For those of us who were lucky enough to not have been involved in World War II, you may not necessarily know about all of the vehicles that were used, and how many American automobile manufacturers somehow participated in the war. For this Flashback Friday, we’re taking a look at World War II Jeeps, specifically the Jeep Willys.
The Jeep Willys may look similar to a current Jeep model, the Wrangler, but in fact was only used specifically for World War II. Jeep came out with a civilian model later on called the CJ, but the Willys MB was the only one to be used in World War II.
You may be thinking, well, what use would this do in a war? This vehicle has essentially no protection whatsoever. The 1941 Willys Jeep MB was one of the most iconic vehicles of WWII and inspired many of the smaller lightweight SUVs we see today. The Jeep Willys and the Jeep CJ were eventually replaced by the Wrangler, but today, Jeep still offers the Willys Wheeler package, which uses some of the same classic off-road elements found in original Willys models.
These vehicles were so popular and useful in World War II because they gave soldiers quick access to a vehicle and were capable of handling any and all types of terrain. Each Willys used a slotted front grille, which has become standard for today’s Jeeps, because originally these types of front ends were lighter, easier and less expensive to manufacture.
The Jeep Willys were also so useful during World War II because they were able to carry large amounts of cargo and large guns were easily accessible.
Even though this iconic vehicle isn’t used in war any longer (it was eventually replaced by the Humvee), it still lives on as the first ever off roading vehicle perfect for any situation.
What vehicle should we explore for next week’s Flashback Friday? Sound off in the comments!