Originally Posted by MrMuffin'sTrains:
The manufacturers of the Jeeps for the Armed Forces, like Ford, crated them and shipped them on flat cars to be assembled by the troops receiving them..... Check out these photographs.....
The first and last photos are of a scale model, I think it was 1/35 scale. I have seen it before but can't recall where (I think it was on the g503.com forum). The color photos of the 'crated' Jeep was of a display made by a military vehicle group to show what a crated Jeep would look like, at the 1997 Memphis Military Vehicle Preservation Convention, put together by Richard Grace and the Atlanta MVPA chapter. That one was a mockup of what one would have looked like, made from a restored Jeep and lot of reproduction parts. Rommel Juan from MD Juan (a reproduction Jeep source in the Philippines, making pretty decent stuff) also made one with all reproduction parts his company makes.
The b/w photo was of a real crated Jeep.
Most Jeeps never got put into crates. Among the ones that did, most (if not all) went overseas on ships. Almost all (if not 100%) the photos that exist of them being uncrated were taken outside the US.
FYI, main production run Jeeps for the military were only ever built by Willys and Ford. they were known by model designations MB and GPW, respectively. Wheeled vehicles didn't have M-class model designations until after WW2 was over.
And before someone chimes in with what Jeep owners refer to as "the $50 Jeep in a crate story" whereas the friend of someone's Uncle's, neighbor's, college roomate's, brother-in-law supposedly bought one new in the crate long after WW2 for less than $100. That never actually happened. It's an urban legend that has long since been established as 'busted' by research from several historians, including one who offered as much as $20,000 for just evidence of one bought new in a crate after the war. After decades of the offer being made, nobody so much as even contacted him to ask how the reward could be claimed.
Yet, there's always someone who says they know of someone who actually got one. Here's how that plays out. The person who swears it happened, if pressed enough will almost certainly have:
- Never actually saw the Jeep
- Never, EVER the person who supposedly bought the Jeep himself
- Can't tell you the name of the owner
- Can't tell you even what town it was in, let alone an address
- Has no idea of the year, or even decade
- Has no clue whatever happened to it
- Eventually will admit he'd heard it from someone
- With all the above, will still argue that it happened anyway
We all know how urban legends happen. This one simply won't die. All those ads we all saw in comic books about cheap Jeeps were simply to purchase government surplus lists, something that was free if you knew where to write for them. There were also some scams going through the 50s, but all that happened was people got ripped off badly. The scammers made people believe, "someone" got one and that's likely where this insanity was born.
Nobody ever, anywhere, bought an uncrated WW2 Jeep for any amount.