JEEP Serial Numbers, Production Figures, & Models
Quick Army & Civilian
Jeep History Timeline
1908: John North Willys buys the Overland Automotive Division of Standard Wheel Company.
1912: John North Willys renames it Willys-Overland Motor Company.
1936: Willys-Overland Motors Inc. is created after coming out of bankruptcy following the Great Depression.
1940: First prototypes jeeps are produced by Bantam, Willys, Ford for the military.
1941: The Willys MA, Ford GP, Bantam BRC-40 pre standardized (prototype) jeeps are in production..
1941: Bantam jeep production ends.
1941: Willys MB military jeep production starts.
1942: Ford GPW military jeep production starts.
1942: Bantam military jeep trailer (T-3) production starts.
1945: Ford GPW military jeep production ends.
1945: Willys MB military jeep production ends.
1944: Willys-Overland experiments with its 1st Civilian Jeep by modifying a few military MB jeeps. Willys labels them as CJ-2 (These are not CJ-2A's).
1945: Willys-Overland begins producing the Civilian Jeep (CJ) line, when it introduces the CJ2A model, and ceases MB military jeep production.
1946: Willys Jeep Wagon production starts.
1946: Bantam civilian jeep trailer (TC-3) production starts.
1947: Willys Jeep Truck Production starts.
1948: Willys Jeepster production starts.
1949: CJ3A civilian jeep production starts.
1950: Willys M-38 military jeep production starts.
1952: Willys M-38A1 military jeep production starts.
1952: Willys CJ3B civilian jeep production starts.
1953: Bantam civilian jeep trailer production ends. Bantam goes out of business.
1953: Willys-Overland bought by Henry J. Kaiser and is renamed Willys Motors Inc.
1954: CJ5 civilian jeep production starts.
1960: M-151 military jeep production starts.
1963: Willys becomes Kaiser-Jeep Corporation
1965: Kaiser-Jeep discontinues production of Willys wagons & trucks, retiring the Willys name with the line.
1970: Kaiser (Kaiser-Jeep) is bought by American Motors Corp. (AMC) and becomes Jeep Corporation.
1971: Jeep Corp.'s General Products Division spins off to become AM General Corp.
1983: AM General sold to LVT Corp.
1987: AMC bought by Chrysler Corporation.
1998: Chrysler purchased by German Co. Daimler-Benz AG. becoming DaimlerChrysler Corp.
(moments later, thousands of WWII US Dead rolled over in their graves).
2008: German Company Daimler-Benz AG. splits up DaimlerChrysler Corp., and sells Chrysler off. Jeep is again owned by Americans.
|Pigmy (2):||2 of a kind Ford hand built prototypes.|
|Quad (2):||2 of a kind Willys hand built prototypes.|
|BRC-60:||Bantam Pilot Model, Round Grill - 70 Built. aka Mark II, Mk II|
|BRC-40:||American Bantam Jeep.|
|BRC-40-4WS:||American Bantam Jeep, 4 Wheel Steering - 50 built.|
|BRC-40 Checker:||Checker Cab Co, Built 2-3 Jeeps based on Bantam BRC-40.|
|CPJ:||Chevrolet Prototype Jeep - 2 built in WWII.|
|MA:||Willys Military model A, first of Willys production line jeeps.|
|MA-4WS:||Willys Military model A with 4 Wheel Steering - 50 built.|
|MB:||Willys Military model B, mass produced jeep of WWII. Flat fenders; no tailgate; rear mounted spare tire; split windshield with windshield wipers at top.|
|1941-42 MB Slat Grill:||"Willys" stamped on left rear body panel, Most, but not all, do not have a glove box; no gas can.|
||Stamped Steel grille has 9 slots.|
|MZ:||very end of WWII production jeeps, 24volt transfer case mounted generators.|
|GP:||Ford First model Military.|
|GP-4WS:||Ford First model Military with 4 Wheel Steering - 50 built.|
|GPW:||Ford Military 80" wheelbase, Willys design. Mass produced during WWII. grille has 9 slots.|
|tailgate area of early Ford GPW models were embossed with "Ford" in script; no gas can.|
|Flat fenders; no tailgate; rear mounted spare tire; split windshield with windshield wipers at top; grille has 9 slots.|
