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US Willy's Jeep "Follow Me"
US Army Air Force, WWII
|Wanting to replace their outdated light vehicles the U.S. Military received three tenders. Bantam
Car Company was the initial winner but couldn’t meet demand so the job went to Willys-Overland
Motors. Willys was to take the best design features of the three submitted tenders and build a
standardized vehicle. Eventually in order to meet an even greater demand the Ford Motors
Company was asked to build a similar vehicle. During World War II there was a total of 647,870
Jeeps produced by the three companies; Willys-Overland produced 362,841 of them.
“Follow Me” jeeps were used to help with control of ground traffic at airfields. If an aircraft landed
at an unfamiliar airfield it would require guidance to the various runways, taxiways and parking
areas. Sometimes local aircraft needed their services to reach the correct assigned location.
Once the aircraft had slowed to a safe speed these brightly colored jeeps would drive in front with
a large “Follow Me” sign attached to the rear and would proceed to the assigned spot for that
Specifications for WWII Jeep
Manufacturer - Willys-Overland
Crew - 1 with up to 3 others
Weight (gross) - 3,125 lb (1,417 kg)
Engine - Carburetor, liquid cooled, “Go Devil” 4 cylinder (Willys L-head), 60 hp @ 4.000 rpm, 134
cu. In. (2.200 cm3) displacement
Transmission - Warner T-84J / 3-speed synchro-mesh
Transfer case - Dana Spicer 18 / 2-speed
Gear shifter - floor mounted
Front axle - beam-leaf
Rear axle - beam-leaf
Brakes - Hydraulic
Front – drum
Rear – drum
Type – gasoline
Capacity - 15 US gallons (56.78 liters)
Range - 375 miles (600 km)
Electrical system - 6 volt, negative ground
Tires - (4) + (1) spare / 6 X 16 (non-directional)
Ground clearance - 8.75 in (22.22 cm)
Standard - 18 in (45.72 cm / .4572 m)
Maximum - 21 in (53.34 cm / .5334 m)
Length - 132.75 in (3.371 m).
Wheelbase - 80 in (2.032 m).
Width - 62 in (1.5748 m).
Top up - 69.75 in (1.77165 m).
To top of steering wheel w/top down - 51.25 in (1.30175 m).
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