Date of Manufacture
Former British Army under the lend-lease programme, this MB was delivered under the Ministry of Supplies Order No. SM2275 as one of 21,291 Willys MBs. Refurbished several times during its lifetime, including by the British Army in February 1955, it has been fitted with a Ford GPW engine in place of the original Willys engine, together with many other Ford parts.
During 2009, over 180 hours of work was completed on this vehicle for a full re-spray in time for Guernsey’s 65th Liberation Tour. This included the removal of over four separate layers of paint from previous re-sprays (including some 1950’s gloss green!), together with the fitting of new split-rim combat wheels and canvas. Also discovered during the re-spray were several sections of damage to the bodywork that had been repaired with lead, something not often seen nowadays!
Since 2009, much further work has been carried out including the refurbishment of the gearbox and transfer case, new brake cylinders all round (the original 1942 brake master cylinder gave out during a tour of Normandy in June 2012), a new electrical wiring loom and starter motor. The jeep is powered by a “Go-Devil” in-line four-cylinder 2,199cc engine with a single chain driven camshaft and push-rod operated side valves.When new it developed a modest 60bhp @ 3,600rpm with a maximum torque of 105 lb ft @ 2,000 rpm.
Quite car-like to drive, the selectable 4×4 and low-ratio gearbox made this vehicle very close to unstoppable and well ahead of its time, its format being copied for decades afterwards.