Kaiser Jeep M725 Ambulance
The Gama Goat was a six-wheel-drive semi-amphibious off-road vehicle originally developed for use by the US military in the Vietnam War. The 'Goat used an articulated chassis, so that from distance it appears to be a four-wheel drive vehicle pulling a two-wheel trailer, but it is a single six-wheel vehicle with a four-wheel steering arrangement with the front and rear wheels turning in opposite directions. It was famous for its ability to travel over exceptionally rough and muddy terrain.
The vehicle's nickname came from two sources; "Gama" from the name of the inventor of its powered articulated joint, Roger Gamaunt, and "Goat" for its mountain goat-like off-road ability. Its military designation was M561, 6×6 tactical 1¼-ton truck. There was also an ambulance version known as the M792. The 'Goat' is prized among military vehicle collectors because it is so unusual and in short supply. The vehicle was replaced by the CUCV and HMMWV.Type your paragraph here.
Overall, some 15,274 Gama Goats were built at a cost of US$8,000 each (1965 dollars; equivalent to $60,072 in 2015); this was considered quite high at the time. While the Gama Goat had exceptional off-road ability, its quirky steering made it hard to handle on pavement, and its tendency to flounder in amphibious operations required drivers to have special training in order to operate it. This meant that it could not be the "general purpose" vehicle the Army had hoped for, and production was halted after the original contract expired. This is somewhat ironic, as some[who?] claim that the problems were largely due to cost-cutting modifications made at the request of the US Army.
The air-cooled engine used in the original prototypes overheated in use, and was replaced in the production vehicles with a Detroit 3-53 diesel engine. Due to the high-intensity noise from the two-stroke diesel engine, the drivers required hearing protection. The double hull construction and complex articulated drivetrain made maintenance difficult (the lube order alone took around six hours). In service in Vietnam, Gama Goats would often be sent out ahead of other vehicles in order to arrive at their destination at the same time.
While technically listed as amphibious, the Gama Goat's swimming capability was limited to smooth water crossings of ponds, canals and streams due to the very low freeboard and the lack of a propeller. Propulsion in the water was supplied by the six spinning wheels, and bilge pumps were standard equipment. Drivers had to remember to close the hull's drain openings before swimming the vehicles. Some models had extra equipment installed that made them too heavy to swim, such as heavy-duty winches, communications shelters that made them top heavy, or radar gear.
It was designed to be air-transportable and droppable by parachute.
Consolidated Diesel Gama Goat M561 1 1/4 Ton 6 x 6
M939A2 5 Ton Wrecker
The M939A2 Wrecker Truck is a 5-ton 6×6 U.S. military heavy truck. Designed in the late 1970s to replace the M809 series of trucks, it has been in service ever since. The M939 evolved into its own family of cargo trucks, prime movers, and recovery vehicles, with about 32,000 in all produced.
LMTV 2.5 Ton M1079 Van
The M1079 Van is designed to be used as a mobile shop by Direct Support Unit Maintenance contact teams. The M1079 van body is constructed of aluminum and is equipped with 3 double paned windows, blackout shields, double rear doors, removable steps, and an AC/DC electrical junction box and multiple outlets. The van body can be equipped with heater and/or air conditioner. The M1079 can be equipped with a self-recovery winch kit capable of fore and aft vehicle recovery operations. The winch has 308 feet of line capacity and 10,000 pounds bare drum line pull at 110% overload.
The Dodge M37 (G-741) was a three-quarter ton four-wheel drive truck. It superseded the Dodge WC-51, WC-52 and WC-54 trucks in US service and was used extensively by the United States armed forces during the Korean war. A number of variants were produced with slightly different configurations: the M42 command truck, V41 telephone maintenance vehicle, M43 ambulance, M152 enclosed utility truck, and R2 air field fire engine.
