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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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.

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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.

 

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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

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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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1941 Photo of Ford GP at Fort Custer on eBay

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

Press photo of Ford GP.

“1941- Army engineers at Fort Custer test footbridge by driving Ford GP jeep across it.”

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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”

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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. ”

http://chico.craigslist.org/cto/5184386895.html

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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 🙂

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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

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1942 Photo with Bantam BRC-60 at Cleveland Stadium on eBay

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

Cool photo.

“1942 Press Photo U.S. Army on Peeps and Anti Tank Guns.”

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1941 Photo of Bantam BRC-60s on eBay

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

This is a great photo showing a line of Bantam BRC-60s.

“WWII Line of Bantam Prototype Pre-Willys Jeeps at Fort Benning Orig Press Photo”

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Bantam BRC-40 @ the Pennsylvania Military Museum

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

Don visited the Pennsylvania Military Museum a couple days ago and discovered it houses a Bantam BRC-40. Had I known this we would have made an effort to get there during our trip in 2013. Thanks to Don for taking some photos for us!

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The Pennsylvania Military Museum is located on Business 322 in Boalsburg; three miles east of State College.  It is one of 26 historic sites and museums on the Pennsylvania Trail of History, administered by the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission (PHMC).

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Motor Trend Visits a Collector with Jeeps

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

This 2014 video by Motor Trend includes a visit to a private collector in Marin County, California, who owns a Bantan BRC-40, a Ford GPA Seep, other jeeps, and other military equipment.

 
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Laurel & Hardy in Great Guns

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

UPDATE: I located a full video clip of the ‘jeep’. Mark discovered via Hemmings that this was a plywood prop built on a Ford chassis for the Laurel & Hardy movie Great Guns. It’s reported the prop still exists in a private collection.

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1942 Junior Scholastic Ford GP

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

UPDATE: **SOLD** Was on eBay

This May 1942 Junior Scholastic magazine had a Ford GP on the cover.

“Junior Scholastic magazine for school kids. Week of April 27-May 2 1942 issue.
16 pages. A little larger than 8 inches x 11 inches.
World War II era article about the modern mechanized cavalry charging into battle on motorized vehicles, motorcycles (like the Harley-Davidson WLA), and even horses still.

Complete. Clean pages. No water damage. No creases. Normal amount of age-browning to the paper. Considering the newspaper-quality wartime paper used, this magazine is in remarkably nice condition after 70 plus years. There’s some minimal red marking here and there. The delicate folded, stapled-binding has a small amount of separation along the top and bottom edges, but is holding together well.”

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Quick Trip Down to Utah

• CATEGORIES: Bantam-FordGP-WillysMA-EarlyJPs, Features
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It’s not quite ready to drive yet, but I can pretend to drive this former four-wheel-steer Bantam. Someday I will drive a running one!

On Monday we drove down to Boise where we met up with Josh to see his prized four-wheel-steer Bantam BRC-40, which appears to have been converted to two-wheel-steer by the military. According to Josh, the four wheel-steer-jeeps were horrendous to drive, so they weren’t used that way for long. He’s in the process of gathering the parts he needs to do a full restoration on it.

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Two interesting tidbits about the four wheel steer Bantams. In the first photo, the inner sides of the wheel wells were beaten with hammers to accommodate the four-wheel-steer mechanisms.2015-02-25-josh18

One way to identify a four-wheel-steer is by shocks mounted inside and in back of the springs like the ones shown below.2015-02-25-josh119

Josh has a few other jeeps around as well. I got so busy talking with him that I forgot to photograph the others. Meanwhile, my photographer got chilly, so she returned to the jeep. Zollie accompanied us on our trip, so Ann posed him in front of this jeep.

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After spending Monday night in Boise, we drove down to Salt Lake on Tuesday. We picked up the boys and went to eat some delicious food at the Mahider Ethiopian restaurant. Below is the huge plate of food we ordered. To eat, you tear some of the spongy, fermented bread called Injera from the edges of the plate and scoop up food with it.

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2015-02-25-ethiopian-food3On Wednesday we went to Kimball Junction to see the Topeka Hiway Mower for sale here. After that we returned to Salt Lake City and took Colter to a movie (Karson was busy with college). Unfortunately, by Wednesday afternoon snow was predicted on the Blue Mountains in Oregon, so we decided to head back Thursday night.

It was a short visit to Utah, but a good one.

 

 
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1941 Photo of Ford GP on ebay

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

Nice shot of the Ford GP from in front.

“WWII Engineers Test Bridge in Ford GP Jeep at Fort Custer Original Press Photo”

View all the information on eBay

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1940 Photo of Ford Pygmy on eBay

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

That’s a great early photo!

“WWII Ford Pygmy Pilot Vehicle during Test at Camp Holabird Jeep Orig Press Photo”

View all the information on eBay

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Bantam History Update at Hemmings

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

Marc pointed out this history update over at Hemmings.

http://blog.hemmings.com/index.php/2015/02/13/beyond-probst-more-on-the-early-history-of-the-bantam-reconnaissance-car/?refer=news

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