Spare a minute to remember the jeep that was used in PNG and other areas during the war. Often on the way out to Owers' Corner someone in the vehicle will bring up the subject of the jeep and its use in PNG. Today I thought I would research this subject and found it interesting.
Meeting Military Specifications: As World War II raged, American military intelligence began to fill the holes in its arsenal. The Quartermaster Corps Ordnance Technical Committee offered commission opportunities to over 100 manufacturers to build a reconnaissance vehicle. Specifications included four-wheel drive, cooling capacity to reduce engine heat at low speeds, cross-country ability, and a 600 lb payload. The military also included a 1300 lb weight limit that stumped most manufacturers before they could even design a prototype.
Probsts Prototype: Hoping to secure the militarys mobile needs, American Bantam president Frank Fenn decided to employ outside help. Working through contacts in the National Defense Advisory Commission, Fenn sought the aid of famous Detroit engineer Karl Probst. Less than two days after receiving the assignment, Probst had drawn out a prototype that would define the modern jeep. The vehicle designed by Probst would serve during World War II in roles as diverse as field ambulance, tractor, and railroad car.
Surviving and Thriving: The original Probst vehicle inspired the production of many similar vehicles during the war. Once the battle had ended, only Willys-Overland continued to produce jeep-type vehicles. The Jeep name stuck, even after the company was purchased by auto rival Kaiser-Jeep in 1953. The company was subsequently sold to AMC in 1970. unquote