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Restored Ford Jeep used by King George VI could sell at auction for £45k

A 1942 Ford Jeep with Royal connections is due to go under the hammer next month.

The vehicle was used by King George VI during a visit to RAF Chelveston in Northamptonshire during the Second World War.

Having been meticulously restored, the vehicle is set to be offered to the highest bidder, with experts predicted it could sell for up to £45,000 when it goes to the block in February.

From morale booster to money maker: This 1942 Ford Jeep was used by King George VI during a visit to a RAF base during WW2. Now restored, it is set to sell at auction for up around £45k

The military off-roader will feature at Silverstone Auctions’ Race Retro Classic Car sale at Stoneleigh Park, Warwickshire, on 25 February.

The Ford GPW Jeep, used by the US military, was the sister vehicle to the Willys MB Jeep with the machines having interchangeable parts. The ‘W’ in the GPW name is a reference to the ‘Willys’ licensed design.

Ford produced some 277,878 examples during WW2, which is slightly fewer than the Willys version (348,849) between 1941 and 1945. 

Fitted with a four-cylinder petrol engine and three-gear manual transmission, the Jeep wasn’t what you’d call fast, but was the ideal lightweight all-terrain vehicle to transport troops across difficult landscapes.

Yet this has a somewhat famed history, having been used to transport His Majesty King George VI and American General Carl A. Spaatz, Commander of Strategic Air Forces in Europe, on a morale-boosting visit to RAF Chelveston on 14 November 1942.

During the visit His Majesty spoke to the crews of Liberators and Fortresses and inspected the aircraft. 

The military off-roader will feature at Silverstone Auctions' Race Retro Classic Car sale at Stoneleigh Park, Warwickshire, on 25 February

The military off-roader will feature at Silverstone Auctions’ Race Retro Classic Car sale at Stoneleigh Park, Warwickshire, on 25 February

The Ford GPW Jeep, used by the US military, was the sister vehicle to the Willys MB Jeep. The two had interchangeable parts

The Ford GPW Jeep, used by the US military, was the sister vehicle to the Willys MB Jeep. The two had interchangeable parts

Photographs and certificates sold with the vehicle show it being used by His Majesty King George VI and American General Carl A. Spaatz at RAF Chelveston on 14 November 1942

Photographs and certificates sold with the vehicle show it being used by His Majesty King George VI and American General Carl A. Spaatz at RAF Chelveston on 14 November 1942

The image shows King George VI getting out of the Ford Jeep during the visit to the Northamptonshire air base, which was used by the American Air Force to store its bombers

The image shows King George VI getting out of the Ford Jeep during the visit to the Northamptonshire air base, which was used by the American Air Force to store its bombers

The airfield was in use by the 301st and then the 305th Bombardment Groups who flew the four engine Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress heavy bomber.

Chelveston Aerodrome was originally opened in August 1941 by the Air Ministry for use as a wartime RAF base. 

The site was large enough to accommodate three runways, which were laid out in the then standard RAF triangular format. 

However, RAF Chelveston, known as Station 105, was used by the American Army Air Force (USAAF) from 6th December 1942 until 25th July 1945, for bomber operations over German occupied Europe.

According to a certificate on file, the Jeep retains its matching engine and chassis numbers with many other components confirmed by the vendor to be original equipment

According to a certificate on file, the Jeep retains its matching engine and chassis numbers with many other components confirmed by the vendor to be original equipment

It even comes with period features including heavy-duty rope, an axe and shovel, as well as an arch-mounted fire extinguisher

It even comes with period features including heavy-duty rope, an axe and shovel, as well as an arch-mounted fire extinguisher

It is expected to sell at the Warwickshire classic car auction next month for a price in the region of £35,000 to £45,000

It is expected to sell at the Warwickshire classic car auction next month for a price in the region of £35,000 to £45,000

The Jeep now carries the US Serial Number 20118614 and UK registration number PXS 475

The Jeep now carries the US Serial Number 20118614 and UK registration number PXS 475

The ‘remarkably well restored’ vehicle is chassis number 45259 and was dispatched crated for shipping to Bristol in the summer of 1942.

According to a certificate on file, it shows the Jeep today retains its matching engine and chassis numbers with many other components confirmed by the vendor to be original equipment. 

To boot, it has only covered 18,550 miles in its 80-year life. 

The historic military vehicle has been subject to a ‘thorough, detailed and documented ground up restoration’ to a ‘simply superb standard’ and carries the US Serial Number 20118614 and UK registration number PXS 475.

It even comes with period features including heavy-duty rope, an axe and shovel, as well as an arch-mounted fire extinguisher.

It is expected to sell at the auction next month for a winning bid in the region of £35,000 to £45,000. 

Fitted with a four-cylinder petrol engine and three-gear manual transmission, the Jeep wasn't what you'd call fast, but was the ideal lightweight all-terrain vehicle to transport troops across difficult landscapes

Fitted with a four-cylinder petrol engine and three-gear manual transmission, the Jeep wasn’t what you’d call fast, but was the ideal lightweight all-terrain vehicle to transport troops across difficult landscapes

Every detail of the vehicle has been restored to how it would have been originally

Every detail of the vehicle has been restored to how it would have been originally

As the odometer shows, the vehicle has covered only 18,550 miles in its 80-year lifetime

As the odometer shows, the vehicle has covered only 18,550 miles in its 80-year lifetime

Silverstone Auctions said: ‘Accompanying the Jeep is the aforementioned history file with fascinating documentation outlining the provenance of this historic Jeep including its current V5C registration papers ready for transfer or export, photographic evidence of the Jeep used during the Royal visit, an inspection report by the Norfolk Military Vehicle Group, detailed receipts for restoration works, various receipts for change of ownership and written accounts of the vehicles history.

‘In summary, this is a super opportunity to take ownership of a fine example of an iconic military Jeep with a rather interesting history. 

‘Absolutely on-the-button, 20118614 would be great fun to use, a fabulous addition to any collection and well received at every classic car or military vehicle event anywhere.’

The Jeep will be sold at the auction alongside another classic off-roader with Royal connections.

The same event will also see the availability of a 1953 Series I 4X4 that was originally delivered to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II at Balmoral that year.

It was recently restored – with some help from King Charles – before being used to lead a Land Rover parade during her Jubilee celebrations held last year.

While the pre-sale estimate predicts a winning bid in the region of £100,000 to £150,000, recent sales of royal-owned cars suggest it could go for a lot more.

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Read more at DailyMail.co.uk



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