A friend sent me this pic of a 58 Dodge he found. I am more interested in the Jeep in the
background. Did Ford use wood spoke wheels like this ? I have never seen Jeeps in photos
of pre-1900 military campaigns.
The wheels certainly stump me but otherwise it looks like a CJ-2 or a CJ-3a. I have difficulty telling the two apart. I've always liked both though.
i wonder how it pulled in 4wd, with those different sized wheels. musta incorporated a flux capacitor central differential interfacer.
Does anyone have Jeep photos from Custer's time ?
It looks like it has the headlights behind the grille which would make it a Ford or Willys GP from WWII.
I thought all Amish and Mennonite men took a stand as conscientious objectors due to their pacifist beliefs and found non-combat ways to serve the nation, but maybe at least one served as a driver in a motor pool?
Ignoring the moronic wheels the totally flat front fenders mark it as an early one possibly WWII as stated.
That's one of the very early GPWW (general purpose wooden wheel) versions. An over reaction to anticipated material shortages early in the war effort.
On a serious note, it's not widely known that Ford is responsible for the most iconic element of the Jeep design, the stamped and slotted grille. All of the pre production versions from Bantam, Willis, and Ford delivered to the army used grilles made from steel bar stock in a variety of designs.
After testing, the army settled on a final design for the Jeep which used elements of all 3, the most prominent component being the Willys engine. However, from the beginning, the Ford submissions all used a flat grille with the headlights integrated into the grille area rather than on stalks (similar to tractor headlights) on top of the fenders. The army wanted the Ford grille design to be used in the final version.
At that point Ford and Willys went to work on tooling up for regular production. During that interval Ford developed the now familiar stamped grille and used it from the outset of regular production. The army allowed for variations in parts so long as they were fully interchangeable between the Willys and Ford versions. Willys started regular production with a bar or "slat" grille but made the switch to the stamped Ford grille after the first 25,000 or so. The pic below is of one of those early Willys slat grilles I saw on my first trip to Hershey. The link is for the oldest jeep in existence, one of two submitted by Ford known as the Pygmy.
I hope you found this to be interesting.
The video in the link I posted above kinda skips over the reason for the hinges for the headlights. That allowed the headlights to be swiveled around to shine into the engine compartment for servicing at night.
I also forgot to mention that the original Ford stamped grille had 9 slots. Towards the end of the war Willys applied for a trademark for the stamped grille design but changed it to 7 slots so as to avoid a conflict with Ford.
Yard Art would describe the Yellow Jeep. Funny, mine is the same color....
Dad was an Army trained mechanic, drafted into WWII. I doubt he ever saw a stamped grille Willys. He told me that the difference between Ford and Willys Jeeps, was that the Willys had "An iron grille". He also told me that he never saw a US Army vehicle with more than 5000 miles on it.
Your link may be about the oldest Ford made Jeep but the original Jeep was developed by the Bantam Car company in Butler PA, my old home town.
Butler started to hold a 3 day celebration every year called the "Jeep Festival" and host over 1,200 Jeeps that come from just about every state and several foreign countries. If any of you guys are in to Jeeps you may want to look up their festival website. I don't own a Jeep and I haven't attended the event but folks from my home town tell me it is something else to see.
By the way the Jeep in the above picture looks like just the body of a Jeep sitting on a flat bed wagon
I didn't mean to suggest the Ford Pygmy was the first Jeep ever made. And the video does state that there were earlier "pilot" (pre-production) models from Bantam and Willys. For whatever reason none of those survived which means the Ford is the oldest extant.
The whole point of my post and my inclusion of the link to the video was to highlight the historical fact that Ford is responsible for the "face" of the Jeep. That video shows a lot of historical footage of all of the pilot models, Bantam included. Except for the Bantam BRC40 which was their second generation of pilot models, none but the Fords have a flat grille with the headlights mounted behind the grille. When the army settled on a final design they had the luxury of picking and choosing features from the various pilot versions and the Ford grille design with the pivoting headlights was chosen.
I'm reluctant to challenge the recollections of someone's father but I'm quite certain I've read somewhere that Willys switched over to the stamped grille after producing around 25,000 with the grille pictured above. I've looked at quite a few Willys MB's (not CJ's) over the years and all had stamped grilles. That's why I took such an interest in the one in the picture above. Until I stumbled across it at Hershey I had never seen so much as a picture of one.
