1940 Ford Pilot Model GP-No. 1 (Pygmy)

1940 Ford Pilot Model GP-No. 1 (Pygmy)

HAER Number

AL-213

Location

Huntsville, AL

Date(s) of Construction

ca. October 1940

Original Owner and Use

Ford Motor Company
Dearborn, MI

U.S. Army Quartermaster Corps testing and development as a concept prototype pilot model

Present Owner and Use

U.S. Veterans Memorial Museum
Huntsville, AL

Display and limited exhibition

Designer / Engineer / Builder

American Quartermaster Corps, United States Army – Col. William F. Lee (U.S. Army, Infantry) American Bantam Car Co. – Frank Fenn, President
Karl Probst, Design Engineer
Harold Crist, Factory Manager
Charles Harry Payne, Government Representative Ford Motor Company

The 1940 Ford Pilot Model GP-No. 1, also known as the Pygmy, is significant based on three out of four of the Criteria for Historic Significance. First, the GP-No. 1 is significant in its relation to historic events. It is the first of the prototype pilot model, ¼ ton reconnaissance vehicles built by the Ford Motor Company for the U.S. Army. Secondly GP-No. 1 is significant based on its design and construction value. Many of its features were adopted in the final production WWII jeep. The Ford Pilot Model GP-No. 1 Pygmy design is perhaps most important as the first “jeep” prototype to feature a flat slatted front grille with integrated headlights which went on to become an iconic design element of the standardized mass produced WWII “jeep” and subsequent commercial versions. Finally, GP-No. 1 is significant for its informational value as the oldest known jeep. Furthermore, it retains much of its original paint, finishes and parts, having never been restored since leaving the Ford Motor Company in 1948.

Photos

Then

Now

Video Thumbnail
THIS JEEP MATTERS: 1940 Ford Pilot Model GP-No. 1 Pygmy
THIS JEEP MATTERS: 1940 Ford Pilot Model GP-No. 1 Pygmy - youtube Video

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