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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Learn(ing) About Blitz Buggies

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

This post began as a single newspaper photo and caption titled “Learn About Blitz Buggies”  that Mario posted to Facebook. Just before I readied the post, I figured I’d see if there was a better quality version of the photo he posted.

To my surprise, when I searched for “About Blitz Buggies”, the results returned numerous seemingly press release photos over the summer and fall of 1941. No credit for the photos are provided. Given the titles are mostly identical and all showed various soldiers “working” (but probably posing) in front  Ford GPs, I can’t help but wonder if this was a subtle campaign by Ford Motors to encourage the adoption of the Ford GP “Blitz Buggy” by the military.

So, here are some random newspaper photos from 1941 (there are many more during 1941).

June 26, 1941, Manhattan Mercury out of Kansas:

1941-06-26-manhattan-mercury-ks-learning-about-blitz-buggies-fordgp-lores

June 17, 1941, Montgomery Advertiser out of Alabama (looks to me like the same person as above, yet the caption shows a different name):

1941-06-27-montgomery-advertiser-learning-about-blitz-buggies-fordgp-loresJuly 13, 1941, Akron Beacon out of Ohio:
1941-07-13-akron-beacon-learn-about-blitz-buggies-lores

August 16, 1941, Star Gazette out of Elmira, New York:

1941-08-16-star-gazette-learning-about-blitz-buggies-fordgp-lores

August 24, 1941, Austin American out of Texas (that Ford logo looks a little too obvious):

1941-08-24-austin-american-tx-learning-about-blitz-buggies-fordgp-lores

Continue reading

 
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September 1941 Article on Loosing The Army Contract

This September 28th, 1941, article covered the ‘cold shoulder’ given to American Bantam by War Department.

1941-09-28-pittsburgh-sun-telegraph-blitz-buggy-output-curbed-lores

 

 
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Bantam BRC-40 Photo

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

This photo of a Bantam BRC-40 advertising for the Butler County, Pennsylvania, war chest is undated. It was posted to Facebook by the Butlers Standard Eight, a group the preserves early vehicle related information pertaining to Butler County.

https://www.facebook.com/ButlersStandardEight/photos/a.235857016453226/3119845178054381/?type=3&theater

bantam-brc-photo-butler-county

 
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January 1942 Article From Scientific American “Meet the Jeep”

UPDATE: Don makes some good points in his comment below as to why there might not be any MBs pictured.

The January 1942 issue of Scientific American included an article titled “Meet the Jeep”, one I’ve been waiting about 7 years to snag. For some reason, though MBs were already being produced, no images of the MB were included. Instead, the first image shows a Ford GP. The second photo shows a Bantam BRC-40 T2E1.

1942-01-sceintific-american-meet-the-jeep1-lores 1942-01-sceintific-american-meet-the-jeep2-lores 1942-01-sceintific-american-meet-the-jeep3-lores 1942-01-sceintific-american-meet-the-jeep4-lores

 
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WWII Jeep Gets an Honorable Discharge

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

UPDATE: Steve spotted a second version of this on Youtube (same video, but different URL address). I first posted the video below in 2015. It’s worth a second look.

This video is called “WWII Jeep Gets an Honorable Discharge” and shows Mayor Fred Heine’s Ford GP. The video shows the jeep working on the farm. Lots of great shots. Wyatt’s father was the first person to work on it when Fred Heine couldn’t get it started. The jeep is now at the U.S.Veterans Memorial Museum in Huntsville Alabama, which was featured last week.

 
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1941 Ford GP Lebanon Junction, KY **SOLD**

• CATEGORIES: Bantam-FordGP-WillysMA-EarlyJPs

UPDATE: **SOLD** Was Make Offer. Seller had an offer for $15k, according to the ad.

“I have a 41 ford gp for sale or trade. Feel free to make offer I currently have a 15k offer feel free to offer anything you might think I’d want.”

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1941-fordgp-ky6 1941-fordgp-ky7 1941-fordgp-ky8

 
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1941 BRC-40 Columbiana, OH $115,000

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

Another nice Bantam BRC-40 for sale.

http://www.nsjp.biz/bantam-prototype-jeep-for-sale.html

“100% Fully Restored and One of a kind!
This is from our private collection.
This Restoration is Beautiful, it is certainly Show or Museum Quality.
We spared no expense on the details.
This vehicle is 100% fully operational & complete.
Vehicle is located in Columbiana OH, Zipcode 44408.”

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1941 BRC-40 Bantam Gering, NE $110,000

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

UPDATE: I wasn’t sure on the price for this, but it seems this is the asking price for a nicely restored BRC-40 these days. More pics here: https://ibb.co/album/b7Nv1F

http://www.warjeeps.com/mjs/sale20/adm034/adm034.html

“This is a completely restored Bantam BRC witch is show quality. Original correct in every part. May be nicest one in existence Please send me an email for link to picture page or follow link below.

Will consider trades, offers, or just negotiate price.”