Sorry Gary I misunderstood your post.
Yes, due to interchangability mandates from the military, the grills, and all other parts were identical. Some slight design changes from Ford to Willys such as the rear tool box lids, with Willys being flate and Ford have a stamped ovel on the lid, but each would fit perfectily on either tub.
The first contract jeeps were stamped on the rear panel with the Willys block letters or the Ford script, so the first contract jeeps are known as Ford scripts or slat grill jeeps if they were willys.
I have an April 42 GPW Ford Script jeep in the motor pool and am creating a 1915 WWI machine gun Model T carrier. So I will have a Ford from each World War.
Henry, being Henry, still wanted to differentiate the GPW from the Willys, so EVERY part on the GPW is stamped with a script F on it. Every bolt head, every transmission gear, body panel, handle, etc. Makes it interesting and expensive to restore a GPW vs. a Willys.
Of the approx. 620,000 jeeps made during the war, Willys made 340k and Ford assembled 280k but most people associate the WWII jeep with Willys.
For all their hard work, Bantam got to make trailers. In all my restoration research, I never heard or saw a reference to a wood spoke wheel on a WWII jeep.
So, you got me curious. I went out and stepped them off. The approx. wheelbase on my T is 8 ft. from hub to hub and the same on the GPW is only a little over 6 vt.
So I don't think this is just a geep body dropped on a Model T chassis.
Maybe just folk art. We in the jeep hobby bad mouth "Bubba" for what he did to the surplus jeeps down on the farm and ranch. But, like the Doodlebugs and Speeedsters in the T hobby, if it weren't for them, they'd all be scrap metal and we wouldn't have them to use as projects.
I think the reason most people associate Willys with the Jeep rather than Ford is that Willys continued to build them in the post-war era, and it was nearly 20 years later before Ford got into that market!
To bad Ford didn't continue building the Amphibious "Seep" after the war as their "Bronco".
Also, a good way to tell a Ford from a Willys is the front cross member: Fords are a piece of "U" shaped channel, a Willys will be either round or square tubing.
Not that it matters but I would be more interested in the 58 Dodge. I was always intrigued in the 57-58 Dodges and Plymouths.
That pic makes me think of the 58 Dodge that I could have bought for nearly nothing in the late 60's. It was a 2dr Hardtop with a Hemi. Its one of the one's I let get a way. Good shape but the battery was dead on it. Oh well!
The photo reminds me of the in-laws family farm that the rear 40 acres turned into the family bone yard. Walked through it a few time when I was younger and about 40 vehicles from the 30's to the 80's. A bunch of old Dodges, Plymouths and Chryslers.
When the brother passed away, the family just auctioned off the assets and the vehicles were sold one at a time. Some of the more rusted out vehicles sold for surprising money and I questioned a buyer after the auction why that was. and he said, "did you look at the motors?" I said, no as one engine was the same as another to me. Turned out they were Hemi motors and worth quite a bit.
I ended up with a 52 Studebaker bullet nose that is still sitting in the barn, calling out to me. I'm not listening.
If you are interested. William Spear just released a book "WARBABY" The True Story of the Original Jeep.
Thanks Sam. If you click on the link you provided and then click on the sub heading "Content" it shows the original designers standing by the Jeep at the Bantam Car Co. I know this will be hard to believe but the Bantam Car Company factory as well as the Pullman Railroad car manufacturing plant in Butler were both demolished for a shopping mall. I remember walking past it as a young fellow.
They did put up a historical marker!
As the cover of Mr. Spear's book shows, the major problem with the Bantam design was you couldn't lay a "Where-the-hell-are-we?" map full flat out on its tiny rounded hood!
I think its a trend!https://www.pinterest.com/pin/293296994454372177/
Dale, regarding Mennonite men and service, while many are and were conscientious objectors, the only man to die in combat during WWII from our little town was Mennonite. I had a thread about him up a few days ago. Just pointing out the fact all Mennonites weren't CO's.
(Message edited by Rob on January 09, 2017)
I stand corrected.