Re: [MV] The meaning of GPW et al.

Todd Paisley (
Wed, 6 Oct 1999 00:11:57 -0400

>Notice: All information, data , charts, quotations and copy,
>with the exception of comments by Todd Paisley, contained within
>this document are Copyright James T. Gilmore, 1999
>It's use in any publication without permission is expressly forbidden.

Ditto. My comments are Copyright 1999 Todd Paisley. Don't want to help
write someone's book.... ;)

> >>Pure rubbish. The Ford pilot models and GP were knock-offs and
> >>refinements of the Bantam pilot model and BRC-60 (of which Ford
> >>was given the blueprints to by the QMC).
> Hold on here. I was talking about the BODY design, not the
> general layout of the vehicle. You are correct that Van Dykes were given
> by the QMC. Bantam, Ford and Willys were ALL required to provide the QMC
> with the drawings of their respective pilot vehicles. It was the QMC that
> set the original specifications as to weight, length, height, and features
> that they wanted for the pilot models. Bantam (and Ford & Willys) produced
> their pilot model to the QMC specifications, not the other way around.
> we then say that the Bantam is a knock off of the QMC since they came up
> with the idea of a 1/4 ton 4x4 first? It is the QMC specifications that
> determined the basic shape/size/wheel base/cowl height of the pilots.
> However, each manufacturer interpreted these specifications in their own
> manner.

Very difficult to make a knock off of an idea. Rifkin and interviews and
publications from Probst all document the meetings between the QMC Technical
Committee and Bantam at Butler's plant and at Holabird. The specifications
changed weekly (and sometimes daily) based on comments and discussions
between the 2 groups. The QMC originally came in with a ridiculously low
height requirement and it was Bantam (along with some other Army supporters)
who had the requirements changed. To say that the QMC knew exactly what
they wanted out of the box is wrong. The Bantam pilot model was the first
instantiation of the product of those meetings and discussions. Bantam and
the QMC designed the Jeep body. Ford merely refined it.

> I would say that the swing-up headlights (with their grille
> attachment), fold-forward windshield (and it's frame) and even the rear
> (GP/MB), were in fact, ground breaking.

Well, there are 1000's of parts that comprise a jeep. To pick a few of the
design characteristics and call the entire vehicle "Ford's design" is wrong.
Bantam's pilot model had a windshield. It was a fold down type. It was in
the same basic location. The only difference is that Bantam's had a fixed
cowl piece that the windshield pivoted on. Ford merely added an extension
to the windshield frame and pivoted on the front portion of this extension.
It is a refinement. It is NOT ground breaking work. Whether it is better
can be answered by what has happened in modern Jeep refinement. The "Ford"
design windshield disappeared with the 1954 CJ-5 windshield which featured a
fixed cowl mount and the windshield folded forward. The "Bantam" design is
what is still with us in Jeep designs today. Bantam had the last laugh on
this one....

As far as the rear seat and headlights: Bantam had these as well. Making
them a different way from what was originally produced doesn't mean the
entire body is "your" design. Ford merely refined what was already done.
They improved Bantam's design.

> So much so that the United States
> Patent Office gave Clarence Kramer PATENTS on each one of these items.

I'm not saying he didn't get patents for them. The question is whether
these minor and insignificant design characteristics on a body make the
ENTIRE body a company's design. I fully recognize that he came up with
these designs. I question whether a rear seat, the way a windshield pivots
and the location of headlights really make a damn bit of difference to a
design (and the difference is large enough to warrant a statement that the
refinements of Bantam's design makes the entire design Ford's now). The QMC
were NOT creating things to transport rear seats and headlights. They were
creating reconnaissance vehicles.

> As for the rest of Roeder's quote, if I had any idea that it would
> such consternation I would have left it out! However, it is my policy,
> whenever possible, to include the entire quote. Quotes can change meaning
> entirely if parts of them are left out. (example: the statement "I like
> Nazi S.S uniform, but hate what they stand for" can be cut to "I like the
> Nazi S.S........". Not exactly what the
> the original quotation meant but it IS the quote!!)
> Lets look at the rest of Mr. Roeder's quote;
> "It had a Willys designed engine and it had a Ford body, frame,
> generator, starter, shock absorbers -- but all these components were
> interchangeable."
> Dale Roeder did not say that these things were designed by Ford. He
> was, in this interview, speaking about the Ford built jeep (GPW) He is
> correct that the body, frame, generator,starter etc. were Ford, that is,
> produced by Ford (or for Ford by their subcontractors).

