In late 1943, the U.S. Army contracted with Willys-Overland to build a1/2-ton jeep providing greater payload and mobility over the swampy jungle terrain of the Southwest Pacific. The prototype MLW-1 (M meaning "government", LW meaning "long wheelbase") was apparently never completed, but photographs of the MLW-2 "Jungle Jeep" pilot model appear in Fred Coldwell's book Preproduction Civilian Jeeps. The wheelbase was 92 inches, and overall length was 142-7/16 inches. It used the same Go-Devil engine and T84J transmission as the production MB. The two MLW-2 pilot models had slightly different transfer cases, both with 2.43 low range. The body incorporated several features which would later appear in the Civilian Jeep program, including a tailgate, closed underseat toolboxes, and a side-mounted spare tire holder similar to the CJ-1. (There was a second spare tire location inside the body, behind the front seats.) The storage compartment behind the rear wheel was not included on any CJ.
Return to the Pictorial History of the Universal Jeep or the Universal Jeep Timeline, 1942-1986.
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