The six prototypes of the vehicle were produced in early-to-mid 1950 based on the WC series Dodge vehicles used in World War II, with the first pre-production pilot vehicle rolling off the assembly line on 14 December 1950. Many of the components on the M37 are similar or identical to the World War II vehicle and many deficiencies of the previous series were corrected in the M37. Notably, a conventional pickup truck style bed replaced the platform on the World War II vehicle, simplifying production. The powerplant was identical to the World War II era WC vehicles line, as was most of the drivetrain. The straight-six cylinder engine was derived from a 1930s era passenger vehicle engine that was widely produced. This was in line with a long standing military procurement strategy that attempted to use commercially produced vehicle variants in military service. Many of the accessories on the M37 engine are identical to the engines from that era. There was significant drivetrain and powerplant commonality with the WDX series civilian Power Wagons. Outside of the fenders, there were sheet metal differences between all the vehicles.
Production of the M37 began in earnest in January 1951, with approximately 11,000 vehicles produced by the end of the year. By mid-1954 63,000 of the vehicles had been produced. In 1958 a number of modifications to the design resulted in the new vehicles being designated as M37B1. From mid-1958 until the end of production 47,600 M37B1 vehicles were produced. Approximately 4,500 Canadian M37CDNs were also produced between 1951 and 1955. These vehicles continued in service worldwide in the Israeli and Greek militaries.
In total, between 1951 and 1968, 115,000 M37s were produced. Spare parts for these vehicles are widely available and inexpensive to procure. Many deficiencies with aging design became apparent in the 1960s, including a tendency of the connecting rods to fail at high rpms due to the long cylinder stroke of the engine. As the average speed of the vehicles in the military increased, these engine failures became commonplace due to the low gear ratio of the vehicle, which was originally designed as a multipurpose vehicle capable of transporting heavy loads of ammunition. It was common in the 1970 and 1980s to encounter many of these vehicles with failed engines in government auctions. Many of the vehicles were transferred to civilian agencies and some are still in use today in rural areas.
Engine upgrades were made commercially available by the Hercules company. The vehicles were out of significant military service by the late 1970s, replaced by the M715 series of military trucks. (Data Source - Wikipedia)
UniMog FLU419 Small Emplacement Excavator (SEE)
The FLU419 UniMog high-mobility Small Emplacement Excavator (SEE) is a small earthmoving machine used to rapidly dig combat emplacements such as crew-served weapon positions, command posts, trenches, bunkers, trash burial sites, and individual fighting positions (foxholes). With its standard front loader and backhoe, SEE is used for excavating, loading, lifting, and grading. The vehicle is equipped with auxiliary air tools including a chain saw, pavement breaker, and hammer drill. With interchangeable additional attachments substituted for the front loader bucket and/or the rear mounted backhoe, SEE can be fitted for other tasks such as snow plowing. It is capable of rapid deployment at convoy speeds for constructing positions and multiple other tasks for the tactical force.In addition to general utility excavation activities, the Small Emplacement Excavator has been used by the US Army and Marine Corps for unexploded ordnance (UXO) retrieval.
M35 Cargo/Troop Truck
The M35 family of trucks is a long-lived vehicle initially deployed by the United States Army, and subsequently utilized by many nations around the world. A truck in the 2½ ton weight class, it was one of many vehicles in U.S. military service to have been referred to as the "deuce and a half." While the basic M35 cargo truck is rated to carry 5,000 pounds (2,300 kg) off road or 10,000 pounds (4,500 kg) on roads, they have been known to haul twice as much as rated. Trucks in this weight class are considered medium duty by the military and Department of Transportation. The M35 series formed the basis for a wide range of specialized vehicles.
The M35 started out in 1949 as a design by the REO Motor Car Company as a 2 1/2 ton truck that was later nicknamed the "deuce and a half". The first vehicle in the family, the M34, was quickly superseded in military usage by the M35, the major difference being the M35's 10-tire configuration versus the M34's 6-tire "super-singles" configuration.