|GPW-4WS:||Ford Military 80" wheelbase, Willys design with 4 Wheel Steering - 50 built.|
|GPA:||WWII Ford GPW Jeep with Hull Body (amphibious).|
|CJ-1:||Modified 1944 MB's aka "AGRI-JEEP" - no known survivors.|
|CJ-2:||Pre-Production using many WWII MB parts, less than 25 known.|
|CJ-2A:||1st mass-produced civilian jeep. 1945-49 CJ2A - flat fenders, low hood, side mounted spare; 7 slot grille; split windshield with windshield wipers at top; has tailgate.|
|CJ-3A:||2nd mass-produced civilian jeep. 1949-53 CJ3A - flat fenders, low hood, 1-piece windshield frame with bottom wipers. More than 132,000 are made before the production ends in 1953.|
|CJ-3B:||High-hood mass-produced civilian jeep. 1953-64 CJ-3B - flat fenders, tall body grille & hood to accommodate the Hurricane F-Head 4 cylinder engine; has tailgate and side mounted tire carrier.|
|CJ-V35:||Military custom order. Cross between MB, M38, CJ-3A. In 1950, 1000 modified CJ-3A's were produced for the U.S. Navy as the underwater CJ-V35/U.|
|M-606:||Military High-hood, flat fenders, based on the CJ-3B, built in quantity alongside the CJ-3B, but for export only.|
|M-606A1 / M-606A2||round fender militarized CJ5's. M606A1 (12v) and M606A2 (24v), both for US Armed Forces and Export from 1965 thru 1972|
||1949-50 - a flat fendered jeep with rounded CJ5 style hood & grill. Another 'Missing Link' jeep. Flat fenders with no apron.|
|1950 - experimental - less than 5 known. CJ-4's have Flat Fenders that WITH a short lower apron on them.|
|M-38:||Military 3rd or "C" model. 1950-52 M38 - 1-piece windshield; tailgate with rear mounted spare.|
|M-38E1:||1950-51 Experimental predecessor to the M38A1. It was based on the CJ-4 experimental Jeep. Flat Fenders with apron skirts.|
|M-38A1:||Military 4th or "D" model. 1952-57 M38A1 - first appearance of round fenders on a jeep (looks similar to CJ-5). 24volt deep water fording.|
|CJ-5:||1st mass-produced civilian jeep with round fenders.|
|1954-69 CJ5||1st V-8 in short wheel base utility vehicle; 1 piece windshield; round fenders; curved door opening|
|1970-83 CJ5||low mounted wipers|
|XM-170:||Experimental cousin of the CJ-4. A 'Stretched' or 'Long Wheel Base Jeep' deigned for ambulance duties.|
|M-170:||Long wheelbase Military Ambulance (similar to CJ-6).|
|CJ-6:||stretched Jeep. 1955-81 CJ-6 - same basic features as early model CJ5's with 20" stretched wheelbase.|
|DJ:||Dispatch Jeep - Mail / Post Office Jeep : 2wd - Many Models & sizes made.|
|M-422:||Mitey Mite. Aluminum Marine Corps Jeep, built by AMC.|
|M-422A1:||Mighty Mite. Longer version of M-422. almost 4,000 built.|
|M-151:||Prototype by Willys, built by Ford, AMC. MUTT (Mobile Utility Tactical Truck).|
|M-151-A1:||Vietnam Military Jeep Built by Ford, AMC, AM General.|
|M-151-A2:||post-Vietnam to Pre-Hummer Military Jeep Built by Ford, AMC, AM General.|
|M-718:||Ambulance version of the M-151|
|CJ-7:||1976-86 CJ7 - full squared door openings; factory roll bar.|
|CJ-8:||Scrambler - 1981-85 CJ8 - pick-up truck version of CJ; spare tire mounted in cargo bed.|
|YJ:||Wrangler - 1987-96 - square headlights; leaf springs & swing out tail gate; sport bar extended starting in 1992.|
|TJ:||Wrangler - 1996+ - round headlights; coil suspension front & rear; gas filler spout on side.|
|Rubicon Wrangler:||2003+ - Dana model 44 axles front & rear, and Rock-Trac 4:1 low range transfer case, trail ready right from the factory.|
|Icon Uniframe body:||2002+ - with integrated aluminum roll cage|
|Willys II Concept Car:||1-piece carbon fiber body on an aluminum frame; Suspension Front Independent short-and-long-arm (SLA) with coil-over-shock setup Rear: Multi-link solid rear axle with coil-over-shock setup|
|Willys Jeep Wagon:||Over 300,000 are manufactured between 1946 and 1965.|
|SJ:||Wagoneer - 1963-83 - Station Wagon; vertical grille|
|XJ:||Cherokee - 1984+ - UniFrame Body, front coil springs & rear leaves|
