Army Jeep History

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A list of priorities has been charged to design and construct a prototype for lightweight an all fast, all terrain command and reconnaissance vehicle. A prototype meeting these guidelines be delivered in 49 days was requested by the military. Load capacity of 600 lbs - wheelbase under 75 inches - elevation below 36 inches - rectangular shaped body - 3 bucket chairs - centric and driving lights - effective at running easily around fifty mph - two speed transfer case using four wheel drive - fold down windshield - gross car weight under 1200 lbs - The military had laid a demanding list of prerequisites and of the 135 firms contacted just two showed any attention. 

On Friday 1940 Probst had done what nobody else, not even the large companies had the ability to do. Not only had Probst designed a car to satisfy the rigid requirements of the army, he'd created a car that exceeded their expectation a car that will be called Jeep. Two present day images from Butler, Pennsylvania. The Bantam car mill and a sign. Jeep Test and Approval - Major Herbert Lawes, who'd driven just about every vehicle in existence, was the first driver. After racing up a 60 degrees Descend in second gear using no problem, Major Lawes then set about on a 15 minute thrashing over some of that the roughest terrain in the area. 

When he returned he stated, I think this unit will make history. Over the next 3 weeks that the Jeep was subjected to brutal testing. A few of that the exercises included driving off a platform 4 legs in that the air at 30 mph and repeatedly running full speed down logging paths with tree trunks set in the ground periodically. After 20 days of punishment that the frame side members cracked below that the strain, but by then it was obvious to everybody that the Jeep had proved itself well up to that the job. 

One sore spot with the military has been that the Jeep had come in over that the weight limit specified by that the military guidelines. Even though Bantam had written down 1273 pounds it was actually about 600 lbs heavier then that. Nevertheless, practicality prevailed when a large cavalry officer was able to lift the back end of the jeep from the ground unaided. It seemed a terrific success story for the fighting Bantam. They'd delivered the first Jeep prototype, which during that time has been known as the Bantam BRC. Much to that the dismay of Bantam, that the military supplied Willys and Ford using copies of the BRC projects and in a nutshell order both firms produce their very own prototypes.



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