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JEEP Serial Numbers, Production Figures, and Models

JEEP Serial Numbers, Production Figures, & Models

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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.

Master List of All Traditional Size Jeep Models Produced 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.     1942-45 MB Stamped Grill: 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.    1942 Script Ford GPW: tailgate area of early Ford GPW models were embossed with "Ford" in script; no gas can.    1942-45 Ford GPW: 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 X-98 + CJ-4M:  1949-50 - a with rounded . Another '' jeep. . CJ-4 + CJ-4MA: 1950 - . 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 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: 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. CJ-10: 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 Cherokee:  1974-83 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. Jeepster Commando: 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 FJ:  Eagle Talon

Not on above list are:        Can anyone supply more detail?
    Tuxedo Junction Models
    Hurst Jeeps
    Surrey Jeeps
    : 1/2ton M274 the first under a development contract with the U.S. Army. Production began in 1957, with vehicles going to the US Army and to the US Marines. By 1960, Willys had built 2,452 mules, and an additional 1,905 more mules between 1962 and 1964. From 1964 to 1970 several other manufacturers also built the Mule with similar but different engines because U.S. Government contracts stipulated blueprint sharing between competing manufacturers.  The M274A1 Army Mule was produced from 1962-1964 by Willys Motors, Inc. In March of 1963, Willys Motors, Inc. was renamed the Kaiser-Jeep Corporation. Any mules built after the name change would have 'Kaiser-Jeep' data plates. Prior to that, they would be 'Willys Motors, Inc.' data plates.  I will assume that A3's & A4's were not stamped as being built in the year they were converted, but retained the original year of manufacture.

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).

World War Two Jeep Specifications

Length: 132.75 inches (3.371 m).
Wheelbase: 80 inches (2.032 m).
Width: 62 inches (1.5748 m).
    Top Up: 69.75 inches (1.77165 m).
    To top of steering Wheel with Top Down: 51.25 inches (1.30175 m).
Weight (gross): 3125 lb. (1,417.4761563 kg).
Engine: 4 cylinder (Willys L-head), 134 cubic inches (2.200 cm3) displacement, carburetor, liquid cooled.
Horsepower: 60 at 4.000 rpm.
Transmission: 3 speed, type Warner T-84J.
Transfer case: 2 speed, type Spicer 18.
Electrical system: 6 volt, negative ground.
Brakes: Hydraulic (Bendix).
Tires: 6.00 - 16   (4 + 1).
Fording depth:
    without preparation: 18 inches (0.45 m).
    with deep water fording kit:
Fuel type: Gasoline (Petrol).
Fuel capacity: 15 gallons (56.78 liters).
Range: 375 miles (600 km).
Crew: 1 + 3.

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.


Bantam War Time Serial Numbers and Production Totals Model Year Starting 
Serial Number Ending 
Serial Number Total Production Notes BRC-60 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. BRC-40 1941 2651  2,605 BRC-40-4WS 1941 (50) Total Jeeps Produced for WWII by Bantam 2,675


Willys War Time Serial Numbers and Production Totals Model Year Starting 
Serial Number Ending 
Serial Number Total Production Notes Quad 1940 2 The Quad was Willys hand built test prototype.
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. MA 1941 78401 79900 1,555 MA - 4WS 1941 85501 85550 50 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 weldedtogether. The remaining stamped grill MB jeeps totaled 335,531 units. MB 1942 108599 200022 91,424 MB 1943 200023 293232 93,210 MB 1944  293233 402334 109,102 MB 1945 402335 459851 57,517 Total Jeeps Produced for WWII by Willys 362,841


Ford War Time Serial Numbers and Production Totals Model Year Starting
Serial Number Ending
Serial Number Total Production Notes Pigmy 1940 2 The Pygmy was Ford's hand built test prototype.
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. GP 1941 8524 16603 4,458 GP-4WS 1941 (50) GPW 1941 None None 0 Serial #'s 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 Aug. 1945.
GPW's were based on the Willys MB design.

