Willys Jeeps are unarguably (at least in my mind) one of the most dynamic engineering marvels we have seen in our time, but one thing I never investigated before was the concept of the “wooden” military Jeep. While the tub and interior of these early jeep tests was primarily the wooden part, I felt that a willys jeep engineering concept such as this one was still definitely interesting enough to share with you, my curious readers.
As we know, Willys-Era jeep war strategies required a vast amount of metal for all the military might they could pack, which put a very high demand on this resource, creating a need for alternate building materials… such as wood. Hence, the idea that a “wooden” jeep could be a boon for practical military applications. These circa 1943 test jeeps (such as the ones shown below) had a wooden tub (from the firewall back), wood seats,wood floor, wood panels, and wooden instrument panels. During testing, the military drove one particular wooden jeep (pictured below) named “FIREWOOD” continually for 3,346 miles over all types of terrains, running 24 hours a day. Over time, these hard core endurance tests concluded that wooden components were too susceptible to water for widespread military use.
Which brings me to today’s Willys “Word”: How much wood could a wood jeep jeep if a wood jeep could jeep wood? I don’t really know, but the more I flip through the willys jeep history books, the more and more curious I become about what else I may find. No matter how much you think you know about the Willys Jeep, there is always something more to surprise and delight you, hiding in some obscure page on the web, or on your living room bookshelf, between layers of dust and your Encyclopedia Brittanicas.
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