Military or non military?

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Geoff Sumpter
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Military or non military?

Post by Geoff Sumpter » Fri Jun 08, 2018 5:36 am

I have a question about my Willys Jeep history.... :?:

My Jeep is a January '45 vehicle but came in to the UK I think in 2009...and was restored to the usual US Army colours and decals etc......Were all Jeeps designated military in very early '45 or were many of them being produced for farming and leisure?? I would like to think my Jeep saw military use ,even if that was only around US camps...It probably ended up on a farm.....Speak later




See Ya!!!.................Geoff Sumpter
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rondo
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Re: Military or non military?

Post by rondo » Fri Jun 08, 2018 5:45 am

It was in 1945 that jeeps became available to the public, but I've read that was mid year.
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Re: Military or non military?

Post by sjalbert » Fri Jun 08, 2018 6:01 am

The first CJ2A's rolled off the line in August 1945. There were some prototypes before that, but if your seller thought he had one you wouldn't have got it for the price you paid.
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Re: Military or non military?

Post by W. Winget » Fri Jun 08, 2018 6:21 am

Military vehicles produced under contract were military vehicles. They were delivered, then eventually disposed of through the military. You won't find a jeep that rolled off the line and went to civilian hands (with a few commemorative models being exceptions)
The CJ-2 was the 1st Willys civilian model jeep available to the public, the military did not purchase any of them (had plenty of MB's and GPWs, why buy CJ-2's?) There are those out there who convert CJ-2's to military appearance, but you should be able to spot that easily as there are differences in the two vehicles (another post)

The Military did not sell off zero mileage vehicles just because the War ended, it dumped their tired old vehicles 1st, then as replacements came in, the newer old models were surplussed out. The zero or low mileage models that came up for sale were usually due to storage after purchase, never being drawn for use, in the way long enough to merit disposal, or hanger queens that had an issue that mechanics kept pushing back into the maintenance system which finally dumped them out of service vs fixing them as they wrote off costs vs labor (or didn't have the labor or funds available)

If your jeep has an original dataplate with number, and it matches the frame, and it states MB or GPW, then it's a former military vehicle, either driven by a WAC/WAVE/Pvt./SGT. or 1LT somewhere at sometime. Maybe even Barbara Eden drove it (I dream of Genie where she joins the service and learns (trys) to drive...).
So whats the dataplate tell ya?
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Farrell Fox
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Re: Military or non military?

Post by Farrell Fox » Sat Jun 09, 2018 8:40 am

FWIW, CJs rolled out of the factory June 1945.

Fred Coldwell is probably the leading researcher on CJ Jeeps, and has written a lot of good information about them.

https://www.thecj2apage.com/story.html

Photo by Myron Davis, Life Magazine, June 1945
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Re: Military or non military?

Post by Ben Dover » Sat Jun 09, 2018 9:33 am

We bought our first CJ-2A around late July-early August 1945, it was from one of the first shipments of Civilian Jeeps to New England.
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Mark Jesic
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Re: Military or non military?

Post by Mark Jesic » Sat Jun 09, 2018 12:27 pm

Geoff, my first MB was manufactured on 17 June 1945. When i got it , the Norwegians had it in their military.( they really looked after their jeeps). Before that it had been in storage for the cold war, and although it was produced as the war ended, it was used by the American army in France. Dont forget there was a hell of a lot of lawlessness in Europe after the war ended, and various armies had to tidy the mess up. Hope this helps.

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Re: Military or non military?

Post by Ben Dover » Sat Jun 09, 2018 2:06 pm

Tens of thousands of jeeps got expended during the war, late 1944-1945 dated jeeps are not unusual, Study some of the immediate post war ETO U.S. Constabulary jeep hood numbers.
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