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Uncovering the history of Army Jeep #1

on Sunday, 20 December 2015.

Seventy-five years after it wowed the U.S. Army, the oldest known Jeep is getting its due as a symbol of the Greatest Generation's fight and Detroit's role in what Franklin D. Roosevelt called "the Arsenal of Democracy" -- the manufacturing might that helped the Allies win World War II.

"It's an icon of WWII and a symbol of wartime production by the auto industry," said Matt Anderson, transportation curator at the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, MI. "It's also the grandfather of all SUVs. It's very rare to be able to trace a whole class of vehicles to a single one, but this is where it all began."

Ford GP-No.1, a prototype for a light, rugged four-wheel-drive vehicle for reconnaissance and other military use, was delivered to the Army for tests Nov. 23, 1940.

"The Army still had horse cavalry then," said 97-year-old Ed Welburn Sr., who served in the U.S. Army in Papua-New Guinea and Australia in WWII. "They brought horses to the island, but you can't use horses in the jungle. The Jeep was small and tough. It could travel most anywhere. The cavalry liked the Jeep much better than horses.

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12 Facts You’ll Want to Know About Jeep History

on Monday, 14 December 2015.

PRNewswire – According to the Historic Vehicle Association the oldest known “jeep” recently celebrated its seventy-fifth birthday. Here are some of the more intriguing facts of the early history of the 1/4 ton, four-wheel-drive reconnaissance truck that became known affectionately as the “jeep.”

1. Born in Bulter - Where?


The first 1/4 ton, four-wheel drive reconnaissance truck “pilot model” produced for the U.S. Army was built by the American Bantam Car Company of Butler, Pa. It was delivered for testing to Camp Holabird in Baltimore on Sept. 23, 1940. Subsequent designs by Willys-Overland and Ford while important were refinements on this original U.S. Army and American Bantam concept. (PRNewsFoto/Historic Vehicle Association)

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1940 Ford Pilot Model GP-No. 1 Pygmy receives distinction

on Tuesday, 08 December 2015.

PRNewswire – The Historic Vehicle Association (HVA) announced today the 1940 Ford Pilot Model GP-No. 1 Pygmy as the eighth vehicle to be recorded under the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Heritage Documentation. The documentation will be part of the HVA’s National Historic Vehicle Register and the Historic American Engineering Record that is permanently archived in the Library of Congress. The documentation is part of an ongoing collaboration between the Historic Vehicle Association and the U.S. Department of the Interior, Heritage Documentation Programs to document historically significant automobiles, trucks and motorcycles. Principle funding for the documentation of the 1940 Ford Pilot Model GP-No. 1 Pygmy has been provided by Shell Lubricants and Hagerty. 1 1940-Ford-Pilot-Model-GP-No.1-Pygmy

The 1940 Ford Pilot Model GP-No. 1 Pygmy, features a low silhouette, a flat-hood and a slat-grille incorporating the headlights within the body for protection. GP-No. 1 remains almost entirely unrestored. (Photo courtesy of the U.S. Veterans Memorial Museum/John Omenski)

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U.S. Veterans Memorial Museum
2060A Airport Road • Huntsville AL 35801
(256) 883-3737