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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1943 Photo of Aircraft Carrier Jeep Pulling Plane on eBay

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

Great press photo!

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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”

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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”

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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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1941 Photo of Ford GP at Camp Hunter Ligget, CA

This June 9, 1941, article from the Spokane Daily Chronicle notes the Ford GP belongs to a Fort Lewis unit visiting California for maneuvers.

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Chinatown Approves Aviation Drive in a Bantam BRC-40

This April 14, 1941, article in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette shared an article about “American-China” support of the army’s new Blitz Buggy, a Bantam BRC-40.

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1941 Photo of Ford GP? on eBay

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

Photo shows the ‘Blitz Battalion” at work.

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1941 Photo of Bantam BRC-60 on eBay

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

Good front-end shot of a BRC-60

“1941- Troops at Fort Benning in Bantam prototype pre-Willys jeep armed with 30 caliber and 50 caliber machine guns.”

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1941 Photo of Bantam BRC-60 on eBay

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

The mule is pulling the stuck Bantam “midget tractor” out of the mud.

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1948 CJ-2A Davidson, NC **SOLD**

• CATEGORIES: Bantam-FordGP-WillysMA-EarlyJPs, CJ-2A

UPDATE: **SOLD** Was $6800

(08/14/2014) Runs and drives.

Willys Jeep CJ-2A 1948 Restored Runs,drives, and rides great, New paint inside and out. Front disk breaks, Has locker in front in for better traction in 4WD, Lots and Lots of new parts. Needs nothing. No rust, has lock out hubs, Great condition. Head turner. Has all orig. drive train and body. $6800.”

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Color Photos from World War II

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

Both Paul and Ted spotted this color Willys MA photo. It’s part of a collection of photos. You can see them below.

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Photo of Bantam BRC-40 w/ Eddie Cantor on eBay

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

Great photo!

“1941- Because he was the first person to buy a defense savings bond at Treasury House in Rockefeller Plaza, actor Eddie Cantor was taken for a ride in an Army jeep. Shown here on the steps of the Bowery Savings Bank on 42nd Street.”

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1941 Bantam BRC-40 In Stream on eBay

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

The tread on the spare tire is just great.

“For auction is an 7 x9 inch original US press photo of a BRC (Bantam Recon. Car). It was issued to the press on 3/19/1941 to publicize the development of the Bantam military car.”

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Photo of Bantam BRC-60 & 37mm Gun on eBay

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

Great press photo.

“1942- Soldiers in a Bantam BRC-40 Jeep towing a 37mm anti-aircraft gun go airborne as they top a hill at high speed.”

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1941 Photo of Pvt. Miller in a Willys MA on eBay

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

Here’s a rare photo of a Willys MA.

“WWII PHOTO 1941 Pvt. Lawrence Miller in a MA Jeep @ Fort Benning, GA. This is a nice sharp original 2″ x 3″ photo in excellent condition.”

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Postcard of Ford GP at Fort Benning

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

Good shot of a Ford GP at Fort Benning.

“WWII POST CARD= FORD GP JEEP & 37M.M. GUN FT. BENNING, GA. The condition is excellent and measures 3.5 x 5.5”

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Old Photo of Bantam BRC-40 on eBay

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

“WWII PHOTO Bantam BRC-40 Jeep w/GI. This is a nice sharp original 3.5″ x 2.5″ photo in excellent condition. ——I have other photos listed and will combine shipping. If you are the winning bidder on 2 or more photos wait for the invoice.”

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1941 Photo of Bantam at DC Steps on eBay

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

But did they really need to put dealer plates on these experimental jeeps?

“A Vintage1941 Original Photo depicting a Giant Jeep carrying politicians in Washington D.C. The vehicle was made by the makers of the U.S. Army’s newest midget to promote their new vehicle to the suits in Washington. The small four-wheel drive utility vehicles would become an icon of World War II. Original press stamp and caption with a MAY 25 1941 stamp date are on the verso.”

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