Willys MA Army Jeep

The Willys Quad impressed the Army during the competition of 1940, but it was overweight and needed other design changes. The result of the redesign was the Willys MA, accepted by the Army to fulfill the 1,500 vehicle contract given to Willys on 14 November 1940. Contracts were also awarded at the same time for 1,500 of the Ford GP and Bantam BRC-40, intended for final field testing of all models before larger contracts would be let.

Willys-Overland MA jeep on the grease rack for maintenance at Ft. Knox, KY, June 1942
Willys-Overland MA jeep on the grease rack for maintenance at Ft. Knox, KY, June 1942.

Today in WW II: 5 Dec 1941 After stubbornly resisting Wehrmacht attacks since 24 Oct 1941, Soviets counterattack at Tula, 120 miles south of Moscow. More 
5 Dec 1941 Marshal Zhukov launches a major counteroffensive against the Germans, at Kalinin, northwest of Moscow.
Visit the Olive-Drab.com World War II Timeline for day-by-day events 1939-1945! See also WW2 Books.

Willys-Overland MA Military Jeep

Photo of Willys MA Jeep, 1 July 1941
Photo of Willys MA Jeep, 1 July 1941.

The full story of the development of the original Army Jeep of World War II is on the linked page.

There were 1,553 Willys MA jeeps built and delivered to the Army in 1941, with production beginning 5 June. Of these, fifty were built with four-wheel steering. Few remain since most of the original production were subsequently sent to Russia or England under Lend-Lease. On 23 July 1941, after much controversy and behind the scenes maneuvering by the bidders, the War Department awarded the 1/4-ton truck production contract to Willys-Overland based on their Willys MA design and their low bid of $738.74. The contract came with the stipulation that the weight and other design problems of the Willys MA be corrected, and that other improvements be made based on superior elements of the Bantam and Ford competitors. The result of those changes was the Willys MB (also built by Ford as the GPW), the standard World War II jeep used in all theaters of World War II, all over the world, by the U.S. and its allies.

Additional photos of the Willys MA are found in the Military Jeeps section of the Military Vehicle Charts.

Find additional photos and hi-res versions of the Willys MA at the Olive-Drab Military Mashup.

Willys MA Specifications

Engine 134ci 4 cal L-head side valve "Go Devil"
Horsepower 60bhp @ 4000rpm (Other sources say 62-65 bhp)
Torque 105 pound-feet @ 2000 rpm
Transmission 3 speed synchromesh Warner Gear T84
Transfer case Spicer Dana 18 two speed (same as Bantam)
Gear Shift Steering column mount
Axles Spicer Dana 4.88:1 23-2 rear, Dana 25 front (same as Bantam)
Wheelbase 80 inches
Weight 2,450 lbs.

Willys MA serial numbers fall in the range W2018932 ro W2020431.

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