Jeep dating

The French army obtained most of its 1/4 ton jeep trailers, both Willys MB-T and Bantam T-3, as war surplus from the Americans. The above photos are pre-digital and getting rather tired now but they are the only record of how it looked after the restoration where I decided to mark it as it had been during service in the 1950s / 60s with the flaming grenade.The fact that there is a relatively plentiful supply of WW2 trailers today for jeep owners that want them is due in no small measure to the French Army and the fact that they repaired and rebuilt them as they wore out and also modified and improved the overall design. It is worth mentioning that in the French army trailers have their own unique registration number, a cunning idea as they were towed behind various vehicles.Note also the towing hitch which can be adjusted to suit almost any towing vehicle.In late 1941 Willys were commissioned to produce a dozen 'jeep' trailers for evaluation, nine conventional and three flat-bed design.Trailers, like jeeps, were maintained and modified in various workshops including a rebuilding programme by the Etablissement de Rserve Gnrale du Matriel Automobile (E. The trailer had been converted to 24 volts complete with additional NATO hook-up cable but still had one of the two rear light units as a blackout marker / stop light in WW2 style which had to be replaced for road legality and safety.The lighting system on French army trailers remained pretty much unchanged from the WW2 configuration until the mid 1980s when a specification was published to modify the rear lighting systems of both jeeps and trailers to conform with civilian requirements in France.As there are no photos in the technical document it is difficult to say which one this is.

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By the end of the war Bantam and Willys had produced over 133,000 T3 / MB-T trailers which, together with orders placed with 10 other companies in 1944 and delivered in 1945 produced a grand total of 143,357 WW2 style jeep trailers.The basic design was so good that after the war it evolved into the M-100 post-war US trailer for the M38-A1 and was also copied by other manufacturers for armies around the world.Bantam also produced a civilian trailer based on the WW2 design.They were delivered and tested in early 1942 and from these trials the standard welded steel amphibious trailer evolved.Orders for the standardised trailer were quickly placed with two companies, Willys - who's product was designated MB-T, and the American Bantam Car Company who had failed to secure a contract for producing the standard jeep.

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