Bantam BRC-40 4x4 

BRC-40 reconnaissance car

BRC-40 reconnaissance car restored by Ken Hake. 

Bantam BRC-40 4x4 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

HISTORICAL NOTE

A 37mm gun mounted on a BRC-40

A 37mm gun mounted on a BRC-40

When the Army placed a competition request for a 4x4 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 built as four-wheel steer vehicles.

ca. 1940 photo of a Bantam 4-wheel steer Jeep

Fifty BRC-40s were built as four-wheel steer vehicles

BRC-40 restored by Jim Markell

BRC-40 restored by Jim Markell

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 4x4 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.

Mabel Bigby Worsham sitting in a Bantam BRC-40 issued to the U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey Team.

Mabel Bigby Worsham sitting in a Bantam BRC-40 issued to the U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey Team.

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