An M35A2 cargo truck with winch is 112 inches (2.8 m) tall, 96 inches (2.4 m) wide and 277 inches (7.0 m) long, and 13,030 pounds (5,910 kg) empty (13,530 pounds (6,140 kg) empty when equipped with the front mount winch, according to dashboard dataplates). The standard wheelbase cargo bed is 8 feet by 12 feet (2.4 x 3.6 m). The M35A2 was available with a canvas soft top, as pictured, or a metal hard top. Metal hard-top configurations are most often found on vehicles that have been equipped with cold-weather gear, including additional insulation in the cab, as well as engine coolant or multifuel-fired cab personnel heaters.
The M35A2 is popularly powered by a LDT 465 engine, made by either Continental Motors Corporation, Hercules, or White Motor Company. It is an in-line, 478-cubic-inch (7.8 L), 6 cylinder, turbocharged multifuel engine developing 134 bhp (100 kW) and 330 pound force-feet (447 N·m) of torque. This is coupled with a 5-speed manual transmission and divorced
2-speed transfer case (either a sprag-operated transfer case Rockwell 136-21 or air-operated selectable transfer case Rockwell 136-27). Multifuel engines are designed to operate reliably on a wide variety of fuels, to include diesel fuel, jet fuel, kerosene, heating oil or gasoline. Gasoline should only be used in an emergency because it does not properly lubricate the injector pump. While using gasoline, common practice calls for the addition of at least 1 U.S. quart of clean motor oil per 15 U.S. gallons of gasoline (1 imp qt/13 imp gal; 1 L/60 L) for proper pump lubrication where available.
Although the A2 version is by far the most common, there are four different iterations: Standard, A1, A2, and A3 iterations. These changes mainly had to do with the engine and transmission components. Standard M35 had a REO "Gold Comet" or Continental OA331 inline-6 gasoline engine. Some had 4-speed transmissions but most had "direct 5th" transmissions. The gasoline-powered deuces were built primarily by REO Motors, however, Studebaker also had a manufacturing contract from at least 1951 up into the early 1960s. Curtis-Wright also had a contract in at least 1958 to build deuce dump trucks with the Continental gas engine. The A1's had Continental LDS-427-2 turbo engines,equipped with either a model 4-450 schwitzer turbo, or a 4D454C schwitzer turbo on later models, and 5th gear was an overdrive. The 14o hp engines were not reliable, suffering frequent headgasket failures. First A2 trucks received the bigger LD-465-1 naturally aspirated 478 CID Multifuel engines, keeping the OD transmission of the A1s. Through the years the trucks were upgraded to LD 465-1c engines, with 60Amp alternator instead of the 25Amp generator. With the addition of a turbo, this engine evolved into the LDT 465-1c (turbo clean air). The turbo was added more to clean up the very black exhaust on the Non Turbo engines, than to add power, the HP was only raised from 130 to 135 HP.Turbo models used: 3LD305 (early engines only) and 3LJ319 (the "whistler") The LDT-465-1D was the last version of the Multi Fuel, it had a the same 3LJ319 Turbo(whistler), or the quieter 3LM39 (non-whistler), better head gasket sealing and head cooling.
In 1994 the M35A3 variant was introduced as part of Extended Service Program, and between then and 1999. Usually, A3 vehicles have a Caterpillar 3116 Diesel engine and had their manual transmissions replaced with automatic ones, as well as receiving numerous other improvements and a redesigned frontal appearance. No new A3 standard-transmission vehicles were produced, all vehicles being upgraded from previous configurations.trucks during the rebuild process. The exception to the rule are some M109A3 shop vans, a small number of M109A3s were upgraded to A4 specs using the M35A3 upgrade parts and procedures. As-built original A1's are gassers, A2's are LDS 427-2 multifuelers,and A3 are LD/LDT 465-1c multifuelers. however it is still common to find rebuilds of former gas-powered REO and Studebaker
models having A1 and A2 multifuel configurations.
