Ford GPW No 67736 (44th TA Division)

Chassis No: 67736

Date of Manufacture September 1942 by FORD,

British Army Serial Number: M5557911

This Ford GPW ( General Purpose Willys) Jeep was built in America in September 1942 by Ford and given the chassis No 67736.

It was originally issued to the US Army and painted grey. Shortly afterwards it was selected to be supplied to the British.

This vehicle was one of first 653 GPW jeeps to be supplied to the British Army under the SM Contract of 1941.It was one of 5000 reconditioned jeeps destined to be sold under the contract which were ex US Army. The total contract was for 35,000 vehicles.

As a second hand reconditioned vehicle it was sold for $450-00 instead of $973.34 for a new vehicle. (In the 1940’s there were 4$ to the £).

We have been fortunate to be able to locate its WWII British Army serial No M5557911 which it would have carried up until 1948 when it was then re registered as 45 YH 63. A number of unit badges have been identified on the windscreen and retained. Including 44 TA Division (Sussex Kent and Surrey).

At some point in its British Army career it was painted blue. A badge of the Matterhorn / Zermat in Switzerland has been identified on the inside of the windscreen. This it is believed was one of the vehicles used when Lord Hunt’s expedition set off to climb Mount Everest in1952/3 with Edmond Hillary. They used The Matterhorn on route to practise on. The vehicles were painted blue by the army in an effort to tone down the vehicles whilst in neutral Switzerland. .

It was sold by the Army on 1 April 1959 at 72 BVD Market Harborough, which came under 7 Group Castle Donnington.It was privately registered on 19th June 1959. It has the original Log book and service history with the vehicle since 1959 with details of all 5 owners since that date.

Further research will be undertaken and it is intended to retain it in one of its original British Army units if possible.

The vehicle was restored to road worthy condition in July 2007 in time for the 25th Anniversary War and Peace show at Beltring Kent and has taken Part in the Pas–De-Calais liberation celebrations in September 2008.