WWII Jeep Canvas Top Info

1941 - 1945, MB, GPW Technical questions and discussions, regarding anything related to the WWII jeep.
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Chuck Lutz
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WWII Jeep Canvas Top Info

Post by Chuck Lutz » Thu Jan 10, 2019 4:53 pm

OK, we all know that the top delivered on a factory jeep was the A-3216 which is more commonly known these days as the "summer top".

Next in line would have been what is commonly known as the "1944-1945 Winter Top" which can be easily identified because it has the zippered door incorporated into the side panel. It requires no drilling into the jeep to mount the side panels. Originals had a flap for the gas can strap but not for the later heater vent. I believe the windows were "framed", a feature the Beachwood versions do not have.

Starting with the A-3216, Here is Frank Buck's original:
A-3216 Top Quarter View.jpg
A-3216 Top Quarter View.jpg (102.07 KiB) Viewed 452 times

Following that is the "1944-1945 Top" which has the zippered doors a part of the side panels. This is the Beachwood version of this top/side assembly:
Beachwood Winter 44-45 side view..jpg
Beachwood Winter 44-45 side view..jpg (178.91 KiB) Viewed 452 times
There are variations of the Late Winter Top made by the Norwegian Army, by the Brits during WWII and probably by other armies in foreign nations in the post war era. These are all featuring a separate set of doors and require frames and drilling to mount them. Finally, here is the Friday Canvas version:
Friday Canvas Side.jpg
Friday Canvas Side.jpg (56.37 KiB) Viewed 452 times
Remember that all the modern replacement tops, from the Summer, to the 44-45 and to the Late Winter 1945 designs have some non-factory modifications (hard to find push-button Cinch fittings vs twist-type or "D" type strap ends vs. "C" type for instance) down to the hard window surrounds vs plain sewn-in windows.

Bottom line is you pick the STYLE then upgrade to different features if you/your pocketbook or the vendor can supply them.

Hope I got the mfgers right on the 44-45 and the Late Winter 45 pics!
Chuck Lutz

GPW 17963 4/24/42 Chester, PA. USA 20113473 (USA est./Tom W.)
GPW 108552 4/17/43 Louisville, KY. USA 20371278 (DOD est./Tom W.)
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Re: WWII Jeep Canvas Top Info

Post by 1942GPW » Thu Jan 10, 2019 5:44 pm

Interesting post. Hopefully someone can share more detail and pictures regarding original vs. reproduction hardware differences. Thanks
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Re: WWII Jeep Canvas Top Info

Post by dinof » Thu Jan 10, 2019 6:38 pm

It's tempting to use a winter top in winter but geez, the visibility looks horrid. Or at least it would be hell around where I drive. :)
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Re: WWII Jeep Canvas Top Info

Post by Mark Tombleson » Thu Jan 10, 2019 10:29 pm

You forgot WO-A-3384!

And remember this thread... viewtopic.php?f=4&t=238914
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Re: WWII Jeep Canvas Top Info

Post by Chuck Lutz » Fri Jan 11, 2019 11:09 am

Mark....I wish you had just mentioned if the A-3384 was just an A-3216 with a dye job if that is the only difference. I was more interested in the STYLE and means of identification based on the features. Can you post a color pic of an A-3384 so we can see the difference? Is there any difference in construction details between the A-3384 and the A-3216 besides the COLOR?

How many A-3384 tops were made and who has one we can get color pics of?

Thanks, bro....
Chuck Lutz

GPW 17963 4/24/42 Chester, PA. USA 20113473 (USA est./Tom W.)
GPW 108552 4/17/43 Louisville, KY. USA 20371278 (DOD est./Tom W.)
Bantam T3 4582 10/29/42 USA 0173499 (est.)


