1944 Ford Jeep

Summary

  • Year of manufacture 
    1944
  • Chassis number 
    174394
  • Lot number 
    204
  • Drive 
    LHD
  • Condition 
    Used
  • Number of seats 
    2
  • Location
  • Exterior colour 
    Other
  • Drivetrain 
    2wd
  • Fuel type 
    Petrol

Description

1944 Ford Jeep 4x4 Light Utility
Registration no. 191 UXD
Chassis no. 174394

Although forever associated with Willys-Overland, the original Jeep military vehicle was developed by American Bantam, formerly American Austin. Designed to meet the US Army's requirement for a rugged, go-anywhere, four-wheel-drive vehicle capable of surviving on the barest minimum of unskilled maintenance, Bantam's prototype was up and running by 1940, meeting the Army's requirements apart from the engine, which was deemed insufficiently powerful. The Pentagon though, doubted Bantam's ability to meet the military's post-Pearl Harbour demands so the major contracts went to Willys - the only other firm that had submitted a tender - and the Ford Motor Company, which would be responsible for the Jeep's trademark slotted radiator grille. Willys made various modifications to take advantage of a revised maximum weight requirement, which meant it was able to use its relatively heavy but adequately powerful 'Go Devil' engine. It was in this revised form that the Jeep would enter volume production. Willys-Overland's final production version was the Model MB, Ford's being designated the Model GPW. There were subtle differences between the two versions, Ford's having its components marked with the letter 'F'.

After extensive field testing, the Jeep's off-road capability was first publicly demonstrated early in 1941 when one was driven up the steps of the United States Capitol by Willys's test driver, Irving 'Red' Haussman. Produced by the million, the ubiquitous Jeep saw service in every theatre of the Second World War and continued in military service with armies world-wide for several decades thereafter. Today the Jeep remains highly sought after by discerning military vehicle enthusiasts.

This Ford Jeep's restoration was commenced in France in 1990 and has continued in the UK since 2012. Works carried out have included renewing the clutch, starter motor, carburettor, and battery. Bills and photographs relating to the restoration are on file. Forming part of a private collection of military vehicles and other classics, which is being reduced in size, the Jeep has seen only light use, covering a very limited mileage. Offered with a V5C document, dating certificate, and American Auto Club International military vehicle identification sheet, this restored Ford Jeep would be ideal period transport for next year's Goodwood meetings.