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:

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1941 Article About Ford’s “Pygmy” Production

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

This article was published in the February 28, 1941, issue of the Milwaukee Journal. Seemed like a good companion piece to the photo above.



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More Pics from Charles

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

Date & Location unknown


italy 1944-5TH army


polish army in italy


verona -italy 91th recon troop-bumper markes 5A 91R


Ardennes 1944

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2016 Jeep Parade in Plzen, Czech Republic

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

Joe found this video through the Willys am Tegernsee website of a parade in Plzen, Czech Republic. In case you missed it, there is a movement in the country to change the name to Czechia.

You can find others if you Google “youtube Convoy of Liberty Plzen” for 2016 and previous years.

At the 1:45 mark is this Willys MA:


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Bantam BRC Copy in Vietnam?

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

UPDATE: John pointed out that the early GAZ was modeled after the first Bantam. This may well be a restored early GAZ.

Roberto forwarded a link to a celebration in Vietnam that included jeeps. I was checking out the CJ-3Bs and M-606s when I spotted a jeep that looked curiously like a copy of the original Bantam BRC. It’s doesn’t seem to be a perfect copy, but still looks pretty neat. I’ve blown up the pics, so they are a little blurry.

Original post:

bantam-copy-vietnam1 bantam-copy-vietnam2


Original Bantam BRC from a similar angle.



Early GAZ



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1941 Photo of Bantam BRC-60 on eBay

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

Great view of a BRC-60.

“1941- Troops at Fort Benning in Bantam prototype pre-Willys jeep armed with 30 caliber and 50 caliber machine guns.
Photo measures approx. 7″ x 9″”

View all the information on eBay


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1942 Batman Comic w/ Bantam Alameda, CA $300 (Trade)

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

David spotted this comic cover with Batman driving a Bantam. Don’t see that everyday.

“Seeking quality trade-ins of similar caliber. Valued at $300 for TRADING purposes.”


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1945 In The Service of America – Ford Motor Company Book

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

Josh shared some photos of pages from this Ford Motor Company twenty-page book titled In The Service of America. The book contains photos of jeeps, seeps, and other contributions Ford made to the war effort. We believe the book was published in 1945.

1945-in-service-of-america-book1 1945-in-service-of-america-book2 1945-in-service-of-america-book3 1945-in-service-of-america-book4

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1944 Ad for Greyhound Lines

This 1944 Ad out of the Southeast Missourian featured “Jim” piloting what looks like a Ford GP.


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1943 Photo of a Willys MA

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

Tim shared this photo. He noted, “The photo was taken on Alderson Street, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, outside my mothers and my aunt’s home, with ROTC Cadets From Carnegie Tech (Now Carnegie Mellon). It was her first Jeep ride. My mother is the laughing blonde and the brunette is my aunt.”


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Ford GP Valentine Card **SOLD**

• CATEGORIES: Artists/Drawings, Bantam-FordGP-WillysMA-EarlyJPs, Features, Women & Jeeps • TAGS: .

UPDATE: Two of these sold in 2014. The last seller mentioned the eyes move back and forth with the jeep. This one sold for $14.50 on eBay.



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1944 Photo of Marion Isbell’s GP on eBay

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

UPDATE: Marion Isbell’s Ford GP was part of a photo shoot on his farm in Geneva Lake, Wisconsin. The top one is currently for sale on eBay. The rest were sold earlier. A little hard to believe all photos were taken on the same day, January 20, 1994.

1. For sale on eBay: View all the information on eBay

“You are bidding on an original press photo of Lake Geneva WI Man M Isbell Using WWII Jeep on His Farm. Photo has some slight waving left & right edges. If the listing shows thin red and/or green lines, they are the result of a bad scan & the lines are NOT on the actual scan. Photo measures 7 x 9 inches and is dated 1/20/1944.”

1944-01-20-chicago-ford-gp-1 1944-01-20-chicago-ford-gp-2

2. **SOLD** Was on eBay in Oct 2014.

Here’s a photo of a Ford GP pulling a manure spreader on Marion Isbell’s farm in Geneva Lake, Wisconsin. “1944 US Army Jeep Pulls Manure Spreader Alongside Horse & Wagon”




3. **SOLD** Was on eBay December of 2014.

“1944 Press Photo Former Army Jeep Used for Ice Harvesting Lake Geneva Wisconsin”



4. **SOLD** Was on eBay  in November 2014.

“You are bidding on an original press photo of Lake Geneva WI Farmer Using Vintage WWII Jeep For Work. Photo has waving due to too much glue being used to apply the information sheet onto the back of the photo Photo measures 7 x 9 inches and is dated 1/20/1944.”



