The designation on the front bumper represents the same unit our client’s father served in during WWII. Fortunately for collectors, the rules for placing insignia on military vehicles can be found in books or manuals on the subject that give you all the details on how things are supposed to be stenciled onto a Jeep or other vehicle.
Of course, there is always a challenge that things might have gotten messed up in the field. When an officer told a soldier to do something, he did it to the best of his ability with whatever materials he had available at the time. You can see this in many old photos from World War II. For example, you’ll see hand-stenciled stars on the hoods of old Jeeps. It was the best they could do with a brush and paint or even a stick – whatever they had on hand at the time.
This 1942 Ford GPW early production vehicle represents a time before the US Government combined vehicles from Willies and Ford. Although the U.S. Government discouraged advertising on war materiel, Henry Ford was quick to put his “F” mark on all his products early in the war.
How much did Ford care about marketing? Every single product that Ford produced – every bumper, or a piece of sheet metal – got an “F” stamp. Even the tiny shims inside the transmission had some sort of Ford insignia. They might only be a hundred and twenty-two thousandths of an inch thick, but somehow they were still stamped. Ford would spend more to put an “F” on a part than the part was worth.
All in all, we’re happy at how this GPW is turning out, and we believe the client will be too.
If you would like a military vehicle restored all or in part, give us a call or email. We’re happy to help.