One of the most likely origins of the word ‘jeep' was from the Popeye cartoon series. Eugene the Jeep was his "jungle pet", small and able to solve impossible problems. At the time, as war raged in Europe, the earliest Jeeps formed a lasting impression on the American soldier which helped the adoption of the term Jeep. Even more impressive was the time taken from concept to production of a design that has stood the test of time and become an unlikely motoring icon. From tenders being sent out to a production run took less than two hundred days. The cast was set for a deciding factor which influenced the outcome over the next five years. This was Americas' ability to produce in vast numbers well designed hardware for the war effort.
As the war progressed Willys produced over 300,000 Jeeps. Ford were drafted in to boost production and contributed over 250,000 units. Ford Jeeps were recognisable by their pressed steel grilles as opposed to the Willys slat grille style.
Considering how the Jeep was conceived and its role in warfare it is remarkable that some of the finest classic car collections will always include a Willys or Ford WWII Jeep making the restored example offered here a candidate for serious consideration should one of these yardstick cars so far elude you.
Manufactured in 1944 it is more than likely that this Willys saw action in the Second World War, regrettably, this cataloguer has been unable to track the history to a particular regiment or battalion. Perhaps piecing together the history over the course of one's ownership is precisely the reason we all hold such a soft-spot for a Willys?
The subject of a sympathetic yet thorough restoration which includes the accompanying and charming trailer unit we're pleased to offer this car from a significant Belgian collection. This capable Willys runs and drives without fault transitioning progressively through the gears and stopping accurately in a straight line. The perfect steed for your annual trip to the Goodwood Revival where Willys Jeeps enjoy generous access to the weekend's racing the time has never been better to secure your own piece of 1940's motoring history.