Using the term that has become generic in the English language, this is the undisputed first "jeep." Built by the American Bantam Car Company of Butler, Pennsylvania, it was delivered to Camp Holabird, Maryland, on September 23, 1940. The first vehicle of a 70-vehicle contract, "Old Number One" was tested thoroughly and then spent the rest of its short life as a demo vehicle. It was wrecked in a traffic accident early in 1941, sent back to Butler and disassembled. The mechanical pieces were probably incorporated into the Bantam Mark II's that were then in production. Legend has it that the unusable body sections were buried along with a pile of scrap on the Bantam grounds. (U.S. Army)
Return to the Pictorial History of the Universal Jeep or the Universal Jeep Timeline, 1942-1986.
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