1942 Willys Jeep – A Heritage of Hero in WWII

1942 Willys Jeep – A Heritage of Hero in WWII

The Jeep Willys was a mass-produced small four-wheel-drive car that was first built in 1941 by Willys-Overland Motors. The design of the Jeep Willys has been credited to Karl Probst, who was an engineer at Willys-Overland.

The Jeep Willys was used extensively by the United States military during World War II and the Korean War. After the war, the Jeep Willys became popular with civilians as a utility vehicle.

If you’re lucky enough to own a 1942 Willys Jeep, you can be proud to know that you’re driving a piece of history.

1. How did the Willys Jeep become iconic in World War II?

From July 1940, the U.S Army was looking for a versatile vehicle that could be 4WD and carry at least 3 people. Additionally, it would rather have an 80’’ wheelbase, and be able to go 50mph on roads with a minimum weight of 1,300lbs.

At that time, there were three companies that joined the competition: Willys-Overland Motors, Ford Motor Company, and Bantam Car Company. However, the unexpected small Bantam Car Company is the one that met the requirements. And, the U.S government worried that this company would not provide enough vehicles as requested. As a result, they contacted Ford and Willys for support on Jeep production.

Willys-Overland produced the MA (Model “A”) and Ford made the Jeep GP. By July 1941, the U.S government troops loved the “Go-Devil” engine of Willys, so they chose it as a standard model. Ford Motor and Bantam Car Company cooperated in producing Willys MB (the Model “B”) with concluding all the best features.

However, the “Jeep” was not called by these three manufacturers. There are some hypotheses about this name. Some say it is a spoonerism of the word GP; while some say that it was inspired by a character from a cartoon called Popeye.

During World War II, approximately 363,000 were built by Willys and another 280,000 by Ford. The Jeep became the primary light 4-wheel-drive vehicle of the United States Army and Allies during World War II, as well as the postwar period.

2. Why were Jeep Willys trucks chosen for World War II?

Did you know that thanks to Jeep’s height advantage, Jeeps are a great choice for winter driving because they have superior visibility? They also come equipped with all sorts of safety features that will keep you safe on the roads during this time!

Moreover, the Willys Jeep was an instant success, with its rugged 4×4 capabilities and compact size making it perfect for off-road use. The Jeep quickly became essential to the Allied war effort, with over 360,000 being built during World War II. The Jeep Willys is also known as the first military off-roader.

The Jeep’s versatility meant it was used in a variety of roles, from carrying troops to towing artillery. It even saw action as an ambulance and a command car. The Jeep’s wartime service is a testament to its strength and durability, making it a true icon of the 20th century.

The first bid accepted by the Army was for a vehicle with four-wheel drive, a crew of three onboard, and specifications that it has: no more than 75 inches long chassis (or less), 47 inch wide tracks plus 1,200 pounds maximum load capacity. The engine should also provide 85 ft-lbs/115 Nm torque without exceeding 1,350 lbs weight which makes the 1942 Jeep Willy the perfect military truck!

Below are some outstanding specifications of 1942 Jeep Willys MB

  • Drive Type: 4WD
  • Curb weight: 2,453 lbs (1,113 kg) (with engine fluids and full fuel tank)
  • Dry weight: 2,337 lbs (1,060 kg)
  • Length: 132 ¼ in (3.36m)
  • Width: 62 in (1.57m)
  • Engine: 134cu in (2.2L)
  • Maximum speed: 65mph (105km/h)
  • Payload capacity: 1,200lbs
  • Fuel Capacity: 15 gal
  • Axles: Dana 30 (Front), Dana 44 (Rear)

Here are two you can visit museums you can visit to see one of these Icon WWII Jeeps up close

Miles Through Time Automotive Museum

  • 583 Grant St., Clarkesville, GA 30523
  • Email: info@milesthroughtime.com
  • Call: (470) 239-0199
  • Admission: Adults $10 – Kids $6 – Under 6 are free
  • Open: 7 days a week 10 to 5. Closed on 12/24, 12/25, and 1/1

