Lot 310 - 1943 Willys Jeep ‘Woodie’ Stationwagon
|Estimate||£15,000 - £18,000|
*Please note, the registration number in the photos is NOT supplied with the Jeep*
The Willys MB U.S. Army Jeep and the Ford GPW Jeep were manufactured from 1941 to 1945. These small four-wheel drive utility vehicles are considered the iconic World War II Jeep and inspired many similar light utility vehicles. With America enduring difficult economic times, the U.S. Army instigated a program to modernise its fleet with a 'general purpose, personnel or cargo carrier' especially adaptable for reconnaissance or command and designated as a ¼-tonne, 4x4 truck. Ford Motor Company, American Bantam Car Company and Willys-Overland Motors all competed for the government contract and American Bantam were the initial winners of the bid. However, the U.S. government were keen on standardisation and Willys' production capacity eventually won them the contract. Parts used on Willys' Jeeps and Ford GPW Jeeps are completely interchangeable mechanically.
This Jeep Stationwagon was purchased by Willenhall Coachcraft in 1947 from a Military surplus sale and was converted to its current specification by them. Supplied originally to the Earl of Shrewsbury in June 1948, it was sold to Victoria Garage in Stoke-on-Trent who subsequently sold the Jeep to a local man Mr. Harry Hughes. After being discovered in a shed in Norwich by prominent Jeep collector Mr. Fred Smith in 2004 it was purchased by the current vendor in 2005 who immediately commenced a total restoration project. The woodwork has been remanufactured to the same specification as the original when it left Willenhall Coachcraft, in addition to this the engine, chassis and bodywork have all been rebuilt/restored to a very high standard. Supplied with a V5 registration document, together with a buff logbook dating back to the original registration and a comprehensive photographic file of the restoration. It is thought 95 conversions were carried out by Willenhall, 125YUP is believed to be the last known example, making it a rare and highly collectable Jeep.
Interested parties should satisfy themselves as to the description and condition of each lot prior to the sale. Buyers are advised to inspect the car in person or use a professional to carry out this service.