Although it’s been out of service for years, the Jeep continues to be essentially the most iconic American navy automobile, however it might by no means have existed if it weren’t for the Liberty Truck of World Battle 1.
In 1917 the U.S. Military’s Quartermaster Corps acknowledged the necessity for a standardized motorized vehicle to switch the mishmash of vehicles it was utilizing, which made components provides and repairs sophisticated and inefficient.
Enlisting the assistance of the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE), it got down to develop a flexible three- to five-ton cargo service, and it was decided that designing one from scratch can be higher than changing an current mannequin to keep away from any patent infringement points that may improve prices and delay its introduction.
Simply 10 weeks later the group had a prototype with rear-wheel-drive and a four-speed transmission that was powered by a 52 hp 425 cubic-inch L-head four-cylinder engine and able to chugging alongside at a high velocity of 15 mph. After profitable trials, it was fast-tracked for manufacturing in early 1918.
The Military ultimately contracted with 15 automakers, together with Packard and Pierce-Arrow, to construct what was formally known as the Commonplace B truck. There have been 9,364 manufactured by the top of the battle on November 11, with roughly 7,500 of them being shipped to Europe to assist with the battle effort. Lots of them arrived too late to see any fight motion, in keeping with The First Division Museum in Wheaton, Unwell., however the course of that introduced the truck to fruition set the template for the mass-produced navy machines that might observe, together with the Jeep and similarly-nicknamed Liberty Ships of World Battle 2. It was additionally one of many ultimate steps in shifting the U.S. Army away from horse-drawn and locomotive transportation.
However the Liberty Truck didn’t simply play a task in how America fights wars. Commuters and vacationers throughout the US additionally owe it a debt of thanks.
Two of the autos took half within the pivotal 1919 transcontinental Motor Transport Convoy performed by the U.S. Military Motor Transport Corps from Washington, D.C., to San Francisco. The 62-day train was meant to evaluate the navy’s capacity to mobilize over lengthy distances and was noticed by then-Lt. Colonel Dwight D. Eisenhower, who would later champion the U.S. interstate freeway system as President, based mostly partially on the expertise.
Manufacturing of the Liberty Vehicles continued into 1920 with a grand complete of simply over 17,000 constructed. As we speak, solely a handful stay scattered between the U.S. and Europe, together with one which simply wrapped up a decade-long restoration by the First Division Museum, which says it’s one among simply 5 useful examples left.