Woodland Auto Display

  • 4251 Dry Creek Rd, Paso Robles, CA 93446
  • Email: woodlandautodisplay@gmail.com
  • P: 805-238-9317
  • Admission: Adults -$12
    Children 6-12 years $5
    Toddlers under 6 FREE
    Students with student photo ID Card $8.00
    Seniors 60+ $10.00
    Military Veterans $10.00
    Active Military with current ID card FREE
  • Plan: 1hr
  • Open: Thursday – Sunday 10 am – 4 pm

Image via Trent Cherry

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Must-Visit Georgia Car Museums

Must-Visit Georgia Car Museums

Georgia is home to a few amazing car museums.  The list below shows some of Georgia’s most popular car museums every automotive enthusiast must visit.

This list is not in order nor is this a complete list of all the car museums in Georgia. This is simply a list of 5 car museums worth visiting in Georgia. To see the complete list of car museums in Georgia click HERE.

How many of these car museums have you visited?

  1. MILES THROUGH TIME AUTOMOTIVE MUSEUM
  2. PORSCHE EXPERIENCE CENTER ATLANTA
  3. THE PANOZ MUSEUM
  4. MEMORY LANE CLASSIC CARS
  5. GEORGIA RACING HALL OF FAME

Plus, SAVOY AUTOMOBILE MUSEUM is a new car museum scheduled to open by the end of 2021 in Cartersville, GA. Savoy is a part of Georgia Museums Inc. and will be a world-class car museum.

Here’s a bonus car museum, unlike all the others. OLD CAR CITY USA is a junkyard full of over 100 vehicles and is known as a car photographer hot spot.

Check out the map below of all the automotive museums in North America.

Sean Mathis

Sean Mathis

Creator/Author

Sean Mathis is the Founder of the Miles Through Time Automotive Museum in Clarkesville, GA, and the creator of the Automotive Museum Guide.

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The Panoz Museum

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Georgia’s Automotive Museums

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Vote for your favorite Georgia Automotive Museum.

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The Panoz Museum

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The Panoz Museum in Hoschton, Georgia is a must stop for any automotive enthusiast, especially race fans. Not only is the Panoz hand made right on site but they also display various models in the museum, as well as some of the actual race cars and racing...

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automotive museum guide

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Sign up to get updates about automotive museums right to your mailbox. Don't miss a thing. It's FREE.

The Panoz Museum

The Panoz Museum

The Panoz Museum in Hoschton, Georgia is a must stop for any automotive enthusiast, especially race fans. Not only is the Panoz hand made right on site but they also display various models in the museum, as well as some of the actual race cars and racing memorabilia.

I had the opportunity to visit the museum on a Sunday afternoon and got a Panoz history lesson by the curator, Sydney. Sydney explained the various models including when the Panoz bodies switched from being all aluminum to full carbon fiber.

When it came to explaining the racing history and the pedigree of the Panoz brand Sydney didn’t miss a beat.  You want to see the car that Dr. Panoz thought he killed Mario Andretti in it that car is on display.  You want to see the first race car hybrid in the world, that’s on display as well.

The museum itself is by no means a large museum, but what is on display illustrates what Dr. Panoz intended these cars to be all about.  You can order yourself a Panoz if you like, but you may have to wait just a little bit before you can take delivery since they only build one car per year.

If you’re like most of us you may want to settle for a t-shirt, hat or scale model. Panoz is less than an hour from the heart of Atlanta and is near the world-class resort, winery, and golf course, Chateau Elan.

You can visit the Panoz Museum for free Wednesday through Saturday. Enjoy the gallery of photos we took during our trip.

1089 GA-124
Hoschton, GA 30548
P: 
678-425-1539
Email: info@panoz.com

Open: Wednesday & Thursday 11am – 7pm,
Friday & Saturday 11am – 8pm,
Sunday 12pm – 6pm

Image via Sean Mathis

Sean Mathis

Sean Mathis

Creator/Author

Sean Mathis is the Founder of the Miles Through Time Automotive Museum in Clarkesville, GA, and the creator of the Automotive Museum Guide.

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automotive museum guide

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Sign up to get updates about automotive museums right to your mailbox. Don't miss a thing. It's FREE.