|Bantam Car Company won the initial contract to provide a light motor vehicle. In 1941 the
Military wanted to standardize so one manufacturer was selected, Willys-Overland mostly
because of its “Go Devil” engine the troops raved about. The Willys Jeep had a
designation of MB, M (Military) B (second vehicle design). Eventually Willys couldn’t keep
up so Ford was contracted to produce an almost identical vehicle, the GPW. During
World War II there was a total of 647,870 Jeeps produced by three manufacturers; Willys-
Overland produced 362,841 of them. Approximately 51,000 were exported to the USSR.
In 1944 and 1945 the 82nd Airborne developed its own standardized armor kit for its recon
jeeps. They steel plates on the sides to protect the driver and the front passenger as well
as a steel windshield with a slot cut in it so the driver could peek out to see where he was
driving if he had to duck below the plates. They also added a sloping plate in front of the
grill to protect the radiator and engine. There were many official attempts to add armor to
the Jeep but the extra weight overloaded the vehicle.
Specifications for WWII Jeep
Manufacturer – Willys-Overland
Crew – 1 with up to 3 others
Weight (gross): 3,125 lb (1,417 kg)
Engine – Carburetor, liquid cooled, “Go Devil” 4 cylinder (Willys L-head), 60 hp @ 4.000
rpm, 134 cu. In. (2.200 cm3) displacement
Transmission – Warner T-84J / 3-speed synchro-mesh
Transfer case – Dana Spicer 18 / 2-speed
Gear shifter - floor mounted
Front axle - beam-leaf
Rear axle - beam-leaf
Front – drum
Rear - drum
Brakes – Hydraulic
Type – gasoline
Capacity – 15 US gallons (56.78 liters)
Range – 375 miles (600 km)
Electrical system – 6 volt, negative ground
Tires – (4) + (1) spare / 6 X 16 (non-directional)
Ground clearance – 8.75 in (22.22 cm)
Standard – 18 in (45.72 cm / .4572 m)
Maximum – 21 in (53.34 cm / .5334 m)
Length - 132.75 in (3.371 m).
Wheelbase - 80 in (2.032 m).
Width - 62 in (1.5748 m).
Top up - 69.75 in (1.77165 m).
To top of steering wheel w/top down - 51.25 in (1.30175 m)
|Hobby Master 1/48 Ground Power Series
U.S. Jeep Willy M.B. w/armour shields
WWII Europe, 1944