December 14, 1940

Original Source Documents:   October 18, 1940 - Proceedings of Motor Transport Sub-Committee - Quartermaster Corps Technical Committee

Contributor:    Bill Norris

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






October 18, 1940


References:  4th Indorsement, AG 451 (6-15-40), dated July 5, 1940.

Inclosure No. 1, Letter, Commanding Office, Holabird Quartermaster Depot.

Inclosure No. 2, Two (2) letters from the Ford Motor Company.

Inclosure No. 3, Letter from the Willys-Overland Motors, Inc.

Inclosure No. 4, Two (2) letters from American Bantam Car Company.


Discussion:  A current contract calls for the manufacture and delivery to the War Department by the American Bantam Car Company, Butler, Pa., of seventy (70) trucks, 1/4-ton, (4x4), Light Reconnaissance and Command, and experimental and service test project authorized by 4th indorsement from The Adjutant General, file, AG 451 (6-15-50) M-D, dated July 5, 1940, at a cost of $171,185.75. A pilot model test of these vehicles has clearly indicated the suitability of a vehicle of this general type for military use. To expedite the development of the most suitable vehicle of this type for which there is an urgent need, it is considered that a greater quantity than the seventy (70) to be purchased should be procured immediately.  This will provide a more extended test and allow a greater tooling on the part of the manufacturer, of axles which comprise the bottleneck in production of this vehicle.  In view of the fact that the manufacturers other than the Bantam Car Company were known to be interested in this vehicle and gone to considerable preliminary work toward production of pilot models, informal quotation on five hundred (500) vehicles each were secured from the Willys-Overland and Ford Companies, as well as the Bantam Car Company.  These offerings are shown in the attached inclosures.


It was revealed in these informal quotations that the Spicer Manufacturing Company is the sole producer of axles and transfer cases and that a lot of five hundred (500) vehicles would not permit adequate tooling.  However, if fifteen hundred (1,500) vehicles are produced axle tooling will be provided for thirty (30) to fifty (50) vehicles per day.  This additional tooling will greatly facilitate the mass production of vehicles at a later date if this should be found desirable.


To allot the entire fifteen (1,500) hundred vehicles to one manufacturer will limit the Army to the development of a single type of vehicle which may not be the most satisfactory of the three types offered.  To secure five hundred (500) from each of the three manufacturers will extend the field of development and should not delay the production of the total quantity of fifteen hundred (1,500) vehicles.  Also additional sources of supply will be made available for mass production.


The prices revealed by the manufacturers in a lot of five hundred (500) vehicles each were:


Bantam Car Company              $ 1,123.00

Ford Company                         $ 1,130.00

Willys-Overland Company        $ 1,581,38


In view of the fact that certain minor changes may be required in the development of the vehicle involving increase in prices, it is believed that $ 1,250.00 is a fair estimate of the maximum cost of each vehicle, if procured in lots of five hundred (500) from each manufacturer.  According, this price restriction should be imposed in negotiations with manufacturers.


Conclusions:  It is the conclusion of the Committee that for the proper development of the project of a light (4x4) truck for command and reconnaissance purposes, and to facilitate mass production possibilities fifteen hundred (1,500) additional vehicles should be procured at once on a negotiated basis of five hundred (500) each from the Bantam Car, Willys-Overland and Ford Companies.


Recommendations:  It is recommended that:


(1) The project for development and service test of seventy (70) trucks, 1/4-ton, (4x4) for command and reconnaissance purposes be extended immediately to include fifteen hundred (1,500) additional vehicles.


(2) The Quartermaster General be authorized to execute negotiated contracts with the Bantam Car Company, the Willys-Overland Company and the Ford Company for five hundred (500) vehicles each, at unit cost not to exceed $ 1,250.00.


(3) Should a manufacturer fail to meet this price limitation the negotiation be made for fifteen hundred (1,500) vehicles divided equally amongst the manufacturers meeting this limitation.


(4) The Quartermaster General be authorized immediately to notify the Spicer Manufacturing Company of the War Department's intention to contract for fifteen (1,500) vehicles and guarantee them an outlet for fifteen hundred (1,500) sets of axles and transfer cases.



----------------------------                                                      ----------------------------

J. H. JOHNSON, Lt. Col., QMC                                            W. F. LEE,

Chairman                                                                                  Lieut. Colonel, Infantry



----------------------------                                                      ----------------------------

G. X. CHEVES                                                                        J. W. MacKELVIN,

Lieut. Colonel, Calvary.                                                            Lieut. Colonel, F. A.





Captain, Cavalry.



7 incls.

Incl.      1 - Ltr. Hol. QMD, 10-17-40

  "         2 - 2 Ltrs. Ford Motor Co. 10-16-40    1    2

  "         3 - Ltr. Willys-Overland Motors, Inc. 10-8-40 1

  "         4 - 2 Ltrs. Amer. Bantam Car Co. 10-4-40 & 10-9-40. 1   2

  "         5 - Non-concurrence, Chief Inf. 10-21-40.

  "         6 - Non-concurrence, Chief F. A. 10-21-40.

  "         7 - Special Concurrence Chief Cav. 10-21-40

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