1:35 British BANTAM 40 BRC  from MINIART

1:35 British BANTAM 40 BRC from MINIART

The BRC-40 was the definitive result of Bantam's effort to build a 1/4 ton military utility vehicle, with 2,572 being produced. Aside from some of the early test vehicles, nearly all the Bantams were used by the USSR and the United Kingdom as part of the Lend-Lease Program. The BRC-40 followed their initial Bantam Reconnaissance Car No. 1 and the subsequent pre-production Bantam Mark 2 Recon Cars (also referred to as the "Model 60"), of which 69 or 70 were built.

Although being a capable design, the BRC-40 was not produced in nearly the same numbers as the later Willys MB/ Ford GPW Jeeps. This situation occurred due to many reasons, one of the most important being the US Government's concern that American-Bantam as a very small company, would have difficulty producing the number of Jeeps needed for the war effort. As a result of this concern, even after the Bantam Mark 2 was approved for further production and testing, the US Government allowed Willys-Overland Motors and Ford Motor Company to submit two pilot vehicles for feasibility testing; both passing the trials. As a side note, the Checker Motors Corporation also attempted to enter the competition by constructing the BRC-40 with parts provided by Bantam, but only 3 vehicles were completed when Checker was eliminated from participating further. One notable variant of the BRC-40 was the T2/T2E1 37mm GMC. The vehicles were extensively tested, but never adopted for service by the US Military.

The decision was then made to allow Bantam, Willys and Ford to each produce 1,500 vehicles in their latest design version, which would be put through further tests and trials; the best design being selected as the US Military's standard 1/4 ton 4x4 utility vehicle. The three vehicle designs: the Bantam BRC-40, Ford GP and Willys MA, are often referred to as the "pre-standardized" Jeeps. After the final tests were completed, the vehicle design finally selected for standardized production by the US was the Willys MA (with Ford GP design features being incorporated into it). That vehicle became the ubiquitous Willys MB/Ford GPW Jeep.

1 comment

  • Bill

    The complete history of the BRC is available on eBay and Amazon. A huge 400 page book. WARBABY. Have a look at
    https://warbaby.wmspear.com/

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