By SEMA Editors
’51 Willys M38
Historic ’41 Jeep Prototypes: Ford GP, Willys MA and Bantam BRC40
’52 Willys M38A1
’43 Ford GPA
Omix-ADA has announced it will debut a portion of its collection of historic Jeeps at the 2013 SEMA Show in Las Vegas at the company’s Off-Road Success Center, located in the upper South Hall lobby of the Las Vegas Convention Center. Omix-ADA will display several wartime Jeeps—including three early prototypes—in conjunction with the company’s patriotic theme and live on-site build of a modern military-inspired Jeep Wrangler (JK) at this year’s Show.
The Omix-ADA collection includes a variety of historically significant Jeeps, chronicling the brand’s history from pre-WWII prototypes through the modern-day Wrangler JK. The three prototypes being brought to this year’s SEMA show include a Ford GP, a Bantam BRC40 and a Willys MA, all from 1941, as part of its celebration of Jeep military history.
“Our collection includes more than 20 military and civilian Jeeps built between 1941 and 2013. This is just a small sampling of the vehicles being preserved by Omix-ADA,” said Dave Logan, product manager at Omix-ADA. “As the American government prepared itself for war, these are the vehicles that would later prove essential in battle. The prototypes we’re bringing to the SEMA Show were the basis for vehicles that contributed tremendously to the war effort and were involved in some of the key turning points of the war.”
The prototypes that Ford, Bantam and Willys motor companies sent to the U.S. government proved to be incredibly reliable and easily maneuverable in battle. In fact, they revolutionized vehicle combat and set the standard for other fighting vehicles thereafter.
The ’41 Willys MA that Omix-ADA is bringing to the SEMA Show was a sturdy Jeep prototype built for testing prior to United States' participation in WWII. This particular MA was also driven over the Rubicon Trail in 1951 during the first Jeepers Jamboree.
The second prototype, a ’41 Bantam BRC40, was the third generation of a development vehicle from Bantam, succeeding the original Bantam Pilot and the BRC60. Although the military recognized the benefits of the Bantam BRC40, Bantam’s inability to meet wartime production needs left Ford and Willys as the two main manufacturers during the war.
The third prototype at the SEMA Show to be on display—a ’41 Ford GP—was Ford’s second prototype vehicle developed for the war effort. Small in size and lightweight, these new vehicles were designed to carry out a number of duties, including quick troop transport, towing anti-tank guns and other light auxiliary and artillery pieces. The Ford GP was the basis for many of the design features that became part of the standard WWII Army Jeep.
“Our ever-growing collection of Jeeps is representative of our company as a whole,” said Henk Van Dongen, director of marketing at Omix-ADA. “Omix-ADA carries parts for everything from the earliest Ford, Bantam and Willys to the latest Wrangler JK, and everything in between.”
Select Jeeps Omix-ADA will feature during the SEMA Show include:
- ’41 Ford GP
- ’41 Bantam BRC40
- ’41 Willys MA
- ’42 Willys MB
- ’43 Ford GPA (Amphibious Jeep)
- ’51 Willys M38
- ’52 Willys M38A1
- ’67 Kaiser Jeep M715
Omix-ADA will also build a four-door ’13 Commando Green Wrangler Rubicon as part of its live, on-site festivities. Designed by Omix-ADA as a modern interpretation of what a military Jeep might look like today, the build will be carried out by veterans on-site. Facilitating the three-day event, will be actor and Marine Corp veteran R. Lee Ermey. Additional information about the live build will be available in the weeks to come, ahead of SEMA.
For more information on Omix-ADA’s complete Jeep Collection, visit www.jeepcollection.com.