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1949 CJ-3A Eagle, ID $5500

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

UPDATE: Price dropped to $5500.

(11/07/2019) This looks in good shape. The Koenig hardtop has a useful carrier on the top.

https://www.facebook.com/marketplace/item/726587544508549/

1949-cj3a-eagle-id0 1949-cj3a-eagle-id1 1949-cj3a-eagle-id2 1949-cj3a-eagle-id3 1949-cj3a-eagle-id4

“JUST DROPPED $1000 asking $5500 OBO 1949 Willys Jeep Fresh rebuilt 4 cylinder engine with about 5000 miles. Great hard top by Koenig Iron Works out of Houston TX. Square hardtop which gives the Willys a Range Rover defender look. Aftermarket heater, windshield wipers, etc. Locks up all around. Only vintage Jeep that you have to turn the heater down on. Ramsey 9000 wench. Spare tire can go on the top or the side. The paint and top have great weathered and worn look. Brake lights and turn signals have been raised in the back to view above gas cans. She’s old and slow, but she gets all the looks. .”

 
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America Travels Card w/ Prototype Jeep on ebay

If you collect prototype images and other things, the unusual card in the middle of the three below would be a cool find.

View all the information on eBay

“This is a set of 3 cut out and color cards from Nabisco Shredded Wheat on How America Travels. It includes an Army Jeep, Navy Battleship, and Navy Patrol Bomber. They are in good condition with some light stains. The cards are numbers 27, 33, and 36.”

how-america-travels-nabisco-shredded-wheat

 
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1942 Photo of a “Peep” Next to a “Jeep” on eBay

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

Nice front end shot of a Ford GP.

View all the information on eBay

“1942 Press Photo US soldier pictured with “jeep” and “peep” vehicles in Kentucky

This is an original press photo. Trucks – US – Fort Knox, Kentucky – The Armed Force hopes this picture will end the confusion between the “jeep” and “peep.” The tough little puddle-jumper on the right is affectionately known as the “peep” by men of the army’s Armored Force, while the large command car at the left is the original “jeep,” named after the Popeye comic strip characterPhoto measures 10 x 8.25inches. Photo is dated 01-11-1942.”

1942-01-11-ford-gp-peep-jeep-kentucky1

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1942 Photo in Panama with Ford GP on eBay

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

A Ford GP is leading the way through Panama …

View all the information on eBay

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1942-02-06-panama-road2

“1942 Press Photo Jeep parades over Panama roadway under construction. This is an original press photo.

Panama: Under the supervision of the United States Public Roads Administration fourteen hundred men are at work constructing a trans-Ishmanian highway which is scheduled for completion (with all weather paving) by the end of March 1942 if the work is not hampered by rain during the present “dry season.”

An Army motorcade of “peeps” and “jeeps” traversed the colon-madden Dam section of the road on February 2nd transporting Army, highway, civil officials and press correspondents. They made the round trip from the Pacific to the Atlantic and then back. Concrete paving for the road is being placed at the rate of one mile of single strip each day. Concrete is carried by barge up the tropical foliage line Rio Gatun to it’s intersection with the highway.

In some places bulldozers and other heavy equipment have to make 100-foot cuts through hog backed hills and also make fills in sheer-dropping, water torn ravines. Photo shows-part of the “jeep” parade over a section of road which has not as yet been laid with concrete. The road is entirely within the Republic of Panama. Photo measures 9 x 7.25 inches. Photo is dated 02-06-1942.”

 
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1941 Photo of a Ford GP in the Dirt

UPDATE: Joshua notes this is a Ford GP.

The photo was published in the June 12, 1941, issue of the Madera Tribune.

U. S. Army’s celebrated little “jeep” or “blitz buggy* technique, as shown here. Camouflage removed to into a hole under camouflage to provide new fightin ” which seems to go everywhere these days, now goes take picture, during maneuvers at California’s Ft. Ord. Captain William A. Dodds designed mount for .50-caliber gun.

1941-06-12-madera-tribune-jeep-gopher

 
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1941 Photo of Bantam BRC-40 in Longview, WA on eBay

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

Good photo of a Bantam BRC-40 laying in wait during some war games in Longview, Washington.

View all the information on eBay

“This is an original press photo. Trucks – United States. One of the army’s newest and most lethal weapon carriers is this tiny “jeep” or 1/4 ton truck, mounting a machine gun. Behind the gun is Private Earl Bever and at the wheel is Corporal Anton Stefanski, of the 32nd Infantry of Fort Ord’s 7th Division, now engaged with the defending/Blue forces in resisting the “Red” attack in southwestern Washington. Longview. Photo measures 10 x 8.25 inches. Photo is dated 8-21-1941.”

1964-08-14-longview-wa-bantam-brc40-1 1964-08-14-longview-wa-bantam-brc40-2

 
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Historic Registry For Vehicles?

