2022 Shannons Summer Timed Online Auction
Lot
125

c1949 Willys Jeep

$30,000

Melbourne

Sold

Specifications

Engine 134ci four-cylinder
Gearbox Three-speed manual
Body Work Roadster
Colour Army Green
Interior Olive green
Trim Vinyl
Wheels Steel
Brakes Drum/drum

Description

This lot is no longer available

One by-product of military conflict is the rapid pace of technical development, and the United States Army created an entirely new class of vehicle during World War II, one that remains hugely popular today - the off-roader. Needing a reconnaissance vehicle suitable for all types of terrain, be it the muddy fields of Europe or the desert sands of North Africa, the U.S. Army contracted the Willys-Overland Company to produce what became universally known as the Jeep. Designed by Karl Probst for the American Bantam Car Company in record time in 1940, the all-wheel drive Jeep met a whole range of testing criteria and was powered by the rugged Willys "Go Devil" four-cylinder engine. With Willys-Overland unable to meet demand, the War Department turned to Ford as an alternative supplier, although the Model GPW was still built largely to Willys' specifications with only minor changes - for example, every component was stamped with the letter "F". In total some 640,000 Jeeps were built during the War and what was once merely the best method of getting G.I.s from A to B has since been hailed as a landmark piece of industrial design, with an example kept on display in New York's Museum of Modern Art. In the post WWII period the original jeep continued to serve, in the Korean War and other conflicts, until it was updated in the form of the M38 Willys MC and M38A1 Willys MD (in 1949 and 1952 respectively.