|Grand Wagoneer:||1984-91 - horizontal grille & leaf springs|
|ZJ:||Grand Cherokee - 1993-98 - UniFrame Body, Quad coil spring suspension|
|WJ||Grand Cherokee - 1999+ - sleeker body contour than ZJ|
|KJ:||Liberty - 2002+ - replaces the Cherokee; UniFrame Body; first Jeep with side air bags.|
|Jeepster:||Willys Jeepster. From 1948 to 1950 only 19,000 vehicles are manufactured.|
|Willys Jeep Truck:||1947 to 1965 - more than 200,000 are manufactured.|
|MJ:||Comanche - 1984-91 - compact pick-up|
|FC:||Forward Control Jeep Van Trucks|
Re: 4WS = Four Wheel Steering
Standard: Grill, Hood, Front Fenders, Windshield, Seats, Motor, Trans.
Different: FRAME, BODY TUB, SHOCKS, STEERING BOX, STEERING LINKAGE, AXLES, And All sorts of extra parts need to have all 4 wheels steer.
How do i know? I own 1 of the 50 made Ford GP 4 Wheel Steering Jeeps (approx. 12 known survivors).
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The Go Devil 134.2 Jeep Engine
The power and torque of the L-Head engine is one of the main reasons why Willys won the contract with the War Department beating out the Bantam BRC40 and the Ford GP. The Willys GO Devil engine out-performed the engines used in the Ford and Bantam prototype jeeps. The L-Head engines uses a cast iron block and cylinder head with 3 main bearings and mechanical lifters. The engine is called an L-Head is because the valves for the intake and exhaust are in the block. (Most engines have the valves in the head). This design gave Willys the advantage of having a relatively lower profile than other engines. Part of the War Dept.'s specifications called for the vehicle to have a low silhouette to avoid detection by the enemy. The "Go Devil" engine earned its fame in the WWII ARMY MB. The L-Head continued to be used by Willys Overland in the post World War Two jeeps: CJ-2A, Willys Wagon, Willys Pickup, CJ-3A, M38, and DJ-3A The MB used a Carter W-O carburetor, while the civilian models used the Carter YF carb. they are very similar to each other. The military engines used a roughly cast crankshaft, (since it's official life expectancy in combat was only 3 months, why expend the extra time, materials, and machining), while post war engines had nicely balanced crankshafts with bolt on counter weights. The performance specifications are slightly different between civilian and military motors presumably due to carburetor, crankshafts, and compression differences between the engines. The L-Head used in 1945-1950 CJ-2A's and the 1949-1950 CJ-3A's are rated the same
The Jeep Drive Train
The MA, MB, and GPW used the L-head 134.2 cubic inch Inline 4 cylinder "Go Devil" engine, T-84 3 Speed manual transmission, Dana 18 two speed transfer case, Dana 25 front axle, and Dana 23-2 rear axle turning 6:00 x 16 tube tires mounted on 16 inch rims.
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|1940||01||70||70||The BRC was Bantam's prototype
Jeep that went up against the Willys MA and the Ford GP to try to win the
contract with the U.S. Government for the best designed jeep. It lost to
Willys. The BRCs were produced in 3 batches, The first 70 (BRC60 aka Mark
II, Mk II) had rounded noses. The more common BRC40s were produced in 2
production runs. The first batch of 1,175, and the 2nd batch of 1,430.
Bantam built approx. 2,675 of them, from 1940 to 1941. Most were given to our allies.
Serial #'s shown in red are based solely on surviving data plates, and not from company records. This indicates the highest known Serial No. at years end.
|Quad||1940||2||The Quad was Willys hand built
The MA was Willys prototype Jeep. It won Willys the contract with the U.S. Government by besting the Bantam BRC-40 and the Ford GP Prototypes. Willys built approx. 1,550 of them, all in 1941.
|MB||1941||100001||108598||8,598||Willys built approx. 361,339 MB's
from late Oct. 1941 through late 1945.
