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Ford Pygmy

1/4 Ton 4x4 Reconnaissance Car



Country of Origin/Used by: United States
First Produced/Service Dates: 1940
Manufactured by: Ford Motor Company (Edward Budd Manufacturing Company built one of the two bodies)
Crew: 3
Armament: None.  Theoretically, it could carry (1) .30 cal Machine gun or (1) .50 cal HMG.
Engine: 4-Cylinder Gasoline
Miscellaneous Info:

During the US Government’s competition to find a standardized 1/4 ton 4x4 military utility vehicle, only two (2) companies entered the bidding: American-Bantam Company and Willys-Overland Motors. As the Government had doubts about the companies' ability to produce the large number of vehicles expected to be needed, they attempted to persuade Ford Motor Company to participate in the project, but initially failed.  Ford was seen by the US as being an almost necessary part of the project due to their enormous manufacturing capability.  After much pressure, in late 1940 Ford was finally convinced to participate in the project.  Very Soon after, Ford produced two (2) prototype vehicles, dubbed the Ford Pygmy (AKA: The Blitz Buggy). The Pygmy was designed using the original US Government specifications, but also focusing on the lessons learned by both American-Bantam and Willys-Overland during their experiences producing their prototypes: the Bantam Mark 2 Recon Car and Willys Quad Recon Car, respectively.

The two Pygmy prototypes submitted by Ford were very different in outward appearance, although they used the same chassis.  Ford built one of the bodies, while subcontractor Budd Manufacturing, built the other.  The Budd built prototype looked very similar to the vehicles previously submitted by Bantam and Willys.  However, the Ford built vehicle looked quite different and resembled what would later become the iconic Jeep MB/GPW Vehicle that we recognize today.  Features introduced with the Ford Pygmy prototype that were kept throughout the subsequent Jeep family include the flat,square hood, grill mounted head lights, hinged windscreen and the gas tank being mounted under the driver's seat.

As the three (3) companies' prototypes were vigorously tested, it became apparent their qualities and capabilities were very comparable.  Therefore, the US Military decided to allow Bantam, Willys and Ford to each produce 1,500 vehicles in their latest design version, which would be put through further tests and trials; the best design being selected as the US Military's standard 1/4 ton 4x4 utility vehicle.  The three vehicle designs: the Bantam BRC-40, Ford GP and Willys MA, are often referred to as the "pre-standardized" Jeeps.

Data Sheet Available:   None


Reference Source/Provider
Ford Pygmy 1/4 Ton Recon Car Photos (Photographed at the U.S. Veterans Memorial Museum - Huntsville, Alabama USA) Patrick Keenan - Editor
    Ford Pygmy 1/4 Ton Recon Car Photos U.S. Army

References Available


Reference Source/Provider
Ford Pygmy 1/4 Ton Recon Car Information and Photos CJ3B.Info
Ford/Budd Pygmy 1/4 Ton Recon Car Information and Photos CJ3B.Info
Ford Pygmy 1/4 Ton Recon Car Information and Photos Hemmings Daily
Ford Pygmy 1/4 Ton Recon Car Information and Photos Historic Vehicle Association
Ford Pygmy 1/4 Ton Recon Car Information and Photos Olive-Drab.Com
Ford Pygmy 1/4 Ton Recon Car Information and Photos US Veterans Memorial Museum


Reference Author
All-American Wonder: The Military 1/4 Ton 4x4 Truck -Volumes 1-3 (Victory WW2 Publishing) Ray Cowdery (Vol. 1 & 2) & Fred Crismon (Vol. 3)
Essential Military Jeep (Bay View Books) Graham Scott
Jeep Genesis: The Rifkind Report  (ISO-Publications) Herbert Rifkind
Jeep Goes to War: A Pictorial Chronicle (Courage Books) William Fowler
Military Jeep: 1940 Onwards (Ford, Willys & Hotchkiss) (Haynes Publishing - Enthusiasts' Manual) Pat Ware
Military Jeeps: 1941-1945 (Brooklands Book Distribution, Ltd.) T. Richards
Pre-Standardized Jeep Walkaround (5711) (Squadron-Signal Publications)

Review by Patrick Keenan at the Armor Modeling and Preservation Society (AMPS) Website
David Doyle
Rare WW2 Jeep Photo Archives: 1940-1945 (Jeep Promotions, Ltd.) Mark Askew
U.S. Military Wheeled Vehicles (Crestline Books) Fred W. Crismon
Warbaby: The True Story of the Original (Bantam) Jeep (Points North Press) William Spear

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Model Photos

Reference Source/Provider