1943 Ford GPW Jeep
Engine: Inline 4
Displacement: 140 Cubic Inches
Horsepower: 60 BHP
Top Speed: 50 MPH
The first jeep prototype, the Bantam BRC, was built for the Department of the Army by American Bantam in Butler, Pennsylvania. It was followed by other competing prototypes, including vehicles by Ford, Willys-Overland, and even Tucker. The American Bantam was the closest to the Army's criteria, but its engine did not meet the torque requirements; Ford and Willys were given the blueprints to Bantam's design. The military did not feel that Bantam had the ability to produce the vehicles in the quantity they needed. Willys was given the contract to produce the jeep. The demand was soon too great for Willys, and Ford was allowed to build the vehicles to the specifications set by Willys.
Ford Designated the vehicle as model GPW (G = governmental vehicle, P = wheel base, W = Willys design). Willys and Ford, under the direction of Charles E. Sorensen (VP of Ford during WWII), produced more than 600,000 jeeps.
All branches of the military used the jeep. The basic vehicle was painted Olive Drab Green by the factory and was delivered to the Army. The other branches would order the jeeps from the Army and then paint them with whatever paint they had available. The Navy jeeps were gray, blue, or a combination of those colors. The vehicle was easily adapted for many uses, including a railway and an amphibious version. As part of the war effort, jeeps were also supplied to the Soviet Red Army.