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My 1944 MB

1942 GPA 4545


Film clip from a WWII US Army training film of the GPAs driving down a road, and then entering a river in the USA. Via the Keep The Rolling club in Holland. 

This is a short clip from a longer silent film that I have on video (VHS format). That film shows the Seeps cruising around under low bridges and driving in and out of the water. 

To see the video clip again, refresh the page.

The GPA is a WWII amphibious jeep made in 1942 and 1943.

War time US Army photo of a an early Ford GPA made in 1942.
A Ford GPA in British markings and apparently serving with the Canadian Army (I deduce this because of the crowd even though there is no "C" prefix on the WD number). May 1944. Prime  Minister MacKenzie King is in civilian clothes with the hat in hand. General Crerar appears to be on the far left, and General Harry Foster (?) is facing the camera above the 99 in the WD number. This GPA was acquired on Contract SM2820 which was for GPAs WD numbers P5219881 through P5219981 (100 vehicles). The stern of a DUKW ("Duck") is on the right. I plan the restore my GPA to represent this particular GPA. The army records show that the First Canadian Army was to obtain GPAs from 21 Army Group and did not obtain GPAs overseas until October 1944. As of 31 Dec.. 1944, First Canadian Army held only three (3) GPAs, though none (0) were on the establishment!
GPA May 1944 in England Cdn Army.jpg (305508 bytes)
Captain R. G. Tapper explaining some of the points of the amphibious jeep to Colonel Currie and Lieutenant-General Kenneth Stewart during their recent inspection of a Canadian Infantry Brigade. (Published p. 139 of May 5, 1944 CANADA'S WEEKLY) The photos were usually published within a week or so of being taken in this weekly magazine. 

They were made in 1942 and 1943, and about 12,788 (or 12,785 depending upon the source) of them were made. Ben Carlin, owner of HALF SAFE, a GPA which he sailed and drove around the world, thought that only half of the above figure were made, but serial numbers of surviving specimens suggest that the 12,7XX figure is correct. 

W-398-QM-12937 (?) 702104    through   709999 Order placed 1942 April 10. 7,896 units.
W-374-ORD-2782 7010000  through   7012103 3,785 units. 

(Same contract - W-374-ORD-2782 I believe as the one above.)

7012105  through   7014882 2,788 OR 2,785 units depending upon source of info - Ford serial numbers or USA Registration Numbers. My GPA with USA 7012118 is part of this batch.
Information from a poor quality photocopy of an original Operator's Manual for the GPA (via Rod Walker's web site) and from Jeudy's list in his book The Jeep (English Edition).
Any corrections (with proof please) would be welcomed. 

Note that the USA Registration Number was NOT the vehicle manufacturer's serial number (now called a VIN in North America). The serial number is stamped on a dash data plate AND on the left frame rail over top of the forward spring shackle (where the bumper would be on a Ford GPW) e.g. *GPA4545*

They were not as successful as the larger DUKW 6x6 truck which was soon developed. GPAs are now rare and highly collectible.

MY 1942 FORD GPA, SN GPA 4545,





Here is a VERY informative site in Australia run by Dr. Rodney Walker. It includes a database of GPA serial numbers and last known owners, extracts from a GPA Operator's manual, photos of GPAs as found, during restoration and back on the water. There are also some drawings to reproduce some hard to find parts, and links to web sites operated by other GPA owners. Rod's web site was out of action but has been recently reposted at this new URL (address). 

Click here for Rod Walker's web site on the GPA>  MEET THE SEEP 

or on

2. Jan Roelse's web site in Holland 

This has scanned copies of the GPA Operator's Manuals and some of the Maintenance Manual! 

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Copyright Colin Stevens Updated: August 24, 2008
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