Lot #2085 - With WWII escalating, in early 1940 the U.S. Army challenged 135 American heavy manufacturing firms to design a lightweight, general purpose 4X4 vehicle to replace the cavalry horse on the battlefield. With a 49-day deadline, only two companies responded: Willys-Overland and American Bantam. Bantam's design proved to be the better candidate, and with minor revisions, the iconic Army Jeep was born. Unfortunately, Bantam's miniscule Butler, PA, factory wasn't able to produce the nearly 3/4-million anticipated units so the government selected Willys — and Ford — to manufacture the vast majority of WWII Jeeps. This 1942 GPW is one of 277,896 built by Ford for the war effort. Delivered for service on 9-11-42, it has been meticulously restored by a former Marine, who applied the USMC markings. To avoid field service complications, the Ford Jeeps share most components with Willys-built Jeeps (359,489 made), but Henry Ford subtly assured differentiation — and major headaches for future restorers — by applying Ford logos to virtually every part. From the wheels to the shock absorber mounts and bumper bolt heads, this Jeep displays correct Ford markings, right down to the 6.00-15 tires! Rare and desirable extras include quick-service cotter pin shock absorber mounts, a Braden capstan-style front bumper winch, shovel, axe, cast iron differential covers, brass fire extinguisher, several service manuals and fender-top Federal siren.
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