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Chester County Used Jeep Cars

One notion holds that the vehicle bore the designation "GP" (for "Government Purposes" or "General Purpose"), which was phonetically slurred into the word jeep. Jeep: A four-wheel drive vehicle of one-half- to one-and-one-half-ton capacity for reconnaissance or other army duty. A term applied to the bantam-cars, and occasionally to other motor vehicles (U.S.A.) in the Air Corps, the Link Trainer; in the armored forces, the ½-ton command vehicle. This definition is supported by the use of the term "jeep carrier" to refer to the Navy's small escort carriers.

Early in 1941, Willys-Overland demonstrated the vehicle's off-road capability by having it drive up the steps of the United States Capitol, driven by Willy's test driver Irving "Red" Haussman, who had recently heard soldiers at Fort Holabird calling it a "jeep." The first jeep prototype (the Bantam BRC) was built for the United States Army Quartermaster Corps (QMC) by American Bantam in Butler, Pennsylvania,[2] followed by two other competing prototypes produced by the Ford Motor Company and Willys-Overland.

Only two companies responded to the request, The American Bantam Car Company and Willys-Overland. The vehicle met the Army's criteria, but its engine did not meet the Army's torque requirements.

The Army felt that the Bantam company was too small to supply the number of vehicles it needed so it supplied the Bantam design to Willy and Ford who were encouraged to make their own changes and modifications. The resulting Ford 'Pygmy' and Willys 'Quad' prototypes looked very similar to the Bantam BRC (Bantam Reconnaissance Car) prototype and Spicer supplied very similar 4-wheel drive train components to all three manufacturers.

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When World War Two started and the German Panzers started rolling into Poland President Roosevelt made an emergency proclamation on September 8, 1939. He authorized an increase in the Army and National Guard. Soon thereafter there was a total of 2 billion dollars allocated. Due to Germany’s fast movement into France, Holland and Poland, the USA decided they needed to build a light weight vehicle that could easily carry men and equipment through all types of rough terrain. The US Army Quartermaster Corps extended an open invitation to manufacturers to put together a prototype vehicle that could accomplish this.

Willys Overland presented the Willys Quad and Bantam showcased the Bantam Reconnaissance Car or also knows as the (BRC). The Willys vehicle did not make the deadline therefore Bantam received a contract for 70 vehicles after heavy testing was done on the prototype. After vigorous testing on the prototypes over a 30 day period at Camp Holabird, the Bantam Model 60 did very well and only needed minor repairs that were easily fixed. As mentioned, the Willys Overland initially lost to Bantam for the initial contract, they were still anxious to be involved in the development of a vehicle due to the major financial strains they were under. Willys Overland built a prototype at their expense. It was the 4x4 Quad powered by a 2199cc side valve four cylinder engine pumping out 65 base horse power. Find more information on Used Jeep Cars on

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