The first 25,808 MB's manufactured by Willys used a different grill than the stamped, pressed sheet metal grill one most people are familiar with. This "slat grill" grill was made out of flat steel stock welded together. The remaining stamped grill MB jeeps totaled 335,531 units.
|Pigmy||1940||2||The Pygmy was Ford's hand built
The GP was Ford's Jeep prototype that went up against the Willys MA and the Bantam BRC40 to try to win the contract with the U.S. Government for the best designed jeep.
Ford built 4,458 of them in 1941.
shown in red are based solely on surviving data plates, and not from company
records. This chart indicates the highest known serial number at years
end. Ford numbered their jeeps based on the serial number of the engine
that was installed in them. However, engines were issued out of order,
so there will be overlaps were lower serial numbers were issued after higher
serial number GPWs had already left the plant.
Ford built 277,896 GPW's from late Feb. 1942 through 15
Checker Cab company built 2-3 Jeeps based on the Bantam BRC40
Chevrolet built 2 prototype jeeps in WWII.
Total Jeeps Produced for WWII = 647,870
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do I find my WW2 Jeeps Serial Numbers?
All MB's and GPW's had serial #'s in 3 places. See Also The History of the Jeep Name Webpage.
What are WWII Army Jeep Hood Registration Numbers? Where & How do I find Hood Registration Numbers on WW2 Jeeps? Can you estimate my WWII Army Jeep's Hood Registration Numbers?
Get the answers to these questions by going to The WWII Jeep Hood Number Estimator / Generator for estimating and generating WW2 Registration Numbers found on Willys & Ford MB/GPW, MA, GP, BRC Jeeps.
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There has always been a desire by some to own an army jeep. This demand has often been unable to be met by the number of real military jeeps available for purchase. The impatient types have often resorted to getting an early civilian Willys jeep and militarizing it with army surplus jeep parts. These cobble jobs, as they are sometimes referred to, while perhaps ending the waiting process actually does a disservice to two hobbies. The Civilian Jeep collectors, and the Military jeep collectors. It takes a good CJ jeep and ruins it by drilling 100's of holes in the body that don't belong there. It removes one CJ jeep from the market of restorable ones. In addition, it consumes dozens & dozens of military MB/GPW parts that would otherwise be available for true military jeep restorations.
It's also a horrible investment of money. It's a horrible investment of your time as well. The time it takes to locate, mark, and drill all those holes could have been better spent restoring the jeep body tub, or locating a real military jeep or parts. $$$ investment wise it is a bad idea as well. It will cost you a ton of money to buy all those military parts, but you won't be able to sell it for what a real military jeep is worth. So you end up spending about the same to acquire the jeep, spend a lot more time locating where to drill, and locating & buying the parts, and paying to have the parts shipped to you, and when you go to sell it years later, very few people are interested in buying a fake army jeep. Why waste the time, labor, and spend the $, and then not have something that is an investment or worth anything for your heirs?
Is someone trying to sell you a restored 1946 Military
There were no military jeeps produced between the end of 1945-1949.
If any one of the data plates on the dash or the firewall or frame say CJ-2a (or CJ at all) than it is civilian - the C = Civilian, the J = Jeep. To this day some people take civilian jeeps and drill holes and add all the military grab handles & parts, paint it OD green w/stars and then try to pass it off as a military jeep. ebay is full of them. They are not actually worth much. They are worth less than a civilian jeep restored as a civilian jeep, and a lot less than a true military jeep correctly restored.
The military jeep collectors don't want it because it is not really a military jeep. I don't recommend investing in one because they won't buy it from you down the road. The civilian jeep collectors don't want it either because it is now a Swiss cheese jeep body tub with all the holes drilled in it that do not belong there - so they won't buy it. The only buyers for such a jeep in the future are the people who just don't care... True jeep collectors (both military & civilian) are willing to pay more to get the right jeep done right. They will be willing to pay more than someone who just wants any old jeep and would settle for a bastardized one.
I like both military & civilian jeeps, but I'm not so big on the mixed up ones.
