Military Vehicle Spotlight: 1941 Willys MB “slat grille” Jeep

Restored and photo by Zack Magnusson

 

G-503 Willys ¼-ton 4×4 Truck

  • Weight: 2,453 lbs.
  • Engine: Willys “Go-Devil” 4-cylinder
  • Displacement: 134 cu. in.
  • Horsepower: 54 @ 4,000
  • Fuel: Gasoline
  • Maximum speed: 65 mph
  • Maximum range: 285 miles

 

HISTORICAL NOTE:

By July 1941, the U.S. War Department wanted to standardize the 4×4 ¼-ton truck and and select a single manufacturer to supply them with an order for 16,000 vehicles. Willys won the contract mostly due to its more powerful engine and its lower cost. Each of the first 25,808 Jeeps to roll out of the Willys factory had welded flat iron “slat” radiator grille. Vehicles produced after June 12, 1942, were fitted with the now-familiar, stamped-steel grille.

By October 1941, it became apparent Willys-Overland could not keep up with the production demand. The military contracted with Ford to produce the 4x4s as well. The Ford vehicle was designated “GPW”—the “W” referring to the “Willys” licensed design. During WWII, Willys produced 363,000 Jeeps and Ford about 280,000. Approximately 51,000 were exported to the USSR as part of the Lend-Lease program.

Related Posts:

Leave a Reply