1943 Ford GPW Jeep


Are you a Ford fanatic that’s always had a bit of a thing for jeeps, too? Buy this and get both. Meet the jeep made by Ford, and the first mass produced 4x4 from the Blue Oval. Those that aren’t up on their military history might not know about the 1934 Ford GPW jeep, but this is one badass little rig worth digging into. This one has had some recent work to improve its looks, performance and off-road agility and is for sale at Streetside Classics in Phoenix, Arizona for just $19,995.

The Model.

This jeep with a lowercase “J” has an incredible story, one that we have to admit we didn’t know about before we came across this thing. It starts all the way back in 1937, when the U.S. Army asked for proposals from U.S. auto manufacturers for a replacement for its long-in-the-tooth light duty vehicles. When they finalized their requirements back in 1940, they submitted them to 135 manufacturers and got proposals back from three: American Bantam Car Company; Willys-Overland Motors; and Ford.

After extended development and testing from all three companies, a production contract was awarded to Willys to produce the vehicle, which was called the Willys MB. It soon became apparent that Willys could not keep up with the pace of production the military needed, so they reached back to Ford to help supplement production. 

The Ford variant was called “GPW,” with G signifying “Government Contract,” P referencing the 80” wheelbase, and W standing for “Willys design.” We never know this, but the name “jeep” is generally believed to be derived from these initials, so those two brands will forevermore be inextricably linked in our minds, and now yours too. 

Untitled design

There were hundreds of differences between a Ford GPW and a Willys MB, although it takes a well-trained eye to spot these differences. Part of the problem is that the U.S. Government often frankensteined these two, using parts from one to fix the other. Here are some key differences that will help you spot the difference:

  • Engine block serial numbers (Starts with GPW vs MB)
  • Ford script bolts (Ford bolts and other parts often had a script “F” on them)
  • Body differences (Like the rear toolbox opening button on a GPW being square and round on an MB)
  • Frame differences (GPW frames have a rectangular upside-down C-channel front cross member, while MBs have a tubular and round front cross member)

Ford ended up building more than 300,000 GPW military jeeps in all from 1941-1945, which amounted to roughly half of all jeeps built for World War II, although it’s hard to say how many are still around. We ran a quick check classic.com and they have only listed 6 auctions in 2021, and only one of those was in the United States. We couldn’t find any of them currently for sale on Ebay Motors.

The Specs.

This 1934 Ford GPW is in fantastic shape, having been lovingly restored into a driver. Obviously the most immediately noticeable part of the makeover is the cool digital camo paint scheme, a nod to this truck’s military history, but also a hint at some of its more modern underpinnings. For example, the 350 cubic-inch V8 under the hood, giving this GWP a ton more power than 60 horses it rolled off the factory line with. This jeep also has some modern suspension upgrades including a lift that gives it a pretty menacing stance for such a small vehicle, but more importantly, the offroad chops that will take you just about anywhere. 


  • 350 cubic-inch V8
  • Four-barrel carburetor and an Edelbrock aluminum intake
  • TH350 3-speed transmission
  • Dana 44 rear end
  • Trans cooler
  • HEI distributor
  • Stainless long tube headers 
  • Power steering
  • Power brakes
  • Front disc brakes
  • Rear drum brakes


  • Liner painted floors
  • Custom trailer hitch with a plate to mount Jerry cans
  • 4-point off-road harnesses
  • Roll bar with high-lift off-road jack and full size spare mount point
  • Three-spoke steering wheel
  • B&M shifter
  • Upgraded gauge package w/ oil pressure, fuel, oil temperature, amperage, and speedo


  • Digital camo paint
  • RockHard front bumper with a push bar, tow hooks, and dual light bars
  • Lifted suspension
  • Ax and shovel kit
  • Custom trailer hitch 
  • Plate to mount Jerry cans
  • 32” x 11.5” Goodyear Wrangler tires
  • 15” black steel wheels

Explore More Ford Listings.

This classic Ford military vehicle has sold, but you can find more rare and classic trucks and 4x4s on Fourbie Exchange.