This vehicle was built in the WILLYS Overland Motors factory in Toledo Ohio USA on the 4th December 1944 and was passed to the American army for acceptance.
The data plate is stamped as accepted by the Army. It was shipped to France and is believed to have taken part in the Battle of the Bulge at the end of WWII.
The vehicle is known to have been fitted with a Radio while serving with the American Forces.After the war, like a vast amount of other equipment it was discarded by the American Forces and left behind in France.
Very little is known of its post war history except that for many years it was used in France until it fell into dis-repair. It was found in 1995/6 by an enthusiast languishing in a Farm yard virtually in its original condition except for French headlamp Bulbs.
It was returned to the UK with the intention of restoring it, but was sold to the present owner before restoration started in November 1997
The Vehicle was returned to road worthy condition by 10 June 1999. It was registered with the age related No Plate DSL 539.
It has been completely renovated retaining as many of the original parts as possible. The engine, which is original, has had very little work done except for a new distributor and electrics. The vehicle retains its original 6 volt electrical system.
The vehicle has been fitted with a radio, as during the restoration, holes were discovered in the body work which had been welded over, suggesting that during its wartime career the vehicle was, a radio equipped vehicle.
The vehicle is regularly used and has attended a number of Shows. In September 2000, 2001, and 2002 it took part in the Invicta Military Vehicle Preservation Societies ‘Pas-de-Calais’ Liberation tour’s to Bethune and in 2003 to Souchez, near Arras in Northern France.
In June 2004 it was one of a number of Vehicles to make the pilgrimage back to Normandy for the 60th Anniversary of the ‘D’ Day landings visiting all the main Landing Beaches ( Gold Sword, Juno, Omaha and Utah) as well as St Mere Eglise and Pegasus Bridge.