December 14, 1940

Original Source Documents:   August 1, 1940 - Contract No. W-398-qm-8269 (O.I. #137) (Invitation for Bids No. 398-41-9)

Contributor:    Bill Norris

Source:  Lt. Colonel Dow's collection, Detroit Library





                                                            REGISTERED MAIL

            RETURN RECEIPT





(Proc. Div.)                                                                              August 1, 1940.


SUBJECT: Contract No. W-398-qm-8269 (O.I. #137) (Invitation for Bids No. 398-41-9)


American Bantam Car Co.,

Butler, Pa.




Confirming telegram dated July 25, 1940, you are hereby notified that award has been made to you under Invitation for Bids No. 398-41-9, as follows:


ITEM NO. 1.a: - 62 Each TRUCKS, MOTOR, GASOLINE, LIGHT RECONNAISSANCE and COMMAND CAR (FOUR WHEELS-FOUR WHEEL DRIVE), in accordance with Q.M.C. Tentative Specification ES-No. 475, dated July 2, 1940. To be equipped with FULL-FLOATING TYPE REAR AXLE:


Unit Cost                                                                                         $2,415.50

Gross Cost of Item 1.a                                                                 $149,761.00

Less discount of 1% for payment in 10 days                                        1,497.61

Net Cost                                                                                      $148,263.39

Plus $8.06 net per truck for one (1) spare wheel tire & tube                   499.72

TOTAL NET COST OF Item 1.a                                                $148,763.11


ITEM NO. 1.b: - 8 Each TRUCKS, MOTOR, GASOLINE, LIGHT RECONNAISSANCE and COMMAND CAR (FOUR WHEELS - FOUR WHEEL DRIVE), in accordance with Q.M.C. Tentative Specification ES-No. 475, dated July 2, 1940. To be equipped with FULL-FLOATING TYPE REAR AXLE and FOUR ITEM STEERING MECHANISM:

Unit Cost                                                                                        $2,823.00

Gross Cost of Item 1.b.                                                                  22,584.00

Less discount of 1% for payment in 10 days                                         225.84

Net Cost                                                                                        22,358.16

Plus $8.06 net per truck for one (1) spare wheel tire & tube                   64.48

TOTAL NET COST OF Item 1.b.                                               $22,422.64


TOTAL GROSS COST                                                              $173.070.56

TOTAL NET COST                                                                   $171,185.75


Prices quoted are F.O.B. your plant at Ardmore, Pennsylvania, for shipment on Government Bill of Lading or Driveaway by Government personnel.


In analyzing your bid the following matters were disclosed:


1. You took exception to mounting the tie rod behind the front axle. You will be permitted to mount the tie rod ahead of the front axle housing, provided that it is adequately protected from damage.


2. You will be permitted to extend the frame side rails to the rear to support a full width rear bumper, provided that the front and rear bumpers will properly overlap. If necessary, bumper guards may be used to provide compliance with overlap requirements.


3. The two (2) glove compartments are desired and it is requested that you make an effort to supply compartments that will not interfere with entrance and egress from the vehicle, Additional data are desired covering the compartments.


4. Regarding the parking brake it is desired that you submit for approval a layout portraying clearly the type of cut-in brake you would provide, bearing in mind that the control mechanism must be effectively protected from damage.


5. You have quoted an engine compression ratio of 5.4 plus. It is desired that you quote the actual compression ratio figure you intend to employ.


6. In your bid questionnaire you, state that the cooling system requirements of paragraph D-5. will be complied with. However, your chassis print R-100001 indicates that the thermo-syphon system of circulating the cooling medium will be employed. This is contrary to the specification requirements. A circulating type pump must be furnished on the vehicles.


7. The chassis print shows the cooling fan extending above the radiator core necessitating a housing in the radiator upper tank. Also, the fan blades extend below the radiator lower tank which indicates that the installation is one in which a large engine and fan assembly are utilized with a radiator core designed for a smaller engine. While the design as illustrated, is acceptable, you are cautioned that the cooling medium temperature differential requirement at the top of the radiator must be complied with.


8. You have not named the brand of oil filter you intend to furnish. In this connection it is suggested. that you investigate the metal edge type filter now under development by the Zenith Carburetor Corporation. It is understood that a filter of light weight might be obtained suitable for use on this light weight vehicle. Comment and data are desired.


9. The specification drawing requires a gasoline tank having a capacity of at least ten (10) usable gallons. Your chassis print shows a tank of ten (10) gallons capacity but it may be possible that all ten (10) gallons are not usable. You are cautioned that the usable gallonage must be at least that required.


10. You have quoted the transfer case torque capacity as 325 inch-pounds. It i s assumed that this is an error. It is desired hat adequacy of this unit be substantiated.


11. It is requested that data covering the propeller shaft universal joints be furnished together with the shaft angles that will actually exist with the vehicle in the level and loaded position.