GPW 1942 1 90837 GPW 1943 90216 170336  GPW 1944  170660 246405 GPW 1945 247172 277825  Total Jeeps Produced for WWII by Ford 281,448

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

Where do I find my WW2 Jeeps Serial Numbers?
All MB's and GPW's had serial #'s in 3 places.  .

    • The middle of the 3 plates on the glove box door (or dashboard on the early slat grill MB's, since Slatgrill MB's didn't have glove boxes) in front of the passenger is the plate with the serial number on it. These plates are often missing. The Nomenclature (center) plate has the vehicle identification information including; the Manufacturer (Willys or Ford), the Model (MB or GPW), the Serial Number, and the Date of Delivery (Date of Manufacture). These Data Plates were made out of Brass, Pot Metal, Steel, and Aluminum. Be very careful removing paint or straightening dents on your data plates because valuable information about your Jeep can easily be destroyed in the process.
    • Early plates were Brass, were 3 pc. set, and were marked Quartermaster Corps.
    • The data plates of some of the early quartermaster procured Willys MB jeeps have "QMC" stamped on the pad immediately after 'Make and Model: Willys MB'.
    • Mid-war Jeeps were made of any combination of metals; Brass, Aluminum, Steel, Pot Metal in a 3 pc. set, marked Ordnance Department.
    • Sometime in 1944, a 4th data plate was added to the set. The new plate was called the 'Shipping Plate' because it contained information needed to help boat & aircraft loaders plan for shipping jeeps and landing jeeps on beach head battlefronts. They were still made of any combination of metals; Brass, Aluminum, Steel, Pot Metal and marked Ordnance Dept.
    • The data plates of some of the later ordnance department procured Willys MB jeeps have "ORD" stamped on the pad immediately after 'Make and Model Willys MB'.
    • Some later Willys MB data plates are also stamped with an ordnance dept. 'Crossed Canons' stamp.
    • No Ford GPW data plates are stamped with an ordnance dept. 'Crossed Canons' stamp, only Willys were.
    • Photo of Early (1942) Ford GPW Jeep Quartermaster Corps 3 pc Brass Data Plate set.
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    • All World War Two Military Jeeps had their Serial Number stamped on the front of the jeep on the left-side frame rail behind the front bumper on driver’s side. The exact manner & location differed between a Willys Overland MB's and Ford's GPW Jeep.
    • The Willys MB JEEP
    • The Willys MB jeep used a small aluminum or pot metal tag that was riveted with 2 rivets to the inside frame horn on the frame box reinforcement where the front most leaf spring shackle mounts. Ford jeeps did not have this 'box'.  .  The Willys Frame Tags came in two sizes.  The Early style was small and only contained the serial #. The Late style was larger and contained text as well as the serial #. The later tags had "Jeep" stamped on them in addition to the serial number. . This tag is stamped with the serial number as "M B # # # # # #" (always 6 digits total after the MB). To locate the Willys tag, look on the inside of the left (driver's side) frame rail (frame horn) just behind the bumper, on the frame box reinforcement where the front leaf spring shackle mounts to the front frame horn - you almost have to stick your head in between the radiator grill and the bumper and then turn your head to driver's side to see the small tag riveted to the reinforcement plate that the leaf spring shackle attaches to. There, should be found the little metal (zinc) tag held in place with two small twist rivets. The serial number on this tag should match the serial number on your jeeps glove box data plates, but it will not match the Willys MB engine serial number on toe board gusset body number.