The curb weight of an M35 is between 13,000 pounds (5,900 kg) and 16,000 pounds (7,300 kg) empty, depending on configuration (cargo, wrecker, tractor, etc.). Its top speed is 56 mph (90 km/h), though maximum cruising speed is approximately 48 mph (77 km/h). Fuel economy is 11 mpg-US (21 L/100 km; 13 mpg-imp) highway and 8 mpg-US (29 L/100 km; 9.6 mpg-imp) city, giving the deuce a 400-500-mile (600–800 km) range on its 50 U.S. gallons (190 L; 42 imp gal) single fuel tank. On average, most operators experience tank averages of 8–10 mpg-US (29–24 L/100 km; 9.6–12 mpg-imp) for an unladen vehicle.
Brake system is air-assisted-hydraulic six wheel drum with a driveline parking brake, although gladhands exist on the rear
of the vehicle for connection to trailers with full air service and emergency brakes. Braking performance of the truck is similar to other power drum brake vehicles of this size. Each drum was designed with maximum efficiency in mind, and individual drums can dissipate up to 12 kilowatts (16 hp) of braking heat. Due to this brake system and GVWR under 26,001 pounds (11,794 kg), the big deuce can be driven without a commercial driver's license in most states. Even California does NOT require a CDL to operate an M35 on public roads because even though it has three axles and an air-assisted braking system, the maximum gross weight is still under 26,000 lb (12,000 kg), making it eligible for class C
on-road driving; and because the primary braking system is hydraulic, not air.
The electrical system is 24 volt, using two 12 volt 6TL-series military grade batteries run in series.
Some deuces are equipped with a 10,000 pounds (4,500 kg) PTO-driven front winch manufactured by Garwood.
The M35 family was introduced into the U.S. military to replace the GMC CCKW and M135 families cargo trucks still in service at the time. The M35 would not completely replace the M135 family until the middle of the 1960s. However, the M35 would quickly become the dominant truck in its class in the U.S. military, serving with all the services in various capacities. For a short period the M135 was called "The Eager Beaver" by the U.S. Army due to its fording ability. But the name was never popular and forgotten in a few years.
The M35 series was to be replaced by the Light Medium Tactical Vehicle. However, many United States National Guard and Reserve units continued to use them as the new family of vehicles was phased in. The M35 series was used by the United States in Iraq during Operation Iraqi Freedom. The M35 Truck was not used by the United States Marine Corps and currently issued M35 to the U.S. Army Service.
The Canadian Army adopted license built versions of the M35 (and M36 variant) in 1982, built in Canada by Bombardier. As of 2008, the trucks, designated MLVW (Medium Logistics Vehicle, Wheeled) were still in service. Canadian vehicles featured an automatic transmission, six wheels instead of ten (using single wheels on the tandem rear axles instead of dual wheels), and an ether-start for winter operations. Canada had been investigating a replacement under the Medium Support Vehicle System Project, and a vehicle has been selected. The MLVW's were initially not deployed with Canadian Forces in Afghanistan because of their lack of armor protection. An armor kit was subsequently developed leading to a limited deployment of the vehicles. (Data Source - Wikipedia)
Vehicles Used by Military Machines of American Freedom:
AM General Corp. M151
The M151 MUTT was the successor to the Korean War M38 nd M38A1Jeep Light tility vehicles. Commonly referred to as a "jeep" or "quarter-ton", it was produced from 1959 through 1982 and served in the Vietnam war. The M151 utilized a monocoque design making it roomier than previous jeep designs, and incorporated an independant suspensionwith coil springs. It has since been replaced by the larger AM General HMMWV in most utility roles in frontline use. With some M151A2-units still in US Military service in 1999, the M151-series achieved a longer run of service than that of the WW2 B/GPW, M38 and M38A1 series combined.