Serial Numbers on
Military and Willys Overland Civilian Jeep Engines
The quickest way to tell the difference between a civilian engine block and a military engine block I have found is the water pump boss on the block.
First what are the dimensions of the machined boss ABOVE the water pump? Are there any #'s stamped there?
If it looks like the boss is about 2" across then it is probably a WWII military block. (Many times it has a single letter stamped on it)
WWII Military: flat spot is about 1/2" x 2" across.
Civilian: flat spot is about 1/2" x 4" across.
This long flat spot is also where they usually stamped the engine serial
# on civilian motors.
This is the sure fire way to tell it is a WWII block even when #'s are ground off.
Military Engine Blocks: The engine serial number was located
on the top front passenger side of the engine block behind the oil filter
on a machined boss.
Civilian Engine Blocks: The engine serial number was located at the front of the engine block on the water pump boss. See Pic.
Cast Numbers on engine;
Engine block #638632 is the correct number for a MB engine block.
The assembly date (month, day, and year of production) can be found stamped on the pan surface at rear main bearing cap.
Cylinder head #639660 would be the head number for a MB engine.
It appears that WILLYS in raised letters was added to cylinder heads in mid 1943, and JEEP was added in mid 1944.
At engine # MB288835 the cylinder head bolts/cap screws were changed to studs and nuts.
Engines with Numbers Stamped in BOTH Places.
I have seen where many of the Post war engines have had the WWII Boss tab location machined smooth, as if to allow it to be stamped there if need be. Perhaps it was in case the engine would be sold to the US, Canadian, or French Military as a replacement engine, or exported to India or elsewhere. Or in case it was used as a power plant engine in a welding, water pumping, electrical generator trailer rig set up.
Sometime you will come across an engine that has numbers/characters
stamped both on the boss above the water pump, AND the boss behind the
One or the other should be the serial number of the engine. I have heard 2 possible explanations as to what the other numbers/characters stamped in the block on the OTHER tab mean. I havenít spent any time verifying the 1st one. The 2nd one I can verify.
1) Sometimes at the factory, an inspector would stamp his inspection
#/ID in that spot.
2) Post war engine rebuilders would stamp the invoice/PO # there for guarantee / warranty reference, in case the engine came back in the future.
You have to use some common sense here. If the #'s on the Oil Filter Side boss start with "MB" or "GPW", then that is the serial # and the other is an inspection stamp. If the #'s on the Oil Filter boss are long and don't make any sense, then it is a PO/Work Order #, and the real serial # has either been ground off by the rebuilder (and then over-stamped with the rebuilders own work order number), OR the real serial number is out there on the water pump boss because the block is a CJ block.
Numbers on Civilian Willys Jeep Bodies
The following is info I have written down form other sources, but have not verified with my own eyes.
Early Willys Jeeps - CJ-2As:
There are 2 Vehicle Identification plates;
Number one in the left front part of the chassis frame the same as the WWII MB jeeps, and
Number two under the hood in the right side of the firewall where the Fuel Filters went on MB/GPW jeeps in WW2.
Both should have the same serial number. You should be able to date the jeep by these serial #'s using the charts inserted below on this web page.
There is also a toe board gusset serial number, or body number, the same as on W.W.II MB's and later GPW's, stamped in the left toe board gusset "triangle" located in front of the drivers side toe board. It is visible by opening the hood. The number on the toeboard gusset is a number assigned by the body manufacturer (ACM, I believe). Just as in WWII, there is some correlation to the Willys frame serial number, however, Willys inventory rotation practices and bare chassis sales don't allow for an exact match or even a consistent correlation in numbers. Willys also started their serial numbers at 10,000 and I don't think ACM did.
So just as in World War Two, the fact that the Willys VIN and ACM body numbers differ is correct. It would be a strange coincidence if they matched.
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POST-WAR JEEP SERIAL NUMBERS & PRODUCTION
Willys Overland Civilian Jeep Production Figures
Netscape Users Click Here
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Jeep CJ Serial # / VIN & Production Figures
Locate Serial / VIN Numbers on Kaiser & AMC Jeep CJs
There are several places to look when trying to find the serial number / Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) on a Jeep CJ. The exact location that the VIN number was stamped was moved over the years.
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