The Tale of the Jeep Tractor and The Farm Jeep









     Before the conclusion of World War II, Willys began preparing itself  for the civilian market and was eager to retool.  Engineers looked at ways to take the MB military "Jeep" and turn it into a useful civilian vehicle.  And thus began the "Jeep's" civilian legacy with the AGRIJEEP, Willys first civilian production "Jeep."  The war ended and along came the Marshall Plan, and American farmers were shipping as much food as possible to Europe to keep them from being starved into submission by the USSR.  This made the American farmers the new front line in the battle against Communism.  Many American manufacturers went from making tanks and other vehicles to making tractors and other farm machinery, and Willys of course led the way.  Shortly thereafter, Willys also introduced other models like the station wagon, truck, and the Jeepster - a phaeton style convertible.  The Jeep evolved from the CJ-2, to the CJ-2A, and finally the CJ-3A.  It's interesting the note that the CJ-2A saw lots of mainstream advertising, but by the time the CJ-3A hit the market, Willys was more focused on selling their "civilized" models.  The CJ-3A was left to such magazines as Country Gentleman, and Farm Journal.  Despite the CJ-3A's already universal capabilities, Willys marketed a new "low-priced 'Jeep' tractor with the famous, 4-cylinder 'Jeep' engine, offers advantages found in no other tractor.  With 4-wheel drive, it has the extra tractive power needed on loose or slippery soil.  The 'Jeep' Tractor comes equipped with hydraulic lift and is highly efficient with either 3-point hitch implements or standard pull implements.  In low range it pulls steadily at tractor speeds and has high-range speeds that save time getting to fields and make it useful for many farm jobs."

    The new 'Jeep" Tractor was designed for use on the farm like any other conventional tractor.  It came factory equipped, like the Farm Jeep, with hydraulic lift, governor, heavy duty springs, and propeller shaft guard.  Since the 'Jeep' tractor was designed for farm use, it lacked front shocks, a spare tire, windshield, tailgate, headlights, fuel-pump booster, speedometer, and horn.  Willys production figures for 1951 list the Farm Jeep (FJ) and the Jeep Tractor (JT), but indicate that none were produced, however, examples of both models do exist.  With the start of the Korean War, Willys again retooled for war production with the M-38 and M-38A1, and interest in the FJ and JT waned.  Another reason for this was that a stripped down FJ or JT lost it's on road versatility and usefulness.

Billys Steer's Jeep Tractor serial number plate.  From the above serial number, we know at least 55 JT's were produced.

Willys Production Figures for 1951

CJ3-A         451 GB1      10001     54158    44158
FJ              451 GC1      10001       --      NONE
JT              451 GD1      10001       --      NONE


Jeep Tractor 451-GD1-10055  owned by Billy Steers

Farm Jeep 451-GC1-10001 unknown owner