In 1951 Ford Motor Company was awarded the contract to design a 1/4 ton 4x4 Military Utility Tactical Truck (hence MUTT) to replace the M38 and M38A1 model jeeps. The M151 'MUTT' was developed with guidance from the US Army's Ordnance Truck Automotive Command. Design started in 1951 and testing and prototyping lasted through most of the fifties. Although the M151 was developed and initially produced by Ford, production contracts for the M151A2 were later also awarded to Kaiser Jeep and AM General Corp.
Although the M151 mostly retained the same basic layout and dimensions of its predecessors, it was for all intents and purposes a completely new design. Unlike previous jeep designs, whose structure consisted of a steel tub bolted onto a separate steel frame, the M151 utilized a monocoque design, which integrated the box frame rails into the sheet-steel
body-structure. Eliminating the separate frame gave the M151 slightly more ground clearance, while at the same time lowering the center of gravity. This process slightly enlarged the vehicle, making it roomier than previous jeep designs,
while retaining the same light weight.
Another area improved upon in the M151 was the suspension. Dispensing with the rigid live axles in the front and rear that all previous military jeeps used (a layout still used on modern day Jeeps, such as the Jeep CJ7 and Wrangler, the M151
was instead equipped with independant suspension and coil springs. This made it capable of high-speed, cross-country travel, while boasting high maneuverability and agility. The new suspension also had the added benefit of providing a
more comfortable ride.
Due to copyright and trademark issues, the M151 did not feature Jeep's distinctive seven vertical slot grille, instead, a horizontal grille was used.
Unlike some other military transports, such as the Humvee or Jeep, the M151 was never widely released into the civilian market. This was partly because the military claimed that it did not meet Federal highway safety standards for civilian vehicles, and also because of a series of rollover accidents. While these were often blaimed on the independent suspension (which played no small part), they were also due to driver errors, with drivers unprepared for the increased performance compared to the Jeeps it replaced. At high road speed, the rear suspension in a lightly loaded Mutt had a tendency to tuck under the vehicle during turns, causing it to roll. The vehicle's tendency to roll over was reduced when there was weight in the rear, so drivers would often place an ammunition box filled with sand under the rear seat when no load was being carried. The box could simply be emptied or abandoned when extra weight was not needed.
The handling issues were eventually resolved by a redesign of the rear suspension, introduced in the M151A2 model. However, due to liability concerns, the US Department of Defense deemed all M151 series vehicles "unsafe for public highway use", limiting their public use. In the early 1990s the M151s began being phased out of service in favour of the HUMVEE, and very few (perhaps 1000) were sold via Government Surplus auctions, and those that were not sold via Foreign Military Sales overseas were cut into four pieces and scrapped. However some individuals were able to buy these "quartered" M151's and simply welded the four sections back together. Continuing problems with vehicle roll-overs into the 1980s led the US military to retrofit many M151 series vehicles with the "Roll over protection structure" (ROPS), a roll cage intended to protect both front and rear seat passengers. First put into service in Vietnam, the Mutt played an active part in American military operations well into the 1980's, when it was phased out in favor of the Humvee. Despite its official replacement, the M151 had some distinct advantages over its much larger and heavier successor, like being small enough to fit inside a C-130 cargo plane or CH-53 heavy transport helicopter. This flexibility was one of the reasons the US Marine Corps deployed M151 FAV (Fast Attack Vehicle) variants through 1999, in places like Kosovo. It serves in US special forces units today as a FAV.
Various models of the M-151 have seen successful military service in 15 different NATO countries and M151s were sold to many countries, including Canada, Denmark, the United Kingdom and non-NATO countries like Egypt, Lebanon, Israel, the Philippines, and Pakistan. Currently, the M151 is used by over 100 countries worldwide. (Data Source - Wikipedia)
The High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle (HMMWV), commonly known as the Humvee, is a four-wheel drive military automobile produced by AM General. It has largely supplanted the roles formerly served by smaller jeeps such as the M151 1⁄4-short-ton (230 kg) MUTT, the M561 "Gama Goat", their M718A1 and M792 ambulance versions, the CUCV, and other light trucks. Primarily used by the United States military, it is also used by numerous other countries and organizations and even in civilian adaptations. The Humvee's widespread use in the Persian Gulf Wars helped inspire the civilian Hummer automotive marque.
