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1944 Ford GPW Willy's MB Jeep Wrangler Military Willys Studebaker

Make: Ford
Model: GPW
Year: 1944
VIN: 192687
Vehicle Title: Clear
Item location: Thomasville, North Carolina, United States

1944 Ford GPW Additional Info:

Here is a 1944 Ford GPW. Hopefully if you are reading this, you know what you are looking at. I bought this sight unseen from a farmer’s estate in Wyoming. It is literally a barn find and had to be removed from the upper part of the barn with a forklift. I had it shipped across the country to NC and it sat for a couple years. I own a private restoration shop and recently got around to looking at what turned out to be a Ford GPW. The vehicle was clearly used on the farm and has had extra holes drilled into the sides and almost looks like they were using it to haul rocks? There are more dents in the tub than rust. The farmer reinforced the front bumper and had brackets for farm implements. It has a tow hitch on the front as well.

The Ford was “hot rodded” out in the 1960s and a Studebaker OHV straight 6 was installed with a T90 transmission. The front axle has Dualmatic locking hubs. From some light research it seems like this engine was made in 1961 and appears to have the original fan belts. I have no idea of the condition of the engine and it is missing the intake. The Goodyear Power Cushion whitewall tires have date codes from the 1960s, which is when the Ford was stored in the barn. It has not been driven in over 50 years. Those 50+ year old tires have tubes in them and still hold air and have tread. The spare appears to be the original “US” marked.

I restore FJ40s as a hobby and was really torn on what to do here. The Ford arrived covered in blue lead based house paint. Once I saw all the Ford marked bolts I didn’t want to risk breaking them to send the tub to a sandblaster. I painstakingly stripped off all the layers of lead paint by hand with a DA and wire wheel. I welded up where the corner steps had been folded under and you can decide what to do there. No polyester filler was found, some lead filler repairs are obvious where a couple mounting holes were plugged. The driver's side step has been soldered to the fender in an obviously wrong way. There is some light fiberglass filler under the axe head mount where the U supports meet the body. I did this to seal the area and hold off more rust. You can still see the original wood frame in some spots where the body has rusted. ALL of the rust on the body is where wood was used (assuming from humidity). There is a little rust where the machine gun mount would go. Look at the pictures, it seems like the farmer punched drain holes in some spots. All the spot welds are visible on the body (I guess these things were never supposed to be “straight”). I used modern red epoxy primer to seal the bare metal and then shot a period correct enamel. The paint was shot in a legitimate booth and not in Billy Bob’s front yard.

This is a blank canvas to start from. I didn’t want to be the guy to bolt on cheap aftermarket parts, or weld in all the holes on the body. The dents on the tub are unique to me and this could be used as a movie prop, or reenactment vehicle. Don’t hesitate to ask questions.