Oldtimer gallery. Cars. Willys MB and Ford GPW.
Willys MB and Ford GPW
Years of production: 1942 - 1945 (XI 1941 - III 1942 early Willys MB).
Overall production: (50501 car Lend-Leased to the USSR)
Willys MA - 1500; Willys MB+MA - 361349 (350349?);
Ford-GP - 3350; Ford GPW - 277896 (277878?);
Bantam-40BRC - 2675 (+ about 1000?).
4x4 4-seater commander military car
Length: 3335mm (132 in.), Width: 1585mm (62 in.), Height: 1830mm (69 in.) with soft top.
Wheelbase: 2032mm (80 in.), Road clearance on rear axle: 220mm (83/4 in.)
Front wheel track: 1230mm (48 in.)
Rear track: 1230mm (48 in.)
Minimal turning radius of front wheel: 5,9 m
Engine: 54hp/3600rpm, 4-cyl. 4-stroke carburettor SV (SideValves), liquid cooling, 2199cm3 (134,2 cu.in.)
Maximal turning momentum: 14,2 under 2000 rpm
Bore/Stroke: 79,37/111,12mm (31/8 / 43/8 in.)
Cylinder firing order: 1-3-4-2
Number of crankshaft fixing points: 3
Cool clearance between tappet and valve stem: intake - 0,35mm, exhaust - 0,35mm
Oil filter type: Absorbing, parallel to main oil channel
Cooling system: water, with compulsory cycling
Ventilator: 4-blade with wedge-type belt from belt pulley on the crankshaft
Centrifugal water pump on the same axle with ventilator
Radiator type: tubular
Carburettor type: Carter WO-539-S
Ignition system: battery, 6V, battery capacity - 116 A*h
Interruptor-distributor type: ?
Type and power of generator: ?; ?W
Type and power of starter: ?; 0,6hp
Model and size of spark plugs: ?; ?mm; electrode clearance: ? mm
Fuel pump of membrane type
Air filter with oil bath and filtering packing, moistured by oil, model A-19386
Fuel filter of plate type with sedimentation tank, model T-2
Clutch: dry single plate with dampering coil springs
Gearbox: 3-speed, + 1 rear (synchronized II and III)
Ratios: I - 2,665, II - 1,564, III - 1,0, rear - 3,554
Transfer box: Spicer, 2-speed (1:1 - overdrive, 1,97:1 - slow), with front axle switching off
Cardan transmission: two open cardans of Spicer type
Front axle whole, with pressed-in covers of semi-axles
RearFront axle whole, with pressed-in covers of semi-axles
Differential ratio: 4,88, single bevel gear, differential - bevel gears
Foot brakes: hydraulical shoe brakes on all wheels
Hand brakes: on rear cardan, ribbon-type
Suspension on longitudinal semielliptical leaf springs
Steering: worm and twin finger
Weight: 1020 kg
Front axle load: own - 505kg, loaded - 550 kg
Rear axle load: own - 550kg, loaded - 720 يك
Towing pintle height: 600 mm
Maximal speed on highway: 104 km/h
Tyre size: 6,00-16 in.
Fuel tank capacity: 15 gallons
Fuel consumption: 14,0 L/100km (creking-gasoline KB-70, USSR)
Cooling system capacity: 10,3 L
Oil carter capacities: engine - ? L; gearbox - 1,0 L; transfer box - 1,4 L;
rear differential - 1,2 L
The serial numbers table below is from J.B.Almeida pages.
Light offroad army car was created simultaneously by 3 producers: Willys, Ford and Bantam in 1940. Production began in 1941, but in July 1941 American Defence Ministry decided to unify this car type. Willys MA have been taken as basal model, but it was also improved, taking into account exploitation experience. New model received index MB. Ford began production of almost the same car (differences were literally in letters on screws) under the name Ford GPW, where G means "Government issue", P - "Passenger" - for 1/4-ton light tractor with 80 in. wheelbase, W - "Willys blueprints". Letters GP formed too popular now name - "jeep". In the beginning of the Great Patriotic War Red Army had generally standard Emka GAZ-M1 and small amount of 4x4 GAZ-61 cars for officers and generals. In 1942 Willyses appeared in Soviet Union by Lend-Lease agreement. Part of them arrived disassembled in containers. Plant Nr.4 in Kolomna, Moscow region, and possibly GAZ assembled them here. Our commanders soon estimated all advantages of Willys (Russian called Ford GPW as "Willys" also, name Ford was assotiated only with trucks and amphibian Ford GPA, which were called simply as "Ford-Amphibia" or "Ford-4 amphibia", all these popular names were in official papers of road militia, although big part of "Willyses" was indeed Ford GPW).
After the war Willyses gradually got to private hands, and this saved many of them, what one cannot say about trucks, prohibited to be private in Soviet Union. Russian weather conditions are hard, and Russians are people with skilled hands, as a result almost every Willys here received hard top and doors (this process of domestic redesign began already in war times. Another advantage of closed body, - such cars can be kept on the streets, this was important factor for not wealthy life-level people, which can't afford garage. To a pity of today enthusiasts, original cars are very rare in this part of planet.
Very rare variants of Willys MB were 6x6 Willyses. This is T24 scout car (50k b&w).
I received following strings from Paul Seabury (England) about the 3rd photo on this page: "It is an experimental vehicle for airbourne use produced by Willys and Nuffield Ltd in England in 1943. It used mechanical components and shortened frame of Willys MB. It was intended to be used for jungle warfare towards the end of the war but history is a little vague about this."
Outer most visible difference between MB and GPW - cross-section under the radiator. On Willys it's tubular, and on Ford it has rectangular shape.
The table below shows unit numbers of Willyses MB and Fords GPW. It contains all blanks in Ford numbers as they were in J.B.Almeida page.
|Year||WILLYS numbers||FORD numbers
|1st number ||Last number||1st number ||Last number|
|1941 || MB 100 001 || MB 108 598 ||- ||-|
|1942 || MB 108 599 || MB 200 022 ||1 ||92 974 |
|1943 || MB 200 023 || MB 293 232||? ||? |
|1944 || MB 293 233 || MB 402 334 ||? || ? |
|1945 || MB 402 335 || MB 459 851||?||?
Thanks for help to Evgenii I. Prochko (Moscow), Jan Szatan (Poland), Jeffery W. Lee and Igor Guzienko, Kiev.
Photos from following sources are used:
Archive of Jan Szatan (Poland) (homepage)
Militär Fordons Historiska Föreningen, Sweden.
Military Vehicles Sales & Appraisal Service
Bart Vanderveen, "Historic Military Vehicles Directory", After the Battle Publication, 1989.
"Wheels & Tracks" magazine, Nr.69.
Hemmings Motor News
Deals On Wheels
What else in the net:
"1st Avtobat" (in Russian).
Jeep Willys MB - restoration garage in estonia, (in Russian/English) - homepage of Sergei Naidenkov.
J.B.Almeida page. (in English), Portugal.
1944 Willys MB (in English), homepage of Bill Hollinger (California, USA).
You are welcome to write me by E-mail Contact. Andrei Bogomolov.
Entrance GALLERY Cars Willys Ford Sale Links
Last updated 22 IX 2000.