Walk Around Photo Feature
Subject: a 1940 Bantam Reconnaissance Car (BRC-40)
This is an 8 photo set of a 1940 Bantam Reconnaissance Car (BRC-40)
This BRC-40 is on exhibit at the Pennsylvania Military Museum in Boalsburg, PA
From the Museum Placard:
"Produced by American Bantam Car Company of Butler, Pennsylvania, the Bantam Reconnaissance Car (BRC-40) was the predecessor to the famous Ford and Willy's "jeep" of WWII. This one was sent to the U.S. Army in 1940 for testing.
The BRC-40 was the second model of "jeep" produced by Bantam. It was an improvement of the pilot model sent to the U.S. Army for testing in 1940. Bantam produced 2,675 BRC-40's in 1941 before the contract for the "jeep" was awarded to Ford Motors and Willy's Overland for mass production.
Most BRC-40's were sent to Great Britain and Russia through the Lend Lease program. The Russians copied the BRC-40 and called their version the GAZ-67
In 1938 the Pennsylvania National Guard's 112th infantry Regiment tested 2 Bantam Roadsters during field maneuvers. This unofficial test was the first time a military unit used a Bantam, and its results led to the development of the "Jeep""
The Bantam BRC-40 was produced from March 1941 to through mid December 1941. Bantam however was unable to meet the demand for production of the much needed vehicles. With Bantam unable to increase their production lines due to financial ability to produce them on the scale needed by the War Department, they then turned to Ford and Willy's to build their own versions, even going so far as to forward the Bantam Blueprints to them claming the government owned the design. After Willy's started production of their version, the Bantam BRC-40 was no longer required by the U.S. Army as it was "non-standard".
Items of note on the BRC-40:
Grille has round bars instead of flat slats
Single windshield wiper on bottom
Parking brake on the left beside pedals
No gas pedal - Floor mounted starter button and a hand throttle in dash to set speed
Website of Interest:
This museum exhibit was in a three sided encloseure with dim lighting, so brightnes was slightly enhanced for better photos.