Model: Ford GPV Jeep
Chassis Number: 217099 GPW
Produced/Assembled: August 1944
Affiliated with English units in Europe from 1944 until 1945 when it was renovated in one of the many English workshops, after having been in active service.
Re-registered to M1502231, which was its most recent registration of the allied units and after the war stored in the former British RAF base, 72 Base Vehicle Depot Market Harborough, along with hundreds of other renovated Jeeps. Between 1949 to 1959 all army vehicles had their numbers changed and my Jeep got the number 57YH36 in 1949.
Came to UK, most likely in a crate under the contract W-398-QM-11424
(later revised to W-398-QM-13538) at Richmond branch, the Tank-Depot where the processing and modification of combat vehicles took place
during that time.
After the war many Jeeps and other vehicles were distributed among the
Nato members and other allies during the Cold War. For some reason my Jeep remained on the base until 1959, when the RAF base was supposed
to close and be converted in to a prison.
All remaining Jeeps were then sold out to the civilian market. It is unclear
how it ended up in Denmark as “retired” army vehicles normally were sold after through the Danish Armys auctions. This has not been the case for my Jeep. It is conceivable entered into a "batch” of Jeeps, purchased and imported to Denmark by a private importer for use in farms, which was popular among farmers as an alternative to either the more expensive new civilian version of the Jeep or a Land Rover 90''.
In 1983 it was found on a farm in Jutland by “Midtjydsk Reservedelslager”, which had specialized in these old Jeeps as well as Land Rovers. It was abandoned in a barn and was in a sad constitution after the farm owner
and his family had lost interest in the vehicle.
After being renovated by “Midtjydsk Reservedelslager” it was registered
with number KX 55 470, as it continues to this day.
In its lifetime it has slowly been restored to original form and is made to belong to the British 6th Airborne that was among the English units that participated in the liberation of Denmark in May 1945.
As can be seen from the pictures, the Jeep is now painted in the typical "Micky Mouse" camouflage pattern that prevailed for many of the British vehicles during World War Two.
Note the short bumper, which was necessary for the airborne Jeeps,
enabling it to get into a Dakota (C47 Skytrain) transport aircraft along
with a platoon of soldiers. Note also the two rods from the bumper up
to the wings. These rods were mounted in order to avoid that branches
or other heavily damaging scrub should destroy the steering and breake system because of the truncated bumper. Frequently, these rods were
broken off because of their effectiveness was shown to be limited.
The jeep life has gone through the following major repairs:
Main Renovated engine (in the '80s) and further renovations to the engine block in both 2009 and minor renovations in 2010. Gearbox replaced and clutch renovated and replaced. Further total overhaul and renovation of gearbox as one of the bearings needed replacement. New wiring installed and original tail lights mounted. New cooler mounted and completed ignition replaced in 2020. Besides many smaller renovation projrects it also has been added a great deal of original equipments.
Next projects are new front springs and original tyres on all "legs".
The Jeep has been in Normandy every 5th year since 1999 - always under its own power though future expeditions most likely will be on my newly aquired Auto trailer. After all it is like driving a tractor, which can be a challenge for the backside of the body when it is for 1.500 km.
My Jeep mostly brings happy smile to my face...especially when it starts, spin and the breaks are working....