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Re: WWII Jeep Canvas Top Info

Post by Chuck Lutz » Fri Jan 11, 2019 11:26 am

dinof….now that I have an unused Beachwood 1944-1945 Winter Top on my GPW that is/will need to be stretched some more once there are any hot sunny days I can pull the jeep out of the garage....I was also thinking about the terrible vision the side panels or the doors restrict you to. I was even thinking about getting a modification that did not include doors (doesn't snow here and freezing temps are not the norm even in winter) but did have some type of enclosure for the rear seating area.

I might just have to make a surrounding frame and ask Farrell to make me a panel for each side with a HUGE window area so I can at least see better than the other full enclosure winter tops. My GPW has the holes where a pass side WWII mirror assembly was once installed so that would have to be another safety item to have on the jeep also. Something along the lines of the French M201 side panels seen below but with larger windows and without the straps that needed footman loops mounted on the tub.

Haven't decided if I even need those side panels just yet though...it took me 18 years to get a winter top to play around with so I may wait until I can run across some side panels that can be modified from the Late War 1945 style with doors and just not bother with the doors.

Here is an M201 top I have a pic of...don't know if it is original or a slightly modified repop but I'd put in BIGGER window if I started with some side panels like that...
Hotchkiss Winter Canvas.jpg
Hotchkiss Winter Canvas.jpg (56.01 KiB) Viewed 312 times
Chuck Lutz

GPW 17963 4/24/42 Chester, PA. USA 20113473 (USA est./Tom W.)
GPW 108552 4/17/43 Louisville, KY. USA 20371278 (DOD est./Tom W.)
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Re: WWII Jeep Canvas Top Info

Post by Mark Jesic » Fri Jan 11, 2019 1:47 pm

Chuck, not all M201 tops were made of canvas, some were vynl, as were some seats, i think these were the later made ones though.

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Re: WWII Jeep Canvas Top Info

Post by Chuck Lutz » Fri Jan 11, 2019 2:29 pm

Thanks Mark...good to note that. Do you happen to know if the pic I posted as an M201 is an original or a more recent creation with any modifications especially the side window shape/size?

Also are the M201 Winter Tops common in Europe in canvas and if they are, what would a set of just the SIDES with no top or doors cost? Original or repop?
Chuck Lutz

GPW 17963 4/24/42 Chester, PA. USA 20113473 (USA est./Tom W.)
GPW 108552 4/17/43 Louisville, KY. USA 20371278 (DOD est./Tom W.)
Bantam T3 4582 10/29/42 USA 0173499 (est.)

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Re: WWII Jeep Canvas Top Info

Post by Mark Jesic » Fri Jan 11, 2019 3:00 pm

Chuck, it looks right, and yes the back windows are large on the Hotchkiss. The doors look correct, but there may be slight variations. I saw a company doing full sets recently at a show, costing £525, thats about $630. Yes its steep. There is a company in England, you have probably heard of them, Worthing Canvas, he would do the doors ans sides for you, as in Hotchkiss, but its the old enemy called shipping costs. Just another Hotchkiss note, some of the later models had a single seat in the back. You could get the doors and sides at a guess at around £300 . They dont do repro in vynl so it would be canvas. John Worthing does import his canvas from the U.S.A. Hope this helps.

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Re: WWII Jeep Canvas Top Info

Post by dinof » Fri Jan 11, 2019 10:01 pm

Chuck-That M201 top looks a lot better on visibility. Who made those tops for jeeps back in the '70's? There was Bestop & Kayliner? My GPW was light blue and I ran a black color top. Point is, the 201 has the visibility like the aftermarket tops.

I will say this. I know it's not super cold down here, but it would be nice to drive the jeep in 45 degree weather and be comfortable. Plus sometimes I like the warmer interior driving around. My wife doesn't complain, but she probably would like it too.
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Re: WWII Jeep Canvas Top Info

Post by Ben Dover » Fri Jan 11, 2019 10:44 pm

The latest 60's-70's M-201 Open Top A-3216 was vinyl, had a smaller rectangular windowthan the US made A-3216 canvas version. It was crappy and flimsy.
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