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M prefix bonnet numbers for British jeeps


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Hi , Before I start just wanted to say I know this thread is in the British vehicles section and it is jeep related, but the my question is to do with jeeps used in the British Army ;) The M prefix numbers, how were they distributed to the vehicles ie by regiment or division or applied as they were unpacked, just curious as iv'e tried searching for a bonnet number in pictures relating to a certain Infantry regiment aswell as the Brigade etc so I can paint it on my jeep, cant find any, annoying thing is I have a pic of my Great Uncle in a jeep but the bonnet isn't in the bloody picture:mad: Regards, Scott oh if this thread needs moving to another forum apologies in advance

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Scott there is a lot on this in various jeep books- I keep buying them :-D

The British jeeps were mainly ordered in batches on contract and given numbers then -although the ex American jeeps contradicts that statement. find your chassis number, calculate date of build and contract and that will give an approx hood number paramiter.

 

As a Guess it would either start M49 or M5 or another option is a rebuilt M15 prefex number.

 

If you want a jeep to a unit and you are happy to risk seeing another jeep with the same number (long shot but it might happen) find a pic from that unit. :-D

 

hope that helps

 

Gerry

Edited by Gerry275
chassis rether than serial num.
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If you post the the frame number here there are a number of us who have copies of the Chilwell lists so it may be possible once the British contract number is determined that a block of M numbers could be identified that would be appropriate for your vehicle.

It really is then just a case of picking a number out of the issuing block that takes your fancy. Registration numbers were issued prior to allocation to unit and during service it was not unreasonable to think that a degree of official re-allocation/un-authorized appropriation went on so it is not possible to trace a particular M number to a unit unless as has been mentioned you copy a period photograph.

 

Pete

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If you post the the frame number here there are a number of us who have copies of the Chilwell lists so it may be possible once the British contract number is determined that a block of M numbers could be identified that would be appropriate for your vehicle.

It really is then just a case of picking a number out of the issuing block that takes your fancy. Registration numbers were issued prior to allocation to unit and during service it was not unreasonable to think that a degree of official re-allocation/un-authorized appropriation went on so it is not possible to trace a particular M number to a unit unless as has been mentioned you copy a period photograph.

 

Pete

 

Can you assist with mine please? MB199719 Built 31/12/42 Having done some research I was going for M477xxxx but need confirmation I'm right... Thanks Carleton

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Can you assist with mine please? MB199719 Built 31/12/42 Having done some research I was going for M477xxxx but need confirmation I'm right... Thanks Carleton

 

Looking at production data your frame number would appear to equate to very early January 1943 I would guess at the first week of the New Year however it is so close to change point that it may be a mute point.

 

First if we assume a Dec 42 build date then it was procured under contract W-398-QM-11423 this was amended to contract W-303-Ord-2532 and covered frame numbers.......... MB192501-MB199595...hood Nos USA 20242302-20249396 if this information is accurate you can see the last truck in the batch is 124 units short of yours.

These trucks were supplied to USA, Free French and a very small number to South America.

 

If we now look at January 1943 production the contract W-303-Ord-2532 is still current and covers frame numbers....

MB199596-MB205682....... hood Nos USA 20249397-20255483.

These trucks were supplied to USA, USSR.

 

6557 units after yours contract W-303-Ord-2529 was placed and some of this contract was diverted to British forces.

 

All of the above would seem to indicate that your truck was probably a US operated vehicle however as with most records things are not as clear cut and the Brish revived a number of GPW's and MB's that were handed over from US forces already in the UK these trucks were then accepted onto British numbering system yours may possibly have been one of these.

 

The Chilwell List for Willys car 5cwt has the following information:-

 

M4768471-M4771586 British procurement contract SM2275 this was the first delivery of the largest procurement for British operated standard production jeeps, these started to arrive in the UK from May 42 onwards I currently can't find the date for the completion it was fulfilled in 5 stages British 'M' Nos allocated as follows;-

476871-4771586 5534138-5539697 5220001-5221364 4922197-4923996 6128340-6133339 (this last batch is listed as 'reconditioned') 5558376-559875 ( listed as' Ex US forces')

 

I think the short answer is that if you are looking to be as accurate as you can an M 477xxx number is a little early for your jeep my guess.... and it is only that..... is that a late 522xxx or early 553xxx number would be closer or a number out of the 555xxx range on balance I'd go for the 555xxx group.

 

But at the end of the day its your jeep and it's just good to see it in British markings so feel free to do as you wish would be my parting shot :-)

 

Pete

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Wow!!! :wow:

 

Thanks for taking the time to do that Pete much appreciated. I need to make a decision then.

 

The rebuild is nearly done and stencils will be ordered soon. My hood number btw is 20251697, it came with an original inventory plate and the chassis was stamped with this number.

 

Its more than likely it was an American operated Jeep but I've always been clear it will be British marked.

 

Thank you

 

Carleton

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Wow!!! :wow:

 

Thanks for taking the time to do that Pete much appreciated. I need to make a decision then.

 

The rebuild is nearly done and stencils will be ordered soon. My hood number btw is 20251697, it came with an original inventory plate and the chassis was stamped with this number.

 

Its more than likely it was an American operated Jeep but I've always been clear it will be British marked.

 

Thank you

 

Carleton

 

Your welcome Carleton, I would not pretend to be a guru on jeep production figures but over the years I have collected a number of different sources that enables me to check data, the problem of course is that by far the majority of the information is not from the primary source so anomalies can and do exist.

