While the Jeep is famous for the US military, there is some misunderstanding about who created the original Jeep. Many mistakenly attribute the development of the first Jeep to Willys. The first Jeep design was inspired by a small and relatively unknown company under the name of American Bantam Car Company based on Butler, PA.
American Bantam Car Company was first established as a subsidiary of Austin Car Company, a British car manufacturer and was originally an American Austin Car Company. Austin made a small and economical car for the so-called Austin Seven, which was very popular in England. Unfortunately for Austin Car Company, Austin Seven never saw its popularity in the States, and the Austin Car Company was almost bankrupt. Finally he was taken over by his chairman, who changed his name to Bantam's Bantam Car Company. Bantam took over the original Austin Seven design and carried out a number of improvements. It was a bit bigger than the UK cousin and was able to drive longer.
The Bantam people were pioneers and they saw the need for a light military vehicle. Some cars were given to the National Guard to sell the army to use such vehicles. The army finally realized the need for a light moving vehicle and finally agreed to plan a plan with Banatm in 1940. The outcome of this meeting was a planned military 4X4 hybrid that would cost less than 1300 pounds. In 1933, Bantam developed a Bantam reconnaissance car for the United States Army to call for a general purpose military vehicle. This vehicle eventually became a prototype of jeeps, later produced by Willys (Willys MB) and Ford (GPW).
The US military is concerned that Bantam is capable of producing the required amount of vehicles to allow other manufacturers to manufacture the vehicle. The requirement was to design a vehicle and, with the approval of the US Army, the prototype was built and delivered within 49 days. The prototype was approved by the military, and another 70 workpieces were transported within 75 days. Due to the required weight limit, many manufacturers turned away from the project, only the initially involved Bantam and Willys, and Ford later joined.
My Bantam drawings were closest to military requirements, even if design had problems with weight restrictions. The company completed its design and produced and delivered the prototype according to a schedule. The army tested the vehicle thoroughly, was satisfied with design and performance, and commissioned another 70 vehicles. This is where the military began to worry about Bantam's ability to produce enough vehicles. The company was fairly small and had limited capacity. What the soldiers did, Willys and Ford had access to the Bantam prototype tests and their actual designs, though Willys did not give prototype in time and Ford was not interested in the pursuit. Both Ford and Willys have been allowed to show prototypes, Quad (Willys) and Piggy (Ford) beyond the specified time period and well above the desired weight limit. Both the Ford and the Willys versions have "borrowed" the design of Bantam.
The bantam vehicle, the Bantam GPV (general purpose vehicle) was delivered in time, met the majority of the specifications and performed well on the tests. Bantam would have to win the contract in every case and there was great controversy over the management of the contract. The army, unfortunately for Bantam, recognized the strengths and weaknesses of each vehicle. The Bantam had a high ground and remained below while the Quad was well above the weight limit, but had a stronger engine and the Pigmia was undercut, the steering wheel was suspicious, but he handled the best features of the three vehicles. The military continues to be concerned about the ability of two companies, Bantam and Willys, to decide that 1500 vehicles will be produced for every 500 vehicles provided they meet the original specifications, with the only change that the weight limit is just over £ 2,200.
All three companies received the best ideas from each other and from Bantam's original manufacturing plans to develop their vehicles and the 3 vehicles were extremely similar. In the middle of 1941, the army decided that the 1500 vehicle should be standardized and not three different types. Finally, the Willys design was chosen for the lower cost, and this version was accepted as a standard warship. Willys continued the contract to secure the next 16,000 Willys. This contract award has called for a number of modifications that have led to the classic Jeep design.
Bantam continued to manufacture the production version, known as Bantam 40 BRC, but the US Army did not want it because it was not standard. The already manufactured vehicles and the new production units were forwarded to the Russian and British armies. It is very interesting to note that after the test, the Russian army actually chose Bantam on the Willys and Ford units. Willys design closely resembles the 40 BRC
In the winter of 1941, the army intends to build a second source for the vehicle because Willys could not keep up with the production needs and wanted to protect against the possible sabotage of the only production facility. In November, the US military won the Ford to build 15,000 jets for Willys design and drawing. The Willys MB and Ford GPW will only change in small details as the military requires that the parts be replaced. The name of the Ford model is GPW with reference to the G steering wheel, P referring to the basic size of the wheel, and W indicated that it was Willys's engine. One version adopted by the military according to the usual plans was the now familiar grill. Since Ford had been producing Willys with Jeep, soldiers were able to make jeeps available to their allies and the Bantam 40 BRC production was discontinued.
The combined production of Willys MB and Ford GPW during World War II was over 500,000. A total of 2,675 Bantam 40 BRCs have been built. The company allegedly has never produced a car. The American army commanded Bantam to build the trailer to prepare them for the jeep contract.
So, who created the original joke? Historically, this was a bit of a controversy that went back until 1943 when the Fair Trade Commission finally charged Willys with false and misleading advertising claims indicating that Willys had set up the Jeep. The court found Jeep was supported by American Bantam Car Company at Butler, PA. The primary designer who worked on the Bantam Jeep project was Karl Probst and now he knows who created the first Jeep!
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