Wed, 8th Sep 2021 13:00

Imperial War Museum Duxford


1943 Ford GPW Jeep
Formerly the Property of Oscar Winner Rex Harrison

Sold for £24,750

(including buyers premium)

Lot details

Registration No: XBV 227
Chassis No: GPW138179
MOT: Exempt

  • Formerly the property of Oscar-winning actor Rex Harrison
  • Understood to have served with the 6th Armoured Division in World War 2
  • Pleasingly retaining many genuine WW2 parts
  • Subject to a full service and mechanical fettling in July 2021

Arguably more iconic than a Sherman Tank or P-51 Mustang, the Jeep is for many the definitive WW2 vehicle. Equipped with a torquey L-headed 2.2-litre engine driving all four wheels via a three-speed manual box and two-speed transfer case, the tough, go-anywhere four-seater did its job exceptionally well. By the end of the war, 647,870 Jeeps had been produced - 281,448 of which were manufactured by Ford.

This 1943 example of the Ford GPW is thought to have served with the 6th Armoured Division during the Second World War before residing in Italy after the end of the war, being registered ‘GE 62652’. The Jeep is subsequently understood to have been painted in Green over the original paintwork, which is being carefully removed in areas and revealing the original wartime painted decals. Entering into the ownership Rex Harrison, the Oscar-winning film star who played Professor Henry Higgins in ‘My Fair Lady’ (Lerner and Loewe's great musical masterpiece) and Dr John Dolittle in ‘Doctor Do Little’.

The Ford GPW still retains many of its genuine WW2 features including the body-tub, front bumper, early bonnet, combat wheels shod with Firestone Bargrip tyres, very scarce lubrication bags, rare USA shovel and the canvas and frame are thought to be original too. Fitted with a period Willys MB unit (with engines commonly changed during WW2), the GPW has been subject to a 12-volt conversion. Miscorrectly declared as manufactured in 1947 by the DVLA, ‘XBV 227’ will be supplied with a letter from the IMPS (Invicta Military Preservation Society) and MVT (Military Vehicle Trust) stating the correct date of manufacture as 1943 for the DVLA rectification.

Imported into the UK in 2015, the Ford GPW is accompanied by a UK-plates which will be fitted in time for sale, copies of Italian paperwork and a logbook relating to Rex Harrison's ownership, two images with Rex Harrison in the Jeep including one depicting himself and Rita Hayworth and a current V5C. Subject to much mechanical fettling in July 2021 including engine and ignition system service, a new master cylinder, fuel system flush and new points, plugs and condenser.

For more information, please contact:
Paul Cheetham
07538 667452


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