The Humvee uses independent suspensions and portal geared hubs similar to portal axles to make for a full 16 inches of ground clearance. The vehicle also has disc brakes on all 4 wheels, and 4-wheel double-wishbone suspension. The brake discs are not mounted at the wheels as on conventional automobiles, but are inboard, attached to the outside of each differential. The front and rear differentials are Torsion type, and the center differential is a regular, lockable type. There are at least 17 variants of the HMMWV in service with the United States Armed Forces. HMMWVs serve as cargo/troop carriers, automatic weapons platforms, ambulances (four litter patients or eight ambulatory patients), M220 TOW missile carriers, M119howitzer prime movers, M1097 Avenger Pedestal Mounted Stinger platforms, MRQ-12 direct air support vehicles, S250 shelter carriers, and other roles. The HMMWV is capable of fording 2.5 ft (76 cm) normally, or 5 ft (1.5 m) with the deep-water fording kits installed.
Optional equipment includes a winch (maximum load capacity 6,000 lb (2,700 kg)) and supplemental armor. The M1025 andM1026, M1043 and M1044 armament carriers provide mounting and firing capabilities for the M134 Mini-gun, the Mk 19 grenade launcher, the M2 heavy machine gun, the M240G/B machine gun and M249 LMG. The M1114
"up-armored" HMMWV, introduced in 2004, also features a similar weapons mount. In addition, some M1114 and M1116 up-armored and M1117 Armored Security Vehicle models feature a Common Remotely Operated Weapon Station (CROWS), which allows the gunner to operate from inside the vehicle, and/or the Boomerang anti-sniper detection system. Recent improvements have also led to the development of the M1151 model, which is quickly rendering the previous models obsolete. By replacing the M1114, M1116, and earlier armored HMMWV types with a single model, the U.S. Army hopes to lower maintenance costs. (Data Source - Wikipedia)
The U.S. Military M274 Truck, Platform, Utility, 1/2 Ton, 4X4 or "Carrier, Light Weapons, Infantry, 1/2 ton, 4x4" aka "Mule," "Military Mule," or "Mechanical Mule" is a 4-wheel drive, gasoline-powered truck/tractor type vehicle that can carry up to a 1/2 ton off-road. It was introduced in 1956 and used until the 1980s. Now it is a military vehicle collectors' item.
The M274 Mule was introduced in 1956 to supplement both the 1/4 ton trucks ("Jeeps") and 3/4 ton trucks (Weapons Carrier Series and M37 series) in airborne and infantry battalions. The M274 evolved from improvements to a vehicle designed at the end of World War Two by Willys-Overland as amedical evacuation litter carrier from areas and terrain that would even be a problem for its famous Jeep to access. Further tests by the US Army at Eglin Field, Florida proved it also useful as carrier for both supplies and men. In 1948 the US Army purchased a small number of these test vehicles with the designation the Jungle Burden Carrier for evaluation in jungle warfare and with airborne forces. There were 11,240 Mules produced between their introduction and 1970, when production ceased. They were used throughout as platforms for various weapons systems and for carrying men, supplies, and weaponry/ammunition during the Vietnam War and in other U.S. military operations until the 1980s. As a completely open and exposed vehicle, they offered absolutely no protection to the driver, yet that was relatively unimportant as they were mainly used as cargo carriers and medium-range infantry support vehicles, rather than close-combat anti-infantry vehicles. They were phased out from military usage in the 1980s with the introduction of the HMMWV series vehicles. The HMMWV was, however, unable to fulfill the role of the Mule, so the M-Gator, a military variant of the popular John Deere Gator vehicle, was introduced. (Data Source - Wikipedia)
The Kaiser Jeep M725 Ambulance is an American wheeled military vehicle based upon the civilian Jeep Gladiator. In 1965 the design and developing for the M715 began. The U.S. Government purchased these trucks to replace the M37. Between 1967 and 1969 over 33,000 trucks were produced at the Toledo, Ohio plant. The overhead cam 6 cylinder engines were not very reliable due to lack of knowledge on the overhead cam design and lack of maintenance. They had been dropped from civilian models by 1968. The trucks were replaced by the Dodge M880 series.
