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 Photo of Jumping BRC-60 on eBay

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

Speaking of Bantams ….

“1941 Press Photo Jeep Jumping at Fort Augusta, Georgia. This is an original vintage press photo. Jeep jumping at Fort Augusta, Georgia. Photo measures 7.75 x 5.75 inches. Photo is dated 01-24-1941.”

View all the information on eBay



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Photo of 3 Willys MAs

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

This photo appeared on the G503 Facebook page. It’s rare photo of 3 MAs next to each other.


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1941 Photo of Ford GP in Leesville, LA on eBay

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

A good shot of a Ford GP.

“1941- Ford GP jeep leads motorcycle troops of the 66th Regiment of the 2nd Armored Division over a road constructed beside a bridge that was “destroyed” by Red forces during maneuvers north of Leesville.”

View all the information on eBay



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1942 Photo of Bantam BRC-40 on eBay

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

UPDATE: Another version of this sand dune photo is available on eBay. Another was sold in 2014 (see end of post).

“1942 Press Photo West Point Military Academy Jeep Jockeys in Army Maneuvers. This is an original press photo. Photo measures 9 x 7.25inches. Photo is dated 07-31-1942.”

View all the information on eBay

1942-07-31-bantambrc40-jeep-jockeys1 1942-07-31-bantambrc40-jeep-jockeys2

Here’s a similar press photo that was sold in 2014.

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1941 Photo of Ford GP on eBay

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

Even though Willys had won the contract, you can see they were still running the Ford GPs through their paces.

appx size :7 1/2″ x 9 1/2”

View all the information on eBay

1941-11-02-ford-gp1 1941-11-02-ford-gp2

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1940 Bantam BRC Photo eBay

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

This is a great press release photo taken a little more than a week after the Bantam arrived at Holabird for testing. Thanks to Steve for finding it.

One thing I noticed about the photo. See how the dirt from behind the front fender was thrown onto the side of the jeep. I’m wondering if the thing we’ve called the step on the sides was actually not a step at all, but specifically designed as a mud flat to stop that from happening. I just never thought about it in those terms before (maybe I’m just behind the curve on that??).

“1940- Bantam prototype #1 during testing at Camp Holabird Quartermaster Depot.”

View all the information on eBay

1940-10-03-bantam-brc1-holabird1 1940-10-03-bantam-brc1-holabird2


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WANTED: Ford GP Fuel Pump

• CATEGORIES: Bantam-FordGP-WillysMA-EarlyJPs

Josh had a shipping company destroy a Ford GP fuel pump, so he’s looking for another. He will pay up to $1,000 for AN ORIGINAL or NOS pump. Josh also deals in prototype parts, so if you have any you’d like to sell, contact him. He can be reached at


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Set of 1941 Ford GP Manuals on eBay

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

This is pretty neat set of books. The price is already at $810 with 8 days to go!

“This auction lot consists of one original very, very scarce book called SERVICE SCHOOL FOR U.S. ARMY INSTRUCTORS ON Ford U.S. ARMY VEHICLES 1941 as published by Ford Motor Company of Dearborn, Michigan for instruction schools conducted at the Ford Rouge Plant in Detroit and Ford Traveling Schools conducted on American Army Bases.”

View all the information on eBay



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1943 Press Photo of Ford GP in China

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

Just a few updates tonight. I got this tele-pic press photo off of eBay for next to nothing.



This was printed on the back of the photograph

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1942 Postcard of early Jeep Pulling Cart on eBay

I imagine the only thing that would have made this better for soldiers is if women had been serving the ice cream!

View all the information on eBay



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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

2-bantams-willys-ma-photo1 1941-12-12-santa-claus-willys-ma2

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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