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.
Today in WW II: 10 Jun 1940 Mussolini's fascist Italy declares war on Britain and France, invading through the Riviera with 400,000 troops. More↓
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.
Spicer Dana 4.88:1 23-2 rear, Dana 25 front (same as Bantam)
Willys MA serial numbers fall in the range W2018932 ro W2020431.
Find More Information on the Internet
There are many fine websites that have additional information on this
topic, too many to list here and too many to keep up with as they come and go.
Use this Google web search form to get an up to date report of what's out there.
For good results, try entering this: willys ma. Then click the Search button.