Malcolm Gunn’s article on the origins of the Jeep (CDT-Wheels & Deals, Nov. 2), was counter to everything I’ve read about the subject. Two (not three) manufacturers — Willys and Bantam — submitted examples and though down on power, it was Bantam’s design that won out. But Bantam was in bad financial shape and too small for the Army to trust them to be able to turn out enough units quickly enough and production was turned over to Willys and Ford. Bantam was given some other less-critical contracts, including small cargo trailers to tow behind the Jeeps. What makes it a bit galling for this flawed article to appear in the CDT is that Bantam was located in Butler, only about 140 miles away; practically a neighbor. In the years prior to WWII, Butler was a major manufacturing city with not only American Bantam but also Standard Steel (Pullman Rail Cars) and others.
Paul Dietzel, Clearfield