Hemmings Motor News Blog Blog

Hemmings Motor News Blog

Hemmings Motor News has been around since 1954. We're proud of our heritage, but we're also more than the Hemmings full of classifieds that your father subscribed to. Aside from new editorial content every month in Hemmings, we have three monthly magazines: Hemmings Muscle Machines, Hemmings Classic Car and Hemmings Sports and Exotic Car.

While our editors traverse the country to find the best content for those magazines, we find other oddities related to the old-car hobby that we really had no place for - until now. With this blog, we're giving you a behind-the-scenes look at what we see and what we do during the course of putting out some of the finest automotive magazines you'll ever read.

Previous in Blog: I Just Found My 1969 GTO Judge 23 Years After I Sold It   Next in Blog: NYC Police Museum to Put Cop Cars on Display at New York Auto Show
Close
Close
Close

World’s Oldest Existing Jeep Prototype, the Ford Pygmy, to go on National Historic Vehicle Register

Posted March 27, 2014 8:30 AM by dstrohl
Pathfinder Tags: history jeep military world war II

Of the three prototypes that automakers submitted for the U.S. Army's new lightweight scout car in the early days of World War II, Ford's Pygmy probably shouldn't have stood a chance. It wasn't the lightest, it wasn't the fastest, and it wasn't the first submitted. But it's still around today, making it the oldest jeep prototype tested by the Army as well as an excellent candidate for inclusion on the National Historic Vehicle Register.

Nowadays, nobody disputes the fact that Bantam was the first to submit a prototype for what would eventually become the quarter-ton jeep and eventually the postwar civilian Jeep. In 1940, with global war looming, the U.S. Army assessed its mechanical capabilities and found a need for a fast - and therefore lightweight - reconnaissance vehicle that could handle rugged terrain and deliver a machine gun or two to the front lines. Bantam seemed an ideal candidate for the job: It had plenty of experience building light, four-cylinder-powered cars at a time when most of the rest of the American automotive industry had abandoned fours for six- and eight-cylinder engines to power heavier cars; and as a small and agile company, it could theoretically respond to design requests quicker than larger manufacturers. In addition, as Patrick Foster wrote in The Story of Jeep, Bantam had already submitted specially modified cars to the Army for testing even before a committee of Army officers drew up the specifications for the quarter-ton four-wheel-drive scout car, so Bantam officials already had an idea of what the Army was looking for.

Read about the can-do auto that carried a country to war on Hemmings.

Reply

Interested in this topic? By joining CR4 you can "subscribe" to
this discussion and receive notification when new comments are added.

Previous in Blog: I Just Found My 1969 GTO Judge 23 Years After I Sold It   Next in Blog: NYC Police Museum to Put Cop Cars on Display at New York Auto Show

Advertisement