Kia currently produces an M715-type vehicle named the KM450 for the South Korean Army on license from the U.S. Government. India's Tata/Vectra is also entering an M715 type vehicle as a candidate for the Indian Army's LSV requirement.
Willys MB Jeep
The Willys MB US Army Jeep (formally the Truck, 1/4 ton, 4x4) and the Ford GPW were manufactured from 1941 to 1945. These small four-wheel drive utility vehicles are considered the iconic World War II Jeep, and inspired many similiar light utility vehicles.
Over the years, the World War II Jeep later evolved into the "CJ" civilian Jeep. Its counterpart in the German army was the
Volkswagen Kübelwagen first prototyped in 1938, also based on a small automobile, but which used an air-cooled engine
and lacked 4 wheel drive.
Even though the world had seen widespread mechanisation of the military during World War I, and the US Army had already used 4x4 trucks in it, supplied by the Four Wheel Drive Auto Co. (FWD), by the time World War II was dawning, the United States Department of War were still seeking a light, cross-country reconnaissance vehicle.
As tensions were heightening around the world in the late 1930s, the U.S. Army asked American automobile manufacturers to tender suggestions to replace its existing, aging light motor vehicles, mostly motorcycles and sidecars but also some Ford Model T's.
This resulted in several prototypes being presented to army officials, such as five Marmon-Herrington 4x4 Fords in 1937, and three Austin roadsters by American Bantam in 1938 (Fowler, 1993). However, the US Army's requirements were not formalized until July 11, 1940, when 135 U.S. automotive manufacturers were approached to submit a design conforming to the army's specifications for a vehicle the World War II technical manual TM 9-803 described as "... a general purpose, personnel, or cargo carrier especially adaptable for reconnaissance or command, and designated as 1/4-ton 4x4 Truck."
By now the war was underway in Europe, so the Army's need was urgent and demanding. Bids were to be received by July 22, a span of just eleven days. Manufacturers were given 49 days to submit their first prototype and 75 days for completion of 70 test vehicles. The Army's Ordnance Technical Committee specifications were equally demanding: the vehicle would be four-wheel drive, have a crew of three on a wheelbase of no more than 75 (later 80) inches and tracks no more than 47 inches, feature a fold-down windshield, 660 lb payload and be powered by an engine capable of 85 ft·lb (115 N·m) of torque. The most daunting demand, however, was an empty weight of no more than 1,300 lb (590 kg).
Only two companies entered: American Bantam Car Company and Willys-Overland was the low bidder, Bantam received the bid, being the only company committing to deliver a pilot model in 49 days and production examples in 75. Under the leadership of designer Karl Probst, Bantam built their first prototype, dubbed the "Blitz Buggy" (and in retrospect "Old Number One"), and delivered it to the Army vehicle test center at Camp Holabird, Maryland on September 23, 1940. This presented Army officials with the first of what eventually evolved into the World War II U.S. Army Jeeps: the Willys MB and Ford GPW.
