were a few times I almost threw in the towel. The biggest issue was just physically fitting the engine in the jeep. My goal was to keep the jeep as untouched as possible. that meant leaving the drive train in the stock location. I wanted all original driveshafts, cross member and trans cover, etc.

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1941 Ford GP Boise, ID $16,000

• CATEGORIES: Bantam-FordGP-WillysMA-EarlyJPs

Josh is selling this Ford GP. Contact him through the G503 page on Facebook. Or, email me at d@ewillys.com and I will share his email address. For those looking for GPW/MB parts, at the end of this post Josh notes that he’s willing to sell groups of parts:

“I should also mention if you want to make it a full load, I have a very large number of GPW mb parts (windshields, fenders, gas tanks, transmissions.transfers, tandem tow bar and many little pieces about 6 large totes full.) As well as a few WW2 trailers that I could put into a larger package deal. I don’t currently have time to sell these things individually.”

https://www.facebook.com/groups/1252147641540519/

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“For sale: 1941 Ford GP #9714 dod 5/2/1941 first series project. The GP has all three data plates and the frame and tub #’s match. Engine is also first series GP #8966 but not matching.

The good:
Original data plates in good readable condition.
original pintle hook
Original solid wheels x2
Original spare tire carrier
original front seats (slightly altered)
original voltage regulator
brown coil
original radiator
original scalloped axles
original Knee shocks x4
original windshield frame, inner, and clamps.
original transmission hump (cut but not missing material)
Frame is very good condition
original transmission/ transfer. transmission is free, transfer case levers are not.
I believe to be an original jack is present.
3 partial 0-100 instrument clusters.
GP engine turns and looks good inside.
most major and minor body components are present and dash is intact nice fenders
reproduction front brake line
Rolls and steers very easy.
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