Traditions vary from coast to coast and family to family, but there are a few common things you’ll see across America on July 4: picnics, parades, and to honor those who fight for our freedom, military vehicles on display.
This week we’ve tested your knack for naming military-spec vehicles. Think you can identify the American fighting vehicle above? Take your best shot in the comments section below. We’ll reveal the answer to today’s puzzle on Monday along with a new game for the week.
KaBoomBOX, once again, identified the 1941 Willys MA correctly. Both straycatkid and Marcc54 were close as well.
The Willys MA was the prototype for later became the production Willys MB, used heavily throughout World War II. The MA was constructed after the U.S. Army began looking for a military vehicle supplier and gave three companies — Bantam, Ford, and Willys-Overland — seven weeks to produce a prototype vehicle. Willys-Overland was the low bidder of the three companies and won the contract for 4500 MA vehicles.
After producing only 1800 MAs, the government decided it needed more vehicles, forcing Willys to supply designs to both Bantam and Ford so they, too, could produce vehicles. The design was standardized across the three companies, incorporating some of the superior features found initially on the Bantam and Ford design. The new standardized model was dubbed MB, for Military Model B.
The original MA and MB were powered by Willys’ “Go-Devil” 134 cubic-inch I-4 engine that produced 60 horsepower and 105 pound-feet of torque. The MA, however, only weighed 2160 pounds in production trim. It was equipped with a three-speed manual transmission, four-wheel-drive, and a two-speed transfer case. The cars became known for their off-road capabilities and inspired what became the Civilian Jeep — which we know better today as Jeep Wrangler — when Willys-Overland became Jeep.