1942 Ford Jeep - A Carbon Copy Of The Better-Known Willys Version

Tad Burness
There really was such a thing as a Ford Jeep during World War II. No kidding! As a kid, I, too, found this hard to believe.
I used to spend some vacation time at my uncle's ranch, which was near two bustling Army camps. My cousins setup a roadside soft-drink stand in front of their house, which was situated at a crossroad where Army convoys frequently passed. We sold bottled sodas to the soldiers, and did a fairly good business. One day, a couple of soldiers pulled up in a Jeep, and informed me that it was a Ford not a Willys! I wondered about that, but was shown the Ford name on the Jeep and was truly surprised.
Did it have its own Ford-designed engine? No, I later learned. The Ford Jeeps were created in the exact image of the Willys model, so that all parts were interchangeable between the two brands. Willys had been building tens of thousands of Jeeps for the military since 1941, but they soon needed assistance from another manufacturer in order to produce enough for the war effort.
Below the illustrated Ford Jeep, you'll notice reproductions of two of the metal plates carried on each Ford Jeep, as evidence. Note the Ford name on the fourth line down, on the left-hand plate.
Since Willys-Overland Co. built the majority of Jeeps, and since Ford stopped building their copies once the emergency was over, you'll find that Ford Jeeps are extremely rare today. I haven't seen one since those pop-peddling days at the ranch.
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