With war encroaching on the nation in the summer of 1940, the United States was in a search of small reconnaissance vehicle to replace the Army’s motorcycle and modified Ford Model-T vehicles used at the time. The United States had a long wish list of what they would like to see in their new vehicle including stats such as 600-lb. load capacity, height less than 36 inches, and gross vehicle weight below 1,300 lbs. The United State military invited 135 manufacturers to submit their bids. The first to answer was American Bantam Car Co. and Willys-Overland. Later the Ford Motor Company entered the contest and the competition for a government contract began. Bantam was the first to create a prototype, taking 49 days to complete the first model. After several tests, the first contracts were given to Willys-Overland and Ford to meet the demand. Almost 650,000 Jeeps were built by Willys and Ford during World War II.

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