Tag Archives: spitfire

The best 4×4 by far?

There is a wartime Willys Jeep at the Museum of Flight at East Fortune, tucked away behind a Spitfire fighter and some other, more recent and more scary-looking, warplanes. I told the 10-year-old that I used to have one (the jeep, not the Spitfire). I was expecting a turned-up nose, but instead I got ‘What? Really? One of those? Wow! Coooool!‘ ‘It wasn’t brown like that one,’ I said. ‘It was green, the colour of olives’. ‘Cool, really cool! Where is it? What did you do with it…?

I sold it, years ago, as you do with things that years later you wish you had kept. Shame in a way, both for me and for her. Not sure I would want to run it now though. On a good day I managed twenty miles to the gallon, despite having rebuilt the engine. On a bad day, in the lowest of low gears and driving cross-country, it did between five and ten. So… not the greenest of vehicles, despite its colour. I have found an old photo of it. The picture really is black and white (there is nothing wrong with your monitor).

If you want to know how these things got the name ‘Jeep’, they were designed for the US military as a ‘General Purpose Wagon’. My parts manual had MB/GPW on the cover. I’ve no idea what the MB stood for. But the GP bit stuck… jeep. Not a lot of people know that.


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