Ford Authority

It’s Time To Buy A No-Reserve 1942 Ford Jeep

There is no better time than now to book your tickets for Scottsdale, Arizona. We have the perfect ride for you to feel like you’re ready for battle. Check out this 1942 Ford Jeep. It is going on sale with no reserve at Barrett Jackson this month, so get your checkbook ready.

According to Barrett Jackson, during World War II the Ford General Purpose Willys played a powerful role in increasing the efficiency and mobility of the U.S. Army. This 1942 model features a 3-speed manual transmission and a 2-speed transfer case paired to the four-cylinder engine. The Global Purpose Willys Jeep was known for its easy driving characteristics and serves as an excellent piece of World War II history. This is a fully restored 1942 Ford Jeep with matching numbers documented.

Lot number 219 is the one to remember at Barrett Jackson in less than two weeks time. You can register here for the 2019 auction in Scottsdale, Arizona. The auction will run January 12 to 20, so don’t miss out on the chance to be the neighborhood hero when you pull up in a 1942 Ford Jeep. If this baby gets away it could be a while before you see another one so clean.

While not very well known, The Ford Motor Company did develop the very first Jeep prototype back in 1940 – dubbed the GP-No. 1 “Pygmy”, pictured below.

A Ford GP-No.1 “Pygmy” undergoing initial tests by the US Army.
Photo: US Army / Courtesy of:

The Pygmy is the only one of five original military Jeep prototypes – two from Ford, two from Willys-Overland, and one from American Bantam (previously the American Austin Car Company) that is known to still exist today. And it’s the Ford Jeep prototype that serves as the final point of origin for many of its final Willys Jeep production attributes. The Ford Jeep “Pygmy” even wears a tall-slotted grille undeniably akin to that used on Jeeps to this very day. However, it was Willys that was granted permission to begin production of a civilian Jeep months before America’s other automakers were allowed to cease wartime production. Had that not been the case, perhaps the history of Jeep would have been more significant to Ford Motor Company.

Austin is an automotive enthusiast from Buffalo, NY with a passion for speed. When Austin isn't writing about the auto industry you can find him racing go-karts, competing in time attack events, or autocrossing his 2017 Toyota 86—with a manual transmission, of course!

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  1. JG06TJ

    Ford did not develop the first jeep prototype – in fact they were 3rd behind the true developer, American Bantam, and Willys-Overland. That being said, Ford did contribute some of the icon’s most memorable parts including the front end design, the iconic 7 slat grill, flip up headlights to illuminate the engine bay, among other things.

  2. rappini

    In the 60’s Ford won the M151 contract and built the so called MUTT in Hightland park , Michigan, it was then redesigned into the Post Office vehicles in the 70’s.

    1. JG06TJ

      The MUTT (Military Utility Tactical Truck) was designed and built by Ford and by AM General as a replacement for the Army Jeep. It was a 4cyl with unibody and 4 wheel independent suspension. The MUTT was used by the military until they adopted the HMMWV (Humvee) in 1983.

      The Postal Jeep was a DJ 5 (2wd) based on the CJ5 Jeep with a 258cid inline 6.

  3. David

    Actually, Ford contributed the stamped 9 slot grille. To create their own grille (and to avoid trademark issues), Willys Overland created the 7 slot grille.

    The term “General Purpose” was not used. GP does not equal General Purpose. Ford used the “G” to indicate Government vehicle and the “P” to indicate 80″ wheelbase. When Ford went into production with the jeeps, it changed that to GPW, with the “W” standing for Willys design.

    The original Bantam BRC prototype does not exist (but some second prototype generation Bantams, the BRC-60s, do exist). Ford’s prototypes, the Ford Budd (in England now) and the Ford Pygmy (at an Alabama vet museum), do exist. Willys built 5 Quad prototypes, but they all have disappeared. A number of Willys 2nd generation prototypes, the Willys MA, do exist.

    Finally, Bantam, Ford, and Willys all competed for the production contracts in 1941 (hence the prototypes they submitted). It was Ford that was initially awarded the first contract, but that was then taken back and re-awarded to Willys. Ford was then given the contract to act as a second source for the Willys Jeeps based on the Willys design.

    1. Ian

      Correct in all aspects.
      GP does not stand for General Purpose, nor does it stand for Global Purpose. Time to end this misconception.

  4. Polar Roller

    David. Since the slotted/stamped grille always seems to be such an item of contention I will mention in passing that In some research into the matter I came across some sworn testimony of one of the Ford engineers who worked on their version that this concept came to Ford from an outside body making contractor who had submitted it as a possibility. Ford considered it but ultimately rejected it and passed it on to Willys who did decide to adopt it. I got in hot water on 503 for even mentioning this because the grille is such a sacred covenenat among some people, and of course there surely must be all kinds of other evidence in the camps about it. I always chuckle a little because the incredibly innovative design accomplishment that Bantam achieved from scratch in a matter of months in creating what came to be one of if not the most significant cars in US history is always glossed over as a minor footnote of jeep history in favor of the really important stuff like how many slots the later cars had in the grille!:~)

    Another thing that I might mention in passing is that I am only aware of one of the original 70 Bantams (1940 BRC and 1941 BRC is the simple way to distinguish them), known to exist and that is “Gramps” BRC#1007 which was donated to the Smithsonian by the Army in restored condition as the Army’s oldest jeep. It can be seen on loan at the Heinz History center in Pittsburgh. The Pygmy you mention is probably rightly the oldest complete jeep extant..assuming it predated the Budd version in construction, but, there is substantial evidence that at least some of the Bantam pilot car parts were used in 1007. How many or what kind it is hard to say without a forensic examination. The Spicer axles were all hand wrought and in short supply, so, maybe there is something on those to indicate they were the first set made? I am aware of at least two Museum quality 1940 Bantam replicas with a third underway. The Pilot car is also recreated and able to be seen in the Terry Williams Museum neat Houston.

    Still have a few copies left, so you can read all about it see the pictures and make your own estimates of who did what in my book about it “WARBABY on Amazon or the site below.?


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