From February 1942 to October 1945, all commercial automobile and parts manufacturing were halted in the US. The world was at war for the second time, and all supplies were directed to the allied troops overseas. Transportation was key for soldiers, especially when fighting in unfamiliar lands. So, what automobiles were used by the allies in WWII? Read on to learn how cars helped secure a win over the Axis powers.
Henry Ford helped the war efforts tremendously thanks to the Ford GPW. These vehicles were classified as jeeps, and their boxy design inspired Jeep-brand cars for decades after the war. The Ford GPW was a powerful 4×4 that could transport soldiers and supplies across rugged terrain. They were built with durability first and foremost, making them excellent automobiles for extended deployments. 300,000 GPWs were made for WWII, making up nearly half of all military jeeps at the time.
If you’re familiar with WWII, you might know that Willys and Ford worked together to design the Ford GPW. However, you might not know that Willys also manufactured their own WWII jeep, known as the Willys MB. This specific model directly inspired the first civilian Jeep and eventually the Wrangler, which is regarded as the ultimate off-roading vehicle. The MB was a workhorse, and many soldiers preferred these cars for their strength and performance.
Series I Land Rover
The British military borrowed Ford’s and Willys’ vehicles during the war, but their experience with American 4x4s inspired one of the most popular all-terrain SUVs of all time—the Land Rover. While the first military Land Rovers weren’t tested until 1949—four years after WWII—they were a result of that time period. The Land Rover became a staple for the British army and helped in many wars after. Today, the Land Rover is a luxury car adored by off-roaders everywhere. Without its WWII roots, this excellent automobile may not have been developed.
So, what automobiles were used by the allies in WWII? The true answer is mainly the GPW; these vehicles made up nearly half of all military jeeps overseas and lasted throughout the war. However, cars such as the Willys MB and Series I Land Rover helped inspire some of today’s most popular SUVs. If you want an automobile with historical significance, consider these brands for your next purchase!