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70-year anniversary of the Army Jeep contract

by David Zatz on

Seventy years ago today, Willys-Overland and the United States War Department signed a contract to produce their first quarter-ton 4×4 reconnaissance vehicles (later reclassified as general-purpose trucks). The lightweight trucks were simple and durable, with a powerful engine and tough frame that helped Willys to triumph over Ford’s proposed design.

The original plant has been torn down, but descendants of the little trucks (considerably heavier and larger) are still made in Toledo, Ohio.

(Thanks to MoparNorm and to the Toledo Blade. See our coverage of the development of the Jeep, and of World War II’s MA and MB models).

David Zatz founded Allpar in 1998 (based on a site he had begun in 1993-94), after years of writing reviews for retail trades. He has been quoted by the New York Times, the Daily Telegraph, the Detroit News, and USA Today. Before making Allpar a full-time career, he was a consultant in organizational psychology. You can reach him by using our contact form (much preferred) or by calling (313) 766-2304

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