Willys Overland Prototype 1940
Impressed but not sold the army claimed ownership of the design and passed the blueprints on to willys overland with a few requests for changes.
Willys overland prototype 1940. From 1940 to 1941 american bantam produced 2 676 pilot or its own brc models. Ford developed its model gp general purpose known as the pygmy which was powered by an adapted ford ferguson tractor. The design was based off the bantam brc created by karl probst and submitted to the army two months prior. Willys overland delivered the prototype quad named for the 4x4 system it featured to the u s.
The ford gpw and willys overland mb versions were nearly identical and parts could be interchanged between the products. Impressionné mais pas renversé l armée a revendiqué la conception du projet et en a transmis les plans à willys overland avec quelques demandes de modification. Willys overland vice president of engineering delmar g. The contract was for a new military vehicle that met a very strict set of requirements first it had to be four wheel drive and support of crew of three while sticking to an 80 inch wheelbase.
Meanwhile from 1940 to 1945 ford built 285 660 and willys overland built 362 894 ma mb pigmy gp and gpw gp willys models. In 1913 willys acquired a license to build charles knight s sleeve valve engine which it used in cars bearing the willys knight. In 1940 the willys overland motor company was in a battle with two other manufacturers the ford motor company and the american bantam company for a government contract that would be worth millions. Every legendary story has a beginning.
The jeep willys quad prototype represents both the beginning of the story and the birth of an icon. In 1908 john willys bought the overland automotive division of standard wheel company and in 1912 renamed it willys overland motor company. Only three companies responded bantam willys and ford but within a year s time they collectively produced the template for the vehicle known worldwide as the jeep. Each company delivered its prototype to the army in the summer of 1940 and received approval to build 70 sample vehicles.
The jeep willys quad was the original go anywhere do anything vehicle made to answer the call of the u s. Every icon starts somewhere. From 1912 to 1918 willys was the second largest producer of automobiles in the united states after ford motor company. Of the three hand built contenders to be tested the first prototype was supplied by american bantam and another by willys overland this is the only survivor.
The army wanted a brand. Roos designed the willys quad. Army on armistice day veteran s day november of 1940. The army claimed ownership of the initial design.
Approximately two months before this day in 1940 american bantam car company delivered a prototype of what would come to be known as the jeep to the us army.
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