Classic American

THE GENERAL'S JEEP

How would the American army have managed without the iconic Second World War Jeep? Its defined purpose was “to transport Command and Reconnaissance personnel and light cargo”. It became the army’s general dogsbody, doing anything asked of it and doing it well.

“IT’S SUCH A BASIC VEHICLE THERE WAS NOTHING DIFFICULT ABOUT RESTORING IT. LIKE REBUILDING A TRACTOR ALMOST...”

Between 1941 and 1945, Willys built more than 300,000 Jeeps and Ford, under licence from Willys, built another 280,000. It has often been claimed, jokingly or otherwise, that the Jeep was responsible for more injuries to young GIs than bullets. They certainly inflicted a great deal and you can understand why. Young lads, thousands of miles from home, hooning around with their buddies in these nifty, nimble, go-anywhere, rufty-tufty machines.

However, young hotbloods, ruts, ditches, a short wheelbase, a narrow track, bouncy suspension and a high centre of gravity are not a good combination and many were turned over with disastrous consequences.

With no side protection and no rollover hoops, injuries were indeed common. Still, in those days, Jeeps and GIs

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