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1941 Santa Claus in a Willys MA on eBay

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

I bet this is one of the earliest Santa-in-a-jeep photos.

“1941- Santa Clause uses jeep to bring presents to troops at the Quartermaster Replacement Center at Camp Lee, Virginia.”

View all the information on eBay

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More Ford Pygmy Articles

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

Several readers shared links to different Pygmy Articles published over the past couple of days. I guess it was a popular subject!

1. Autoweek
2. Detroit Free Press
3. Hemmings

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U. S. Veteran’s Museum in Huntsville, Alabama

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

UPDATE: Maury found the cool video of the Pygmy. Wyatt noted that the Ford GP was formerly Mayor Fred Heine’s jeep, one that he bought and used on his farm and famous as the first jeep sold to the public.

The U.S. Veteran’s Museum in Huntsville, Alabama, has a great collection of early jeeps. I found these photos on Trip Advisor.

From left to right, looks like the Ford Pygmy, a Ford GP, a Bantam BRC-40, a Willys MA, and an Willys MB Slat grille.

us-veterans-museum2 us-veterans-museum1 us-veterans-museum3 us-veterans-museum4


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Postcard Featuring Bantam BRC-40s on eBay

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

This postcard shows multiple Bantam BRC-40s at the Aberdeen Proving Grounds.

View all the information on eBay



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BRC75 Just Ended in League City, Texas

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

For those not on Facebook’s Austin Bantam Society’s page, you missed some great photos from BRC75, the seventieth anniversary of the original Bantam BRC. Bill Spear discusses the Bantam’s origins on this post. Both photos below were taken at one of the group’s event at the U.S. Veterans Memorial Museum.


brc75- bantams

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Photo of 1942 Bantam BRC-60 Camouflaged in White on eBay

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

Here’s an unusual photo of a Bantam BRC-60 dressed in white.

“1942- U.S. Army peep and other vehicles with all-white camouflage during experiments conducted at Fort Brady for combat in winter conditions.”

View all the information on eBay

1942-02-25-bantam-brc60-white-jeeps1 1942-02-25-bantam-brc60-white-jeeps0 1942-02-25-bantam-brc60-white-jeeps2

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1941 Article Showing Ford GP

• CATEGORIES: Bantam-FordGP-WillysMA-EarlyJPs

An April 7, 1941, article in the Spokane Daily Chronicle shared this Ford GP.


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Bantam BRC-40 Postcard on eBay

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

Here’s an unused postcard of a Bantam.

“Up for auction we have a vintage RPPC of a jeep. There is some edge wear due to age. This has not been used. The photo reads – “Jeep” 40th Div. Photo by “Lennie”. It is suspected to be from WW2, but we are unsure.”

View all the information on eBay


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Bantam BRC60 Postcard on eBay

Here’s a very BRC-60ish postcard on eBay.

View all the information on eBay



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1940 Photo of Bantam BRC “Gnat Tank” on eBay

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

I’ve seen it called a lot of things, but never “Gnat Tank” (see caption).

“WWII Bantam No. 1 Jeep Prototype Blitz Buggy Tested at Camp Holabird Press Photo”

View all the information on eBay



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1948 CJ-2A Chico, CA $2000

• CATEGORIES: Bantam-FordGP-WillysMA-EarlyJPs

It doesn’t run. Has a rear pto.

“1948 jeep willys cj2a. Does not run! Everything is there just needs to be gone through. Its a project but its complete. Motor turns over. Rolls and steers fine. Factory pto. Would like to see $2000 for it. Original pink in my hand. ”

1948-cj2a-chico-ca2 1948-cj2a-chico-ca4

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1940s Hallmark Card w/ Bantam-looking Jeep on ebay

Neat card, but crazy price!

“Vintage 1942 Hallmark Greeting Card. Oh so Patriotic!!! Little Boy and Girl in Jeep with fabric American flag. Card measures approx 4 1/2 x 4 1/2 inches. It is in Great Shape- Still attached to card stock from scrapbook.”

View all the information on eBay


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Don Visits the New Mexico Museum of Military History in Albuquerque

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

Don shared these photos of jeeps from his visit to the the New Mexico Museum of Military History Albuquerque, New Mexico (That is the Facebook page … it’s website doesn’t appear to be working). This place is only about a mile away from the jeep dealership that has the CJ-2A in it. Note the Ford GP! Don sent a selfie this time 🙂

2015-albuquerque-museum2 2015-albuquerque-museum6 2015-albuquerque-museum5 2015-albuquerque-museum7 Continue reading

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1943 Photo of Aircraft Carrier Jeep Pulling Plane on eBay

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

Great press photo!

View all the information on eBay