When the US Army needed an all-purpose in World War II, Bantam came up with the right 4WD design but production was also given to both Ford and Willys. Each company produced virtually the same vehicle, though Willys produced the most with 361,349, Ford being second with 277,896, and Bantam last with just 2,675. The frame was simple but very rugged and everything had to be bolt-on for ease of maintenance. Fully floating Spicer axles were used at either end with multi-leaf springs for durability and strength to carry heavy loads as these cars were adapted to many uses. As the idea was to keep the components simple and reliable, the engine was a four-cylinder unit with high torque and low output. The Jeep could pull up steep inclines, thanks to a two-speed transfer case and minimal bodywork overhang which allowed approach and departure angles of 45 degrees.
Willys Jeep (1941) Specifications
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