Seventy-five years after it was introduced to the Army, the oldest known Jeep is finally getting some much needed attention. Since having its history verified and being documented as one of 5 orginal test vehicles, two from Ford, two from Willys Overland and one from American Bantam, the GP-No.1 is now on display in the Veterans Memorial Museum in Huntsville, AL. It’s the only one of those 5 prototypes known to still exist in North America.
“The GP designation is believed by many to have hatched the name ‘jeep’.” Back then, the vehicle contained eminent features that remain key on Fiat Chrysler’s Jeep brand today, including the upright grille with verticle slots which are literally the brand’s trademark. The 1940 Ford Pilot Model GP-No.1 pictured below remains almost entirely unrestored! To learn how Ford became a vital supplier of wartime equipment, helping to produce a vehicle that became known as an icon of World War II, click here.