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Following a request from the US military for a new light reconnaissance vehicle, Willys submitted the Quad.
Following revisions, the Quad would eventually become the MA and then the MB.
The guidelines laid out by the US military for the new vehicle included four-wheel drive, a smooth engine, fold-down windshield and three bucket seats.
A wheelbase of less than 75 inches was another requirement for the new vehicle.
A load capacity of 600 pounds was also part of the lengthy specification list.
The Willys vehicle would eventually win the bulk of the government contract, beating out two other entries from American Bantam Car Manufacturing Company and Ford Motor Company.
The Army and the rest of the world would begin referring to the Willys MB as the Jeep.
Willys-Overland built more than 368,000 vehicles for the US Army.
To help keep up with wartime demand, Ford was also contracted to build the MB. Ford produced roughly 277,000 units for the army.
The now iconic vertical slot grille was first implemented by Ford.
Willys MB and Jeep(R) Wrangler. (J-0268)
Check out the further development of the Wrangler in our next installment of this saga.