 

If you are interested I would suggest you go on the G503 forum they are primarily geared to US operated jeeps however there is a real depth of knowledge there on production data. Also one of the best books that I have come across on the market to date is 'The Standardised War Time Jeep 1941 1945 Vol 2' by John Farley (no connection with the author). The Nabholtz private published books vol 1 and 2 are also regarded as probably the best information available however these are now out of print and only very occasionally come up for sale at very high prices.

 

Your current US reg number would appear to be in the correct range for your frame number was it found and copied from the hood do you know?

 

Pete

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Hi Pete,

 

Yes I use G503 but it tends to be mostly US biased, very good for technical info though.

 

I have the Farley books both are excellent.

 

My hood number was stamped into the frame presumably during an Army rebuild. The wavy inventory plates were stamped with chassis and serial numbers, presumably they were used when vehicles were sold off or when vehicles were being inventorised. Most havent survived.

 

 

inv plate.jpg

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You see that's what I love about this obsession you learn something every day, Iv'e never seen one of those plates and I've had 10 jeeps through my hands over the years..... very interesting.

It would be worth posting that photo on the G to see if our friends across the pond have ever seen anything like it. Do you know anything of your trucks civilian life ?

 

regards

 

Pete

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Thats true.

 

My jeep was sold by the Army to an old boy in California who put a V8 in it and then it sat for years. He sold it to my seller in the 90's who used it for just 2 years and then it sat again.

 

Theres a bit on other inventory tags here, I'll add mine to the thread -

 

http://g503.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=84&t=211423&p=1238669&hilit=navy+wavy#p1238669

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Thats true.

 

My jeep was sold by the Army to an old boy in California who put a V8 in it and then it sat for years. He sold it to my seller in the 90's who used it for just 2 years and then it sat again.

 

Theres a bit on other inventory tags here, I'll add mine to the thread -

 

http://g503.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=84&t=211423&p=1238669&hilit=navy+wavy#p1238669

 

Interesting, so its a post war US inventory thing, like I said learn something every day.

 

Thanks

 

Pete

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  • 2 years later...

Hi All

 

I have just discovered the following numbers on my 1944 Willys bonnet. Not sure they make sanse as the serial appears a little short for the Biritish Army, but I would be grateful for any help, please.

 

Chassis number : MB321545 (Build date 27APR44)

Bonnet Number : M2352401

 

Many thanks

 

Don (aka Juggernaut)

Edited by Juggernaut
Stupidity
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Hi All

 

I have just discovered the following numbers on my 1944 Willys bonnet. Not sure they make sanse as the serial appears a little short for the Biritish Army, but I would be grateful for any help, please.

 

Chassis number : MB321545 (Build date 27APR44)

Bonnet Number : M2352401

 

Many thanks

 

Don (aka Juggernaut)

 

I can't find this number series for 'car 5cwt' either for Ford or Willys sorry :undecided:

 

Given your build date a number in the 52xxxxx or 55xxxxx series would seem more likely, it's just possible that its a complete rebuild re issue number but I don't have the number blocks for these units perhaps someone else can help.

 

Pete

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Hi All

 

I have just discovered the following numbers on my 1944 Willys bonnet. Not sure they make sanse as the serial appears a little short for the Biritish Army, but I would be grateful for any help, please.

 

Chassis number : MB321545 (Build date 27APR44)

Bonnet Number : M2352401

 

Many thanks

 

Don (aka Juggernaut)

 

Hi Don,

 

Good news and Bad news.

 

M2352401 is long enough for a British Army number.

 

However... the block it occurs in is 1800000 to 3710132, which are marked 'Not Taken Up', i.e., there were no vehicles in this series.

 

Following Pete's suggestion, it's not M5352401 either, that's a 'Truck 15cwt 4x2 GS'.

 

You perhaps need to check again.

 

How confident are you that it is the original number? Old time restorers often used random numbers, or those with personal significance, such as birth dates (it's not that), or Army Service Numbers as Davey089 says. If that were the case, it would be in the WW2 block for Royal Corps of Signals 2303001 - 2604000.

 

Let us know what you find.

 

Best Regards,

 

Adrian

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  • 7 months later...

Earlier it was mentioned of a list (Chilwell's) of WD or hood numbers.

 

I am trying to figure out mine. Details as follows:

 

Serial 155562

engine 160432

tub 59041

DOD 7/7/42

Contract CDLV 505

WLU 440 M PERS 1

 

I BELIEVE MINE DID NOT GO OVERSEAS. However a CM****** or 43-*** near my serial number on the 505 contract would suffice.

 

Thank you in advance.

 

Jason

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  • 1 year later...

Hello from Canada, 

 

I am currently restoring a 1943 Ford GPW to British Airborne Configuration and am wondering if you could assist me in a British Hood Number.

My vehicle is the following;

1943 Ford GPW
Serial Number- 116037
Estimated Hood Number- 20379595
British Airborne Hood numbers?- 
MFG- May 1943 -Dearborn Michigan at the River Rouge Complex at the Main Plant

Contract # F4

 

Can anyone assist me in finding a hood number that would be in the proper range?

Thanks,


Rob

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  • 2 years later...

Hi All,

I am looking to give my 42 GPW a British M number, any information would be greatly appreciated as to the production date and suitable numbers.

 

Chassis number: 46205

 

Many thanks in advance

 

Jim

 

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13 hours ago, Jim2968 said:

Hi All,

I am looking to give my 42 GPW a British M number, any information would be greatly appreciated as to the production date and suitable numbers.

Chassis number: 46205

Many thanks in advance

Jim

 

Good morning Jim, using  your frame number as a starting point :

US ordnance contract W-398-QM-11424

Ford frame numbers 41961 to 52355

US Army reg numbers issued 20126961 to 2013735

725 trucks from the batch transferred to British forces under contract Q11424

British M numbers 4938144 to 4938868

Pete

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