Well, Dale Roeder's views and statements on this are irrelevant to whether
(and this is in your original post):

"Ford considered the MB to be derived from the Ford design and blueprints.
Which it was !! Yes, Yes, I know that Bantam "invented" the jeep, however
the body design of the MB/GPW was pure Ford !".

You were trying to provide evidence to your belief that Ford designed the
body. When I originally read his statement, I immediately thought he was
talking about the GPW. He would be correct in that they (Ford) produced
their own frame for the GPW, but this is AFTER they received the
Willys-Overland MB blueprints. (Willys-Overland controlled the MB design.
Any change needed to come through them during the war. The QMC demanded
that the parts be interchangeable.) This is the EXACT OPPOSITE of what you
were trying to prove in that Willys used Ford blueprints to create the MB.
This is why I provided dates and scans of documents to prove Willys was
designing the MB a long time before the GPW became involved and I expected
similar Ford dates to back up the Ford blueprints claims. I am assuming
that since you didn't comment on the dates and things from my last post,
that you concur that the frame, shocks, generator, starter are
Willys-Overland designs.

>> Is this not exactly what I was saying? Please read my original
> posting again. I did not state that the MB was an EXACT, part for part,
> duplicate of the Ford. I stated " Ford considered the MB to be DERIVED
> the Ford design and blueprints. Which it was".( I will retract the word
> "pure" from my statement that the body was "pure" Ford as the body tubs
> basically all the same as the Bantam) The key word is "derived" and I was
> talking at the time only about the design of the body. (ie) Where did the
> features (designs) that make up the MB body came from. Which pilot model
> (Willys Quad, Budd bodied Ford, Kramer bodied Pygmy or Bantam) were the
> first to use them. This will show were the "design" features originated
> from. It would be incorrect to say for example, that the grab handles on
> the MB were a Bantam design, because the Bantam pilot did not have them!
> The Willys, Budd and Ford bodies first used them.

I'm not saying design for the body of the MB came from Willys-Overland. I
believe it (no, I KNOW) the body design originated from the Bantam pilot
model. The body tub of the Bantam pilot model is damn near the same in the
Quads and the Pygmys. Ford and Willys even copied the unique "double dip"
in the side door openings. Because each company used different techniques
and processes to create their bodies, they "refined" the design. (This next
part is my theory and I cannot prove this at this time: I believe Ford had
2 designs (the Ford and the Budd-bodied "Pygmys") to hedge their bets. I
believe Kramer (as an engineer), wanted to "improve" certain aspects of the
Bantam pilot model. (As an engineer myself, you always want to improve or
make better whatever you are working on.) But Ford didn't want to be late
in their submission and exceptance of the pilot models. So they
commissioned Budd to make a body that was very similar to the Bantam pilot
model. This was done because at that time the Army already had accepted the
Bantam pilot model. For the Army to reject the Budd-bodied pilot model from
Ford with the same characteristics as Bantam's winning pilot model would be
hard for them to do. Kramer's refinements to Bantam's body design that he
wanted for Ford's submission was a risk (since they probably didn't know
what the Army would think of them). The Kramer refinements were what Ford
wanted the submission to be. The Budd-bodied design was the "insurance"
model. Don't want to debate this one at this time. It is still on the
stack of things to research...)

> Now if we look at the chart above we see that the MB body has a flat
> rectangular hood, flat bar stock grille, swing-up head lamps and blackout
> lamps behind the grille, flat open fenders, tubular fold-forward
> double-bow top bow, and flat cowl. Now, which one of the pilot model
> has all these features?

I can come up with a list of charactistics that is just as long that show
the MB evolved from the Quad. What we are getting wrapped up on is the
definition of a "body design". If you stand back and look at this from a
distance and ask people who are not Jeep people to ask them what constitutes
a "jeep" body, they are going to say the body tub and the grille. They are
not going to mention how the windshield pivots, how many top bows are
present, whether the rear seat is fixed or folded. If you can agree on
this, you have to then look to see what was the first company to make a
model that had a tub like this. It is the Bantam pilot model. If you look
at the body tub from the cowl on back, it is unmistakeably a Jeep. There
are not very many differences in that design. Ford and Willys REFINED that
body tub. They did not design it. Every jeep produced after the Bantam
pilot model is a refinement of that original design. Did Ford provide
refinements to the Bantam design that made it to the MB? You bet. But the
basic design is NOT Ford's design. It is Bantam's.