    • The Ford GPW JEEP
    • The Ford GPW jeep had it's serial number stamped into the frame itself, on the top of the left frame rail. The numbers can be from 1 to 6 digits long and the sequence starts and ends with a 5 pointed star stamped into the frame. The format used on GPWs can run from "GPW- # "  to  " GPW- # # # # # # ".  The serial number is normally found stamped on top of the frame between the front left shock absorber tower mount and the motor mount. To find the Ford type - open the hood, look on top of driver’s side frame rail - stamped directly into the top of the frame - the serial number is usually found between shock mount & motor mount. . When I go looking for serial #s, I use a propane torch and a small wire brush (toothbrush size). These items are the best I know of to help in locating the Ford GPW serial numbers because there is usually some grease, rust, dirt, and old paint to deal with. Hit the area with the torch until the paint bubbles.  Then scrub with the brush. WARNING: The hot melted paint will fall all over you, so wear old clothes and eye protection!! Re-apply the heat and scrub till you get to bright shiny metal, and hopefully a serial number. Sometimes the stars are very faint, in fact, the whole stamping can be very light, so some care and good lighting will be required to uncover it. This serial number should match the glove box data plate serial number. While the GPW serial number is normally visible in the engine compartment just forward of the engine mount bracket, examples exist where the Serial No. is located so far forward as to be stamped on the front bumper gusset (or area around it), OR as far back as where the body tub gusset mounts to the frame. Also, the GPW serial number seems to have been stamped while the chassis was in motion on the assembly line, and more often than not, the GPW Frame serial numbers are stamped crooked, off center, at angles, and at varying depths.

    • WWII Jeep engines also had a serial number stamped into a rounded boss on the passenger side of the engine block, behind the oil filter canister. It is on the right side of the engine, near the front of the block, just below the cylinder head, on a machined pad that is directly behind the oil filter and it is usually covered with grease, grime, and dirt.
    • The Ford GPW JEEP Engine Serial Number
    • The Ford engine serial number is the jeep serial #, (as long as the engine hasn’t been replaced). The numbers can be from 1 to 6 digits long and the sequence usually starts and ends with a 5 pointed star that is stamped into the boss. The format used on GPWs can run from "GPW- # "  to  " GPW- # # # # # # ".  The Ford engine serial number is the jeep serial #, so as long as the engine hasn't been replaced, the GPW engine serial number should exactly match both the GPW data plate serial number and the GPW frame serial number.
      . (Oil Filter housing has been removed).

    • The Willys MB JEEP Engine Serial Number
    • Willys jeep engine serial numbers are of marginal help. The Willys engine serial numbers do NOT match the jeep's data plate serial numbers, nor the frame serial numbers, even if it is the original factory installed engine that is still in the vehicle. This is because Willys engines were taken out of the production line as needed and put into portable power generators, searchlight units, and welders. This meant that gap between the serial number of the engines and the serial number of the jeeps they went into got farther and farther apart as time progressed because more and more engines were taken off the jeep line and put into something else other than a jeep. The engine boss or pad is stamped with the serial number as "M B # # # # # #" (always 6 digits total after the MB).
      . (Oil Filter housing in place).

    • The Willys MB JEEP
    • Willys MB body tubs are stamped with a serial number on the driver's side toe board gusset. This large triangular brace is welded on the body tub inside the engine compartment on the lower portion of the firewall. The body tub serial number stamping is in a 6 digit format in rather large size characters. The Body Tub Serial Number does not match the data plate serial number, the frame serial number, or the engine serial number. It is so far of little to no use in determining your jeeps real serial number.

    • The Ford GPW JEEP
    • The GPW bodies built by Ford in house did not have a body tub serial number stamped into the toe board gusset.
      The GPW bodies built by American Central Manufacturing (ACM Type 2 body) for Ford starting at the end of 1943 did have a body tub serial number stamped into them. These ACM bodies built for Ford are stamped with a serial number on the driver's side toe board gusset. This large triangular brace is welded on the body tub inside the engine compartment on the lower portion of the firewall. The body tub serial number stamping is in a 6 digit format in rather large size characters. The Body Tub Serial Number does not match the data plate serial number, the frame serial number, or the engine serial number. It is so far of little to no use in determining your jeeps real serial number. ()

