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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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

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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.”

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Here’s another version without the lettering:

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

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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”

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

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

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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.”

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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:

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And BRC-40s:

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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.

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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.”

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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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Tate’s “New” Ford GP

• CATEGORIES: Bantam-FordGP-WillysMA-EarlyJPs, Features
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Tate and I behind his Ford GP. On the right of the pic is his Willys MB.

Ann and I are In Salt Lake City through Saturday morning, then we’ll be heading down to Moab for our Sunday trip on the White Rim Trail.

On Thursday in Salt Lake we met up with Tate, a young man who now owns a Ford GP to go along with his Willys MB. He recently bought it out of Wyoming.

The former owner had been inundated with offers after listing it for sale (no surprise there). He’d owned it for fifty years and wanted it to go to someone who would treasure it for another fifty years. Tate assured him he was the guy, so the owner sold it to him. Given Tate’s passion for jeeps and learning, I have no doubt the owner made a good decision. (By the way, Tate’s looking for a windshield .. if anyone knows of one, feel free to email me at d@ewillys.com and I’ll forward the info to him).

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After we spent some time checking out his GP, we took it for a drive. Then, unexpectedly, Tate asked if I wanted to drive it some. Let’s just say he didn’t have to ask twice! There’s a video on Facebook of me returning in the driver’s seat. Continue reading

 
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1941 Ford GP Cheyenne, WY **SOLD**

• CATEGORIES: Bantam-FordGP-WillysMA-EarlyJPs

UPDATE: **SOLD**

It’s powered by a Ford 9N Tractor engine.

“Rare Military Classic Vehicle.Matching #s tub and frame,i do have the motorpool replacement motor.At present time it is powered by a freshly rebuilt Ford 9N tractor motor.Front and rear diff have been completely gone through.All new brakes/hardware/lines/master cyl.Still needs to be finished.Steering box has been rebuilt.$15,000 or best offer.May be interested in a trade of whatever.No motorcycles or boats”

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1942 Photo of Ford GP in London

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

UPDATE: 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”.

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The Caissons Go Rolling Along

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

Carl pointed out that the 1944 sheet music for “The Caissons Go Rolling Along” sheet music included a jeep on the cover (#1 below). After some searching on eBay, some other popped up. I bought the bottom one that features the Ford GP and Willys MA.

  1. Music with jeep pulling artillery and planes on the cover on eBay:
    1944-the-caissons-go-rolling-along1
  2. Cover with jeep pulling artillery shown from behind on eBay:
    1944-the-caissons-go-rolling-along2
  3. Two jeeps pulling artillery and planes on eBay:
    1944-the-caissons-go-rolling-along3
  4. The music I bought:
    1944-the-caissons-go-rolling-along4
 
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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.

1942-08-15-sat-evening-post-heres-where-your-rubber-is-going-pg49-rubber-company-ad-fordgp 1942-08-15-sat-evening-post-heres-where-your-rubber-is-going-pg48-49-rubber-company-ad

 
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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.”

year-mallory-fordgp-ad

 
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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

1941-fordgp-tucson-az

“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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