If you are talking about "body design" in the context of construction, the
MB is DEFINITELY a Willys-Overland design. The Bantam BRC-40 and Ford GP
bodies were constructed in different ways from the MB. (For example, the
Ford GP had rounded body edges with a large hat channel reinforcement
running the length of the body. The MB does not have these design
characteristics. ) Their body construction and style is an evolution coming
from their commerical cars of the period. If you put a MA and MB body side
by side, you can see the evolution of the design.

> The Ford Pygmy. Even something as simple as the "T" spring hooks for
> the hood and windshield were first used on the Ford pilots. The features
> the Kramer designed Pygmy body were carried over to the final product, the
> MB. (I will agree here that the shape of the top of the MB flat fender is
> like the Quad, that is two piece (although with sides) , but the open
> (flat with no sides) flat fender was first used on the Pygmy).
> I ask the question, besides the two piece shape of the front fenders,
> part of the MB body design originates from the Willys Quad?

The entire body tub. The tub was an evolution to the MA which was the
evolution to the MB. The "closed" fender design was changed because of mud
build-up. It would have evolved to the MA design regardless of whether Ford
ever participated. If you combine the Bantam pilot model, BRC-60 and Quad
fender designs, you will get the MA fender.

> I am not shorting Bantam here. We are talking about the body design of
> the pilots compared to the final product. I would credit them with the
> tub and door cutaways. Had it not been for Clare Kramer the MB body would
> have looked like the Bantam BRC 60 or the Quad.

The body tub is pretty much the same and makes up the bulk of the body.
Without the tub, you wouldn't have much of a body. If what we are arguing
about is the hood design, I grant that he came up with that. The difference
is you stated:

"Ford considered the MB to be derived from the Ford design and blueprints.
Which it was !! Yes, Yes, I know that Bantam "invented" the jeep, however
the body design of the MB/GPW was pure Ford !".

When were the Ford blueprints given to Willys-Overland? Ford had their role
in the reinfinements of Bantam's original body design. But to call it their
design is wrong. No verifiable evidence has surfaced to support that view.

> Even the President of the Bantam Car Cop., developers of the concept,
> sworn testimony before a U.S. Senate Committee, thought the Ford to be the
> closest to the final specifications. (it was these specifications that the
> MB was built to.)

It was in Bantam's best interest to show that other manufacturers besides
Willys-Overland (who won the contract) could produce vehicles to the
"specification". They needed to show that others could meet the
specification to try to get back into producing the jeep.

> >>This is another myth that seem to perpetuate. There are Willys-Overland
> >>drawings (A-2981) which shows the stamped grille being shown as early as
> >>September 1941, one month before the Ford contract.
> This is very interesting ! Does this document show the exact GPW/MB
> pressed grille?

Yes. It shows the regular production, "after slat grille" stamped grille.
I didn't pull "American Forge and Socket Company" out of thin air....

> I would love to see or have a copy of this document.

I would love to have the Ford archive photo numbers for the Budd-bodied
pilot model for Jeff. Jeff offered to provide copies of what he gets to
you. He really wants them to help him with his restoration. He isn't
writing a book. He isn't going to try and screw up your book. He simply
wants to research his jeep...

> In
> fact, I would think that Daimler/Chrysler would give a kings ransom for
> anything that could PROVE they (Willys Overland) designed the WW II jeep's
> pressed steel grille! I do not say this in a "smart ass" way but
> mean it. You see, D/C Corp. has a problem. They just lost a landmark
> concerning the Jeep grille. They (Chrysler, now Daimler/Chrysler Corp.)
> for some time, run around the country threatening major lawsuits against
> anyone using "their" grille trademark for any purpose.

I know. I don't want to give it to them because they are a**holes when it
comes to licensing. A retired friend of mine wanted to reproduce the old
W-O tailgates on the early Jeep pickups. They are fairly elaborate and have
a deep draw. He wanted to do it for the fun of trying to make them. When
he tried to get Chrysler to give him permission to do this, they raked him
over the coals and made it impossible for him to make a profit trying to do
it. Rather than produce them at a loss, he didn't do it. Who wins here?
Chrysler can kiss my a**.

> I even know of a
> Military jeep dealer (he used the jeep grille on his business cards) who
> threatened with a lawsuit! He now uses a Bantam BRC 40 grille on his
> Several years ago I was contacted by Ted Vanzant who produces jeep grille
> overlays and was being sued by Chrysler Corp. Ted had heard that I had
> on the design of the pressed steel grille and that I had interviewed the
> designer (Kramer). I sent him data and had him contact Mr.Kramer. I just
> contacted Ted to see how he made out (one of the reasons for the delay in
> sending this post) and he replied;

I sent Ted a note a year or 2 ago telling him of the existance of the
drawing, but he ignored me.

