It is Bantam to be the first jeeps)see the article on the origins of the Jeep).
Karl Probstengineer in the automotive business of Bantam (Butler, Philadelphia) was the father of the Jeep. In response to requests from the U.S. Army on a model of reconnaissance all-terrain vehicle, he created the first plans of what would later become the famous Jeep Willys. In seven weeks, he designed the craft, built the first prototype and delivered to camp Holabird, on 23 September 1940.
This first model came to be called GPV (General Purpose vehicle) / The Pilot Model / the MKI or even the well. Number One ».
This model was by far the best design proposed to the US Army at the time of the tender. Some tests took concerns that Bantam corrected. This model corrected to called Bantam BRC-60 (or Bantam MKII), where RBC means "Bantam Reconnaissance Car." The mudguards were square, the lights on the top and the facial grid was curved.
70 models were purchased by the army: 1 model MKI and 69 MKII models, which were issued on 17 December 1940.
Bantam continued the work and delivered in 1941 the Bantam BRC-40, which had the front more square and a few other changes. But the army chooses Ford and Willys for mass production as Bantam was a too small business. They were relegated to the mass production of trailers for these jeeps, while they were at the base of the project.
These first 70 jeeps, only one survives. It is the n ° 7, visible at the Museum of American military transport of Fort Eustis, Virginia (USA).
|Motorization||Continental Motor Co. BY4112 4 cylinder, 112cid 45bhp @ 3,500 rpm|
Bantam Numer One: 837 kgs
BRC - 60: 882 kgs
The Jeep Bantam Number One, as delivered to camp Holabird September 23, 1940.
The Jeep Number One test to camp Holabird
1940 - 1941: The Bantam jeep and his crew