1940 Ford Pilot Model "Jeep"
GP-No. 1 was built in the fall of 1940 by the Ford Motor Company. The Ford Motor Company delivered two prototype pilot models to Camp Holabird in Baltimore for US Army testing on 23 November 1940 – the first with a Ford body (serial number GP-No. 1) and the second (serial number GP-No. 2) with a body produced by the Edwin G. Budd Manufacturing Co. (Philadelphia). The Ford GP-No. 1 was based on specifications outlined by the Quartermaster Corps of the United States Army and an initial design by the American Bantam Car Company. The Ford Pilot Model GP-No. 1 Pygmy is America’s oldest known “jeep.”
NHVR No. 8 HAER No. AL-213
Paint and exterior
The Pygmy is in substantially unrestored condition. It features a thick coat of olive drab green paint likely applied sometime after the initial Nov. 1940 military assessments but prior to it being donated to the Henry Ford Museum in 1948.
Upholstery and interior
The interior is unrestored and has its original khaki canvas upholstery. There is no carpet and all the surfaces including the dash are painted in the olive drab body color. The instrument cluster is from a Ford truck.
Original Engine: Yes
GP-No. 1 features a front-mounted, gasoline powered, 119.7 cubic inch displacement (cid) flathead, inline four-cylinder engine. The engine is naturally aspirated and equipped with a Holley 847-type single-barrel, downdraft carburetor. GP-No. 1 was originally fitted with an updraft carburetor. It was changed in period to the Holley 847-type downdraft carburetor based on initial tests by the U.S. Army. The engine is similar to those utilized in Ford 9N tractors of the period and also the 1941 truck line and was rated at approximately 30 horsepower in period.
The Pygmy was thoroughly tested by the U.S. Army in the fall of ‘40. Ford repaired damage from the testing and donated the jeep to the Henry Ford Museum in ‘48. Today it is unrestored from the ‘40s and is operational. Total mileage is unknown.
Wheels and tires
16" steel wheels, 6.00x16 Firestone Farm Service Lug-M tires
Four-wheel hyd. drum brakes
The engine is mated to a three-speed, non-synchronized manual transmission and Spicer TC-18 transferase. The transmission is considerably similar to that of a Model A gear box. The entire driveline is in mostly unrestored condition.