When E.C. Seagar created his famous cartoon character "Popeye" in 1936, and surrounded him with a cast of characters, one of whom was called "Eugene the Jeep", he could never have imagined that the term "Jeep" would be in common use, world wide, some eight decades later. Eugene the Jeep was Popeye's "jungle pet" and was "small, able to move between dimensions and could solve seemingly impossible problems", characteristics shared by the General Purpose (GP) vehicle issued to American combat soldiers fighting on the front lines in war-torn Europe. Having been brought up on a diet of Popeye cartoons, it was not surprising that this tough little vehicle, which would frequently get them out of some real "scrapes", became affectionately know as a Jeep.
Impressively the time taken from conception and tenders being sent out, to the production lines starting to roll, was less than two hundred days, amazing for a vehicle that has stood the test of time and become an unlikely motoring icon. This ability to get things done quickly and well, was the deciding factor in America being asked to produce military hardware in vast numbers and build hundreds of ships, arguably influencing the outcome of the Second World War.
As the war progressed Willys-Overland produced over 300,000 Jeeps and the Ford Motor Co. was drafted in to help boost production and contributed over 250,000 units. Ford manufactured Jeeps were recognizable by their pressed steel grilles as opposed to the Willys' slat grille style. Considering the manner in which the Jeep was conceived and its role in warfare, it's remarkable that most of the finest classic car collections will include a Willys or Ford WWII Jeep, making the restored example offered here a candidate for serious consideration.
This beautiful Jeep was built on 21st October 1942 and imported into the UK last year, having been fastidiously restored over a two-year period by the last owner. This piece of military history is supplied with numerous pictures of the restoration, a UK V5C registration document and previous registration paperwork.
Nearly every nut and bolt received attention and the detail is fantastic, even down to the period tools and jerrycan attached to the vehicle.
Every rural car show in the country now has a section for Military Vehicles, and with WW2 re-enactments and the prestigious classic car meetings such as Goodwood all clamouring for 1940's Jeeps, this stunningly well-restored example will be sure to keep you busy all summer.