No one disputes the legendary origins of the Jeep. The versatile 4×4 helped change the tide of the war and won the affections of GI’s and civilians everywhere. By the time World War II ended more than 647,000 Willys MB’s and Ford GPW’s had been built… The Jeep accounted for over 15% of the total wartime military vehicle production.
Before first GI’s were shipped home Willys began looking for way to capitalize on the popularity of the Jeep. They began by offering the first CJ (Civilian Jeep) in 1946 as the CJ2A. The 1/4 Ton 4×4 was designed as the go anywhere & do anything vehicle: It was a tractor, it was a truck, it was a power plant, it was a wagon… Soon others look to capitalize of the phenomenon. Ads began popping up in magazines like Popular Science and Boy’s Life advertising Jeep’s in a Crate for as little as $50.
Like most surplus ads run today scammers sought to take advantage of consumers by promising them great deals like $50 Jeeps in exchange for $20 and a self addressed stamped envelop. The advertiser’s of course were selling free public information concerning government auctions. The truth is even though thousands of MB’s and parts were auctioned off the vast majority were scrapped following the war.
So, what happened to the Jeep in a crate? Were there ever Jeeps in a crate? Certainly not for $50. The US military received their assembled Jeeps from Ford and Bantam for nearly $750. Ford shipped the GPW from their Richmond , California assembly plant partially “knocked down” so they could fit more Jeeps on a ship, and fill military orders quicker.
The good news is if you are looking for a Jeep in a crate today Omix-ADA has the solution for you. Omix is the official licensed supplier of Jeep bodies and sheetmetal from 1941 to present:
Omix body panels are more than just parts; they are built with a legacy and heritage in mind. No other supplier can match Omix’s passion and dedication to quality. This is why we have been authorized to use the “MOPAR Authentic Restoration” and “MOPAR Official Licensed Product” logos for the more than 30 licensed body tubs and panels we produce. We take pride in being one of the few manufacturers strong enough to stand behind the legendary Jeep® name.
Our Body Tub is a completely assembled body shell from the firewall to the tail light panel. Fitted, welded and assembled together with the cowl panel, rear wheel housings, dash panel, and glove box already in place. Or you can upgrade to a Body Tub Kit. It features the same great body tub, (2) front fenders, windshield frame, hood and tailgate. It is the ultimate restoration accessory, primed and shipped to your door.
No more grinding, welding, or cutting out rusty panels, just to struggle as you fight to line up the new part. All the hard work is done for you. Primed and nearly ready for paint. The hardest part will be picking out the new paint color. How quickly can you say Olive Drab?
Of course the body tubs are not completely finished, there will still be some fitting and working to make everything line up. Just the same; as if you were working with a 50 year old body tub. –But our tubs are as close as you can get today to a body off the original Toledo assembly line. Why else would MOPAR authorize us to use the “Willys” and “Jeep” scripts on the officially licensed bodies and panels we produce?
• Replace Steel Body Tubs and Body Kits from 1941 – 1986
• Replacement Body Panels from 1941 – 2010
• Jeep®/Willy’s Licensed Body Tubs, Kits & Panels Available!
• Body Tubs are completely assembled, and primed. Ready to be shipped to your door.
• 16 gauge steel used on body tubs for all side and tail panels. In most cases it is thicker than original!
• 18 Gauge steel used on body tubs in the front and rear flooring, all mounting brackets, top cowl assembly, and wheel housings.
• Manufactured using a seven-step metal preparation process, including:
o A 5 bath dip to totally eliminate rust, dirt and grease.
o A phosphate and acid rinse step to ensure corrosion resistance and proper adhesion of the primer.
o New primer formula and application method that is designed for a smooth and even finish.
• Includes all major factory mounting locations, including channels for body mounting.
• Dashes and shifter tunnels left blank in some applications with varied OE locations.