Since Bantam did not have the production capacity or fiscal stability to deliver on the scale needed by the War Department, the other two bidders, Ford and Willys, were encouraged to complete their own pilot models for testing. The contract for the new reconnaissance car was to be determined by trials. As testing of the Bantam prototype took place from September 27 to October 16, Ford and Willys technical representatives present at Holabird were given ample opportunity to study the vehicle's performance. Moreover, in order to expedite production, the War Department forwarded the Bantam blueprints to Ford and Willys, claiming the government owned the design. Bantam did not dispute this move due to its precarious financial situation. By November 1940, Ford and Willys each submitted prototypes to compete with the Bantam in the Army's trials. The pilot models, the Willys Quad and the Ford Pygmy, turned out very similar to each other and were joined in testing by Bantam's entry, now evolved into a Mark II called the BRC 60. By then the U.S. and its armed forces were already under such pressure that all three cars were declared acceptable and orders for 1,500 units per company were given for field testing. At this time it was acknowledged the original weight limit (which Bantam had ignored) was unrealistic, and it was raised to 2,160 pounds (980 kg).
For these respective pre-production runs, each vehicle received revisions and a new name. Bantam's became the BRC 40, and the company ceased motor vehicle production after the last one was built in December 1941. After reducing the vehicle's weight by 240 pounds, Willys' changed the designation to "MA" for "Military" model "A". The Fords went into production as "GP", with "G" for a "Government" type contract and "P" commonly used by Ford to designate any passenger car with a wheelbase of 80 inches.
By July 1941, the War Department desired to standardize and decided to select a single manufacturer to supply them with
the next order for another 16,000 vehicles. Willys won the contract mostly due to its more powerful engine (the "Go Devil")
which soldiers raved about, and its lower cost and silhouette. The design features the Bantam and Ford entries had which
were an improvement over Willys' were then incorporated into the Willys car, moving it from an "A" designation to "B", thus
the "MB" nomenclature. Most notable was a flat wide hood, adapted from Ford GP.
By October 1941, it became apparent Willys-Overland could not keep up with production demand and Ford was contracted
to produce them as well. The Ford car was then designated GPW, with the "W" referring to the "Willys" licensed design. During World War II, Willys produced 363,000 Jeeps and Ford some 280,000. Approximately 51,000 were exported to the U.S.S.R. under the Lend-Lease program.
A further 13,000 (roughly) amphibian jeeps were built by Ford under the name GPA (nicknamed 'Seep' for Sea Jeep). Inspired by the larger DUKW, the vehicle was produced too quickly and proved to be too heavy, too unwieldy, and of insufficient freeboard. In spite of participating successfully in the Sicily landings July 1943) most GPAs were routed to the U.S.S.R. under the Lend-Lease program. The Soviets were sufficiently pleased with its ability to cross rivers to develop
their own version of it after the war (GAZ-46).
One account of the origin of the term "jeep" begins when the prototypes were being proven at military bases. The term "jeep" was used by Army mechanics for any untried or untested vehicles.
Another likely factor in the popularization of the jeep name came from the fact that the vehicle made quite an impression on soldiers at the time, so much so that they informally named it after Eugene the Jeep, a character in the Popeye cartoons created by E. C. Segar. Eugene the Jeep was Popeye's "jungle pet" and was "small, able to move between dimensions and could solve seemingly impossible problems."
In early 1941, Willys-Overland staged a press event in Washington, D.C., having the car demonstrate its prowess by driving up the Capitol steps. Irving "Red" Hausmann, a test driver on the Willys development team who had accompanied the car for its testing at Camp Holabird, had heard soldiers there referring to it as a jeep. He was enlisted to go to the event and give a demonstration ride to a group of dignitaries, including Katherine Hillyer, a reporter for the Washington Daily News. When asked by the reporter, Hausmann too called it a Jeep. Hillyer's article appeared in the newspaper on February 20, 1941, with a photo showing a jeep going up the Capitol steps and a caption including the term 'jeep'. This is believed to be the most likely cause of the term being fixed in public awareness. Even though Hausmann did not create or invent the word Jeep, he very well could be the one most responsible for its first news media usage.
The name Jeep has also been thought to come from Fords version called the GP, therefore Gee P, which is possibly why there were legal matters with the name. (Data Source - Wikipedia)