Race Retro Classic Car Sale 2017

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1943 Willys-Ford MB Jeep

Lot No.: 928

Registration: 8942U
Chassis Number: MB290552
Engine Number: MB348423
Number of cylinders: 4
CC: 2000
Year of Manufacture: 1943
Sold for (£): Unsold

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.)

Although this wonderful 1943 example has a chassis number starting MB, denoting a Willys, the body is indeed a Ford, an interesting anomaly that may have occurred in a number of ways, either "in theatre” repairs or during later restoration.

First registered in the UK on the 20th March 1981, the previous vendor informs us that it was left to a gentleman in a Will along with a Humber Snipe. He decided to lend both vehicles to the Corps of Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (REME) Museum at Arborfield, Berkshire, where it remained on display for the last fifteen years until the museum was relocated to Wiltshire in 2015.

The previous vendor replaced the four-wheel cylinders, front brake shoes, hub seals and water pump in late 2016. Presented to auction with a Swansea V5C and an odometer reading of some 44,000 miles which is probably a touch academic on a vehicle of this nature. Ready to grace the Spring classic car shows, Goodwood and the private collection of any discerning aficionado.