How To Find your WW2 Jeep's Date of Delivery Day
Have you ever wondered about your Jeep's Birthday? What day of the week was it made on? If you are lucky enough to have your original Jeep data plates still on your jeep after all these years then you are in luck. Here's a link to my online as well as a interactive perpetual calendar for determining which day of the week your Willys MB or Ford GPW Jeep or Jeep Trailer was built on. No, knowing what day of the week your Bantam, Ford, or Willys was built on doesn't really provide you with any new insight into your jeep, but there was always talk about 'Monday' built vehicles being of lesser quality because of worker's hangovers, and 'Friday' vehicles being of lesser quality because builders were tired after a long work week and wanted to go home. So I guess 'Wednesday Jeeps' were the best!  ;-)

Get the answers to these questions by going to for estimating and generating WW2 Registration Numbers found on Willys & Ford MB/GPW, MA, GP, BRC Jeeps.

1946, 1947, etc. Military Jeeps
Willys stopped making WWII MB military jeeps in 1945. They didn't even finish filling the contract as the Government canceled it after the war ended. In short order Willys went right into producing a civilian jeep, the CJ-2A, for farms, construction, and other civilian uses.

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 Jeep?
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. .

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 oil filter.
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 haven’t 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.

Serial 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.


Civilian Jeep Model Production Totals Model

Year Production Started

Year Production Ended

Total Production





























AMC Jeep CJ Model Production Totals - 1975 - 1986 Model 1975 1976 1977 1978 1979 1980 1981 1982 1983 1984 1985 1986 CJ-5 32,486 31,116 32,996 37,611 41,501 24,574 13,477 6,080 3,085 CJ-6 2,935 2,431 2,754 743 992 1,633 360 CJ-7 21,016 25,414 38,274 55,624 38,183 27,767 23,820 37,673 42,644 43,315 25,929 CJ-8 8,355 7,750 5,405 4,130 2,015 128

How To 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.

  1. Look for a nice large data plate located on the dashboard to the left of the steering column.
  2. Look for a small strip of metal riveted to the backside top of the Windshield Wiper Motor Cover. It can be seen by standing outside the driver's side of the jeep, looking through the windshield glass at the wiper motor cover.
  3. Look for a data plate attached to the firewall, inside the engine compartment. Look on the firewall in front of both the driver as well as the passenger side.
  4. Look on the side wall of the vehicle's frame right behind the Right Front Wheel Arch. Approximately just above the leaf spring mount.
  5. Look on the top wall of the vehicle's frame at the top of the Right Rear Wheel Arch. Approximately top dead center of wheel arch.
Decoding AMC Jeep CJ Vehicle Identification Numbers (VIN) 1975 - 1980




(Jeep Corp.)



5 = 1975
6 = 1976
7 = 1977
8 = 1978
9 = 1979
0 = 1980



A = Auto
F  = 3 speed
M = 4 speed


4th & 5th

83 = CJ-5
84 = CJ-6
93 = CJ-7



A = 3,750 lbs
E = 4,150 lbs

(Gross Vehicle Weight)


A = 258ci, 1 bbl
C = 258ci, 2 bbl
E = 232ci, 1 bbl
H = 304ci, 2 bbl


8th - 13th


(Sequential Serial Number)

1981 - 1986




1 = USA



J = Jeep




E = Export LHD

F = Export RHD



B = 151ci
L = 232ci
C = 258ci
H = 304ci

F = Diesel



B = Auto, Floor
A = Auto, Column
M = 4 speed
N = 5 speed


6th & 7th

85 = CJ-5
86 = CJ-6
87 = CJ-7
88 = CJ-8



A = 3,750 lbs
E = 4,150 lbs

(Gross Vehicle Weight)


Check #

Check #


B = 1981
C = 1982
D = 1983
E = 1984
F = 1985
G = 1986



T = Toledo


12th to 17th


(Sequential Serial Number)

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