12. You have quoted the steering drive and universal joints as of 3-1/4" size, and outside spherical diameter of 6". Obviously steering drive universal joints of the spherical diameter stated could not possibly be assembled in the axles offered in the vehicle. It is requested that the correct size joint together with a print of same be furnished this office.


13. The steering tie rod must be threaded to permit a fine toe-in adjustment, i.e. fine and coarse threads at the right and left hand ends of the rod respectively. You have failed to answer this question but it is assumed that you contemplate such a construction.


14. You offer Firestone "Ground Gripper" tires. The specification stipulates that the tread design must not require directional operation. Will the tire you contemplate using be one that does not require directional operation to insure satisfactory life? It is desired that data covering the tread design be furnished this office for approval.


15. The chassis assembly print shows only one auxiliary shift handle. Since the two speed transfer case requires separate shift handles for range gear and declutching mechanism two shift handles must be furnished and provided with simple means to prevent low range gearing being utilized when the front axle drive is disengaged. This can be in the form of a lip extension placed on the range gear shift handle so that the transfer case cannot be shifted into low range unless the front axle drive is engaged.


16. It is desired that a more suitable location be selected for the mounting of the auxiliary gasoline filter. The filter must be accessible for servicing.


17. With the 3300 r.p.m. engine maximum operating speed, tires having a 12-3/4" loaded radius, and 5.25 axle ratio, the vehicle road speed will be less than 50 m.p.h. It is desired that the road speed at the 3300 r.p.m. engine speed shall definitely exceed 50 m.p.h. Accordingly, it is requested that you advise whether an axle ratio of approximately 4.7 to 1.0 can be furnished in lieu of the 5.25 ratio.


18. The construction and arrangement of the tool boxes are not in accordance with bid drawing #08370-ZS. You are advised that the construction must be that shown on the above mentioned drawing.


19. It is desired that the body be made slightly wider to more properly cover the rear tire equipment. This as you have increased the axle tread beyond that contemplated. It is further desired that the wheel housing side panels be moved closer to the tires resulting in a wider cargo space between the wheel housings and wider rear seat.


20. In the case of the four wheel steer vehicles it will be necessary, of course, to provide proper clearance for tire chains when the rear wheels are cramped either to right or left.


21. It is noted from your layout that when the front wheels are cramped there does not appear to be sufficient tire chain clearance with respect to the frame. You are cautioned that sufficient clearance must be provided.


22. You are requested to furnish as promptly as practicable detailed prints of the engine, transmission and transfer case, front and rear axles, and a print clearly showing the four wheel steer layout actually installed in your chassis.


23. A sample of the dull and lusterless paint you propose to employ together with the name and address of the manufacturer, must be furnished this office.


24. The headlight mounting location you selected is not considered the most appropriate one, It is requested that you submit sketches showing any optional mountings you could provide. The tail lights must be mounted flush in the body rear panel.


As set forth in your bid you agree to complete deliveries as follows: Pilot Model within forty-nine (49) days, that is on or before September 20, 1940; Sixty-one (61) vehicles under Item 1.a. to be delivered twenty-six (26) days after delivery and approval of Pilot Model; an additional two (2) weeks will by granted for delivery of the eight (8) vehicles under Item 1.b, To enable this office to have an inspector at your plant when these vehicles are ready for shipment it is requested that you notify this office at least five (5) days in advance of the date same will be ready for Government inspection. War Department Registration Numbers will be furnished as soon as they become available to this office.


The provisions of paragraph 10 of INSTRUCTIONS TO BIDDERS - "Liquidated Damages" are made a part of this award.


Payment will be made by the Finance Officer, Detention Building, Fort McHenry, Baltimore, Maryland. To insure prompt payment, invoices in triplicate, properly certified, should be rendered to that official.


Contract No. W-398-qm-8269 (O.I. #137) is assigned to this transaction. All correspondence in connection with this agreement should refer to this contract number.


The latest revisions of Specifications and Drawings applicable to this award are being forwarded to you under separate cover.


Federal Excise Tax Exemption Certificate is enclosed herewith.


There is being fowarded to you under separate cover a copy of the "NOTICE" containing stipulations of the Walsh-Healey Act, which should be conspicuously posted in the factory furnishing supplies to the Government under this contract. In the event you propose to furnish the supplies from more than one plant or warehouse, additional copies of this "NOTICE" will be forwarded you upon written application to this office. You are requested to advise your factory to keep this card for use in connection with subsequent contracts which nay be awarded. However, if for any reason the card becomes mutilated or is destroyed, your request for additional copies will be honored.


It is requested that receipt of this notification of award, as well as the "NOTICE" card be acknowledged.


Very truly yours,



Major, Quartermaster Corps

ecr/                                                                              Purchasing & Contracting Officer.


2 Encls.

Q.M.C. Tentative Spec. ES-No-475

Fed. Tax Exemp. Cert. #WQ-250,577


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