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

There’s a proposal to create a national registry for unique or historically significant vehicles (and boats and planes) with documented stories. Importantly, such a registry would not keep the owners of such vehicles from being sold, driven or even modified. The Library of Congress would be the keeper of the documents, specs, photos, and other information.

If the national registry becomes a law, twenty-six vehicles already listed by the Historic Vehicle Association (HVA) would be the first vehicles added to the registry. Two of the vehicles are jeeps: The Ford Pygmy (currently at the U.S. Veteran’s Museum in Huntsville, Alabama) and Ronald Reagan’s 1962 CJ-6 (along with one of my personal favorites, the Tucker prototype).

 
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2 Year? 1941? Truth or Consequences, NM $800

• CATEGORIES: Bantam-FordGP-WillysMA-EarlyJPs, GPW (Ford MB), MB

Most likely not ’41s. No pics provided.

https://lascruces.craigslist.org/pts/d/williamsburg-two-1941-willys-jeeps/7009212962.html

“two 1941 willy’s jeeps. one has a lot of rust the other is fair. both have original engine and drivetrain. 800$ will consider reasonable offers.”

 
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1942 Photo of Ford GP in London on eBay

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

UPDATE: Still Available. The caption and date are slightly different between this current pic on eBay and its predecessor from 2013 (at bottom).

View all the information on eBay

“1942 Press Photo U.S. Army Soldiers ride down London street in Military Jeep. .This is an original press photo. Four American doughboys ride down a London street in a peculiarly American vehicle, one of Uncle Sammy’s jeeps. Note how they are overshadowed by the familiar London double-deck bus. U.S. Army in London Photo measures 6.25 x 9.5 inches. Photo is dated 03-15-1942.”

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This version of the photo was auctioned in 2013 on eBay. It has the date of March 13, 1942. The caption includes the verbiage, “A ‘Jeep’ comes to London Town”.

ford-gp-england

 

 
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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,

THE WILLYS OVERLAND
GO-DEVIL QUAD;
U. S. Army Mobile Machine Gun West;
Same Motor as WILLYS Americar

1941-willys-quad-steps

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:

1940_willys_quad_proto_2

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”
1941-02-14-willys-quad1

1941-02-14-willys-quad2

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

willys-quad-1941-testing-3-men

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”

1941-quad-us-capitol3

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

1940_willys_quad_proto_4

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

willys-quad-steps

Continue reading

 
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VIDEO: Ford Reconnissance Cars Join The Army

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

I’ve posted something similar to this video, but not this specific one (at least that I can find). This early 1941 film reel is narrated and shares the news that Ford’s Reconnissance Cars would be joining the Army. The video is located at the National Archives.

 
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Photo of Bantam BRC-40 Exiting the Water on eBay

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

It’s a good photo of a BRC-40.

View all the info on eBay

“1941 Press Photo Wartrace, Tenn. US Army jeep & Pvt NR McDougle of MPs. Photo measures 9 x 7 inches. Photo is dated 6-7-1941.”

1941-06-07-bantam-brc40-1

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1941 Ford GP Chassis Hendersonville, NC $5000

• CATEGORIES: Bantam-FordGP-WillysMA-EarlyJPs

No pics provided, so can’t verify it is a GP.

https://asheville.craigslist.org/pts/d/hendersonville-1941-military-jeep/6960125599.html

“1941 Ford GP Military Jeep rolling chassis, transfer case and body. No engine or transmission, title”

 
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BRC-40s and 60s from San Luis Obispo FB Page

• CATEGORIES: Bantam-FordGP-WillysMA-EarlyJPs

These photos apparently originated on the San Luis Obispo FB page (then landed on G503). Thanks to Roger Martin for spotting them.

Here are two photos with BRC-60s in them:

san-luis-obispo-fb-bantam-brc60 san-luis-obispo-fb-bantam-brc60s

And BRC-40s:

san-luis-obispo-fb-bantam-brc40-1 san-luis-obispo-fb-bantam-brc40-2

Continue reading

 
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1943 Ad for Wilsonite Sunglasses w/ Ford GP

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

This Wilsonite sun glasses ad included an illustrated Ford GP. It was published in the October 02, 1943, issue of the Saturday Evening Post.

1943-10-02-sat-evening-post-wilsonite-ad-fordgp-pg68

 

 
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1943 Bantam BRC-40 Postcard on eBay

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

UPDATE: Another of these postcards is now on eBay.

View all the information on eBay

“U. S. Army Signal Corps. Jeep Soldiers Out For Refreshments.”

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Original Post February 20, 2014:

“You are bidding on a vintage 1943 photo postcard of a Jeep, soldiers and a lady. The card reads, Photo by U S Army Signal Corps. The card is postmarked Camp Pickett, VA 1943. The card is in very good condition.”

1943-bantam-postcard1

Continue reading

 
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1955 CJ-3B Carmel Valley, CA $12,500

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

UPDATE: Price dropped to $12,500

https://monterey.craigslist.org/cto/d/carmel-valley-willys-jeep-1955-original/6881544878.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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