First Original Jeep

First :JEEP†made in 1940


American Bantam Car Company, Butler,Pa.

1940 Karl K. Probst.of Detroit was hired by Bantam and they were the only company

who said they could deliver a Prototype in 49 Day’s. Sept. 23,1940 Bantam drove a Prototype to Camp Holibard,Maryland only 30 minuties to spare. The Army tested the prototype and said it exceeded expectations. Then Ford and Willy’s watched, took notes and submitted their prototype.. Bantam only had about 1500 employes and could not produce the large number of Jeep’s the Army wanted. The order was given to Ford and Willy’s. In 1943 Willy’s was charged for false and mis-leading advertising that they created the Jeep.


Given to me by Papa Art:



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)


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Marion J Chard
Proud Daughter of Walter (Monday) Poniedzialek
540th Engineer Combat Regiment, 2833rd Bn, H&S Co, 4th Platoon
There's "No Bridge Too Far"

I was born in Butler,




cadetat6 Art


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