Historical Vehicle Fleet

Willys MB- ‘Lois’


One of the most iconic vehicles in the US military, the ‘Truck, ¼-ton, 4×4’ as it was formally called is a must-have for any WW2 vehicle fleet. The ‘Jeep’ as it is more commonly known filled the role of a standardized, light, general purpose vehicle that the Army needed in the months just prior to WW2 and served its role wonderfully. Designed in 1940 by the Willys-Overland Company, they won the contract to produce their light vehicle design in early 1941 but were incapable of producing the amount needed to meet contracts. The Ford Motor Company stepped in to fill the gap later that year and henceforth two types of Jeep were produced: the Willys ‘MB’ and the Ford ‘GPW’. Very little differed in their overall design from 1941 to 1945 and by the end of the war, both companies had produced over 630,000 Jeeps in varying types, most common of which is the standard cloth-top Jeep variant such as our August 1945-produced Willys MB. The first division museum also operates a 1942 Willys MB named ‘Marilyn’ which has been modified to medical corps specifications in order to carry wounded soldiers on stretchers quickly from the battlefield. The ‘Jeep’ name and general design stuck with other models of light truck such as the M38, M38A1 and M151 well into the 1980s but the original MB and GPW jeeps ceased production with the end of WW2 and were largely phased out of use by the 1950s.

Occupants: Driver, Co-driver (+4 on litters or seated in the back depending on model)

Carry Capacity: 800lbs

Engine: 60hp Willys L134 ‘Go-Devil’, 4 cylinder (gasoline)

Transmission: 3 speed 2x range manual

Top Speed: 65mph

Production: 637,000 produced from 1941 to 1945 (Ford and Willys-Overland)