Military Vehicles Spotlight: 1941 Bantam BRC-40

1941 Bantam BRC-40

Photo by John Adams-Graf

Bantam BRC-40 4×4 Reconnaissance Car

  • Weight: 2,600 lbs
  • Engine: Continental BY 4112 4-cylinder
  • Displacement: 112 cu. in.
  • Horsepower: 45 @ 3,500 rpm
  • Fuel: Gasoline
  • Fuel Capacity: 10 gallons
  • Maximum speed: 55 mph
  • Maximum range: 165 miles


When the Army placed a competition request for a 4×4 1/4-ton reconnaissance car, three companies produced prototypes: Ford, Willys and Bantam. Bantam hurriedly built a batch of 69 pre-production units before the Army ordered 1,500 vehicles. Between March 10 and July 2, 1941, Bantam completed the vehicles, each designated as a “BRC-40.” Fifty were completed as four-wheel steer vehicles.

Bantam received a third order for 1,175 units with work completed in December 1941. Though it had been an early innovator in the evolution of the Jeep, this was Bantam’s last order for the 4×4 vehicle. During WWII, Bantam went on to produce thousands of 1/4-ton T-3 trailers for use behind Jeeps and torpedoes for the Royal Navy.

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