“Scrappy” 1/4 ton Truck
* Serial Number: 52360
* Hood Number: 20334994
* Engine Number: MB 109629
* Date Of Delivery: August 8, 1942
* Operation Served In: ETO
* Location Now: Reading, PA
* Date Restored: September 10, 2007
* Owner: Chad Smith
Scrappy a primary light 4-wheel-drive reconnaissance vehicle of the US Army and allies during World War II known as the jeep. The Army designated 1/4-ton 4×4 Truck built by Willys-Overland were production Model MB, while vehicles built by Ford were Model GPW. The design of the jeep was mainly contributed by the American Austin Car Company or reorganized as the American Bantam Company in Butler, Pennsylvania. Bantam was the the first and only company to make the deadline of the government contract. Willies and Ford came late with their prototype Designs. However all three prototypes work in collaboration to make the WWII time jeep.
Scrappy a Ford GPW had several differences between its brother the MB. The most common and distinctive difference is its Ford Script. Jeeps produced by Ford had every component (including bolt heads) marked with Ford’s F Script logo. Scrappy has many of these F script marks from its production in August of 1942.
Between Ford and Willys the price under the first contract from Willys cost only $648.74 and Fords was $782.59 per unit. Willys and Ford, produced more than 630,000 jeeps during World War II.
Scrappy was found in Bath PA, in a local automotive garage yard in October 2007. Not knowing who the jeep belonged too, a co-worker and I ran up the next day to look it over. It was in need of repair and had looked like it had been a restoration in progress. That night I wrote a letter to the owner of the automotive shop. I asked if the vehicle was for sale, who I was, what I was about, and my deep interest in owning a jeep. I also talked about my uncle and enclosed a picture of him and his jeep taken during WWII.
My great uncle Chris Barnett was a WWII Messenger Driver in the 5th army. I have many photos of him and and his jeep. I also have all of his papers from military motor school in the 40s. He is a true idol in my life and I never met him.
Not really expecting anything to come out of this situation I waited a few days and then called the shop. I was told by the owner of the auto shop that he gave my letter to the owner of the jeep and was interested in selling it. I would hear from him soon.That week i received an email.
I learned that the jeep belonged to his dad a Korean Veteran named Ed Bottge who served with the 187th Airborne Combat Regiment Team. He had passed away when the jeep was being worked on at the auto shop. I gave my condolences and was sad I didn’t get the opportunity to talk or thank Ed for his service for our country. All I know is that he liked working on them and when he was feeling up to it would take them in parades. I know Ed was in the Red Ball Club and I am still searching for any history or background on the 42 ford.
During the next few days I had her running and in the next few months had finished a large amount of restoration work. I worked like mad with such an obsession. I finished in 6 months all the work needed for it to be presentable and drivable. Since then I have been adding small elements. During my ownership, one such item has been fitting the jeep with the M48 1919A4 30cal machine gun mount. Mounted on the dash of the passenger seat. This was the most commonly used mount during WWII.
Although it looks finished there is always work to be done and maintenance to do. To me This is my Ferrari, and I could never part. Old jeeps never die they just get rebuilt!