Model MB-ORD, Chassis No MB297205

Date of Manufacture 13th January 1944 by the Willys Overland Motors .INC,

Toledo, Ohio (USA) 1/4-Ton 4x4 Command reconnaissance

This vehicle was built in the WILLYS Overland Motors factory in Toledo, Ohio, USA on the 13th January 1944 as an MB/ORD. It was delivered to the American Army for acceptance. The data plate is stamped as accepted by the Army.

It is almost certain to have been brought to the UK like hundreds of others and then taken to France during the initial D-Day landing in June 1944. Currently its original unit has not as yet been identified and remains a mystery.

After the war, like a vast amount of other vehicles and equipment it was discarded by the American Forces and left behind in France.

Very little is known of its immediate post war history until 1969. It was then owned and used in the South of France near the village of Dion which is Near the Alps. It was used by the Forestry Department and Mountain rescue until it fell into dis-repair in the early 1990’s. During restoration a badge was discovered on the bonnet which is being investigated to ascertain who used it and for what.

It was located by Friends for sale South of Paris in October 2002 in its ‘original’ configuration but in need of much Tender loving care. Fortunately It had not seen service with the French Army or been rebuilt to French Army/Hodgkiss specification.

It was purchased by the present owner with the help of friends in Paris and returned to the UK.

The vehicle has been sensitively restored, removing many additional welded panels over original bodywork and only replacing essential items, retaining as much of the Original body work as possible.

The Vehicle was returned to road worthy condition by 29 July 2003. It was registered with the age related No Plate RAS 296. The restoration was carried out so that as many of the original parts as possible were retained. The engine however is not the original. The vehicle retains its original 6 volt electrical system.

The vehicle’s first major outing after restoration was to take part in the Invicta Military Vehicle Preservation Societies, ‘Pas-de-Calais’ liberation tour to Souchez, near Arras in August 2003. And was one of a number of vehicles to make the pilgrimage back to Normandy in June 2004to commemorate the 60th Anniversary of the ‘D’ Day Landings, visiting all the main landing beaches as well as St Mere Eglise and Pegasus Bridge.