> I refer to this court case as further documentation that Willys did
> design the WW II jeep pressed steel grille. If the grille was first
> designed by Willys then why would Chrysler not be able to prove this in
> court?

They don't have the blueprint. (It is very difficult to prove something if
you don't have the proper documentation.) AMC company policy was to destroy
drawings and documents older than 25 years old. AMC is the reason they
don't have the evidence to support their case. Most of the evidence
Chrysler needs was disposed of when AMC bought Kaiser Jeep Corporation. It
is just one example of their short-sightedness coming back to haunt them.

> If the drawing Todd refers to (A-2981, is this a drawing number or
> a part number? the MA grille # is A-2207, MB slat # is A-2858 and MB
> grille # is A-3615)

A-2981 is a blueprint. It exists. It is owned by a friend of mine who got
it from a company who was supplied a set of MB drawings during WWII (they
were making some vehicles based on the MB at the time and Willys-Overland
sent them these drawings to help them with their design.)

> has a date of September 1941, it brings up some
> interesting questions such as; If Willys designed the pressed steel grille
> by 9/41, why did they not use it in production which started 11/41? Why
> did they wait until 3/42 (after nearly 26,000 MB jeeps were built) to use
> the pressed grille on the MB? Why use the more costly and time consuming
> built up bar stock (slat) grille if they had the design for the simpler
> cheaper grille?

Or it could be that Willys-Overland didn't want to "rock the boat" with
respect to ECPs to the design. Once Ford was a "partner" they may have
asked Ford to help push the design.

> Mr. Kramer was correct that any deviation from the contract
> specifications required approval from the QMC (and later the Ord. Dept)
> before it could be used. These changes were authorized by the Chief of
> Ordnance as Engineering Change Orders (E.C.O.). Even something as simple
> stencilling "no spare tire" on the jeep shipping crates required one of
> these (E.C.O. 8930, 9/30/44). Maybe someone will come up with the E.C.O.
> the pressed steel grille and we will find out more about it's origin.

At least today there is a Engineering Change Proposal submitted first. Just
like I said before, it would be nice to have the QMC and Bantam records to
put all 4 together to get the complete picture. There is so much wrong and
disinformation being passed around over the years, it is hard to determine
the truth.

>The "fact" that WF&F produced the pressed steel grille has been written
> in several books with some going as far as saying that they (WF&F)
> it!

What is WF&F?

>I have found only ONE (1) reference to WF&F in all of the
> thousands of pages of documents that I have reviewed in the Ford Archives.
> In the "infamous" La Croix file is the statement " Among other Company
> developments was a pressed-steel brush guard-lighter, lower in cost,
> stronger and requiring less critical tools than the previous welded bar
> design. It was designed by Ford in co-operation with the American Forge
> Socket Company, Pontiac, Michigan."

This is where documentation is important here. I have the date Willys
worked with American Forge and Socket Company. If Ford is after this date,
they could not have designed the grille. One would have to assume they went
to American Forge and Socket Company because Willys-Overland sent them there
since they worked with the company in September 1941.

As far as why they waited to April, there are a lot of possible "theories" I
can think of. (i.e. The Army didn't think the stamped grille was stronger
than the bar grille and it took Ford's lobbying on behalf of Willys to
convince the Army to do so. By the time they did get permission, Willys
already had a large supply of slat grilles they had to use up or they would
have to "eat" the cost of those unwanted grilles. There are a lot of
factory records that say to "Use part XXXX until supply is exhausted.") Let
your imagination run wild.

As far as I'm concerned, when I boil down your evidence that :

"Ford considered the MB to be derived from the Ford design and blueprints.
Which it was !! Yes, Yes, I know that Bantam "invented" the jeep, however
the body design of the MB/GPW was pure Ford !".

your evidence is:

1) The Ford-bodied Pygmy has a different pivoting windshield.
2) The Ford Pygmy has a fold up rear seat instead of a fixed seat on the
Bantam pilot model.
3) Ford had swing up headlights.
4) Hood was squared off.
5) Fenders were "open".

(All the other characteristics like the windshield latches, hood latches,
etc. in your chart are supporting hardware to the above.)

Is this correct? Want to get us to agree to these points before we then go
to the next step which is show the Ford Pygmy is derived from the Bantam
pilot model.

Still wondering where the evidence is that Ford blueprints were used in the

Todd Paisley

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