In early 1940, the United States Department of War had determined it needed a light, cross-country, four-wheel drive reconnaissance vehicle and was anxious to have one in time for, what may possibly turn out to be, America’s entry into World War II in Europe. The U.S. Army solicited proposals from domestic car manufacturers for a replacement for its existing, ageing, light motor vehicles, mainly motorcycles and sidecars, and some Ford Model Ts. Recognising the need to create standard specifications, the Army formalised its requirements on July 11, 1940, and submitted them to 135 U.S. automotive manufacturers.
It’s a matter of history that ultimately two manufacturers were successful, Willys with their MB (US quarter-ton Army truck) and later, Ford with their GPW (in production designated GP.)
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.
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 should one of these yardstick cars have, so far, eluded you, with these Jeep particularly popular at the Goodwood Revival and other motoring events.
This 1943 Willys MG Jeep was imported into the UK in 2016 and then enjoyed a thorough two-year restoration to the condition as presented today. Offered with a UK V5 document, this is a very nice example of possibly the most popular military vehicle you can collect.