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The 'infamous' "$50 G503 in a crate" story..

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My main reason to argue it could not have happened is that they vehicles I have seen listed in 1940s surplus sales lists tended to have a set price that was apparently assigned based on factors such as condition, milage, etc. And the they seemed to be starting at around the $200-400 mark in 1946/1947 dollars. Since civilian motor vehicle production was halted (with a few exceptions) in 1942, it meant that the only cars on the road were those made up to 1942. By 1945 when the manufacturing restriction was eased and then lifted, many cars were worn out or had been damaged beyond repair. New cars and homes were in big demand at the end of WWII and both were in very short supply.

 

In 1946 when they were surplusing G503s, they set many of them aside for veterans and farmers who met the qualifications to purchase. They had to register for the sale, and jump through some hoops, and then as often was the case in that time immediately after the war, they found out that the demand exceeded the supply. Anyway, if you could really buy a G503 new in a crate for $50 back then, then why were they going to all the trouble to purchase one for hundreds of dollars (and even at those prices, it may have been a very used vehicle) instead? Now the surplus price lists I have seen all had set lot prices; not auctions. An auction is the only case I think it could have happened, and even then it must have meant unusual conditions to have happened, if it ever happened at all and isn't the myth most believe it to be.

 

What do you think, possible or total myth?

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I'll check it out. Interesting topic, and my gut says myth...


Looking for the following:

452nd and 447th Bomb Group items

Anything 12th Armored- especially uniforms

155th Assault Helicopter Company, Camp Coryell, or Ban Me Thuot Vietnam items[/center]


WWII US Navy Uniforms from the Battle Off Samar: USS Johnston DD-557, USS Hoel DD-553, USS Samuel B. Roberts DE-413, USS Heermann DD-532, USS Dennis DE-405, USS John C. Butler DE-339, USS Raymond DE-341, USS Fanshaw Bay St. Lo, White Plains, Kalinin Bay, Kitkun Bay and Gambier Bay...


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My Grampa Pearl Calvin Law was a civilian Captain during WW2 and ran the AAF Storage Depot at the Ohio State Fairgrounds in Columbus Ohio. This facility was tasked with shipping, receiving, repairing, vehicles, aircraft etc. throughout WW2. I have attached a photograph of my Grampa and his AAFSD patch which stands for Army Air Force Storage Depot. He always had some really interesting stories about his experiences at the depot and I always enjoyed hearing them. As a coincidence, as I was growing up and became interested in WW2 militaria, I heard about the 50$ Jeep in a Crate story and asked him about it. He told me that after the war that the US Government did indeed sell off a supply of "Jeeps in a Crate" as surplus to the civilian market. When I asked him about the possibility of me buying one and him helping me assemble it, he told me he did not think there were anymore crates around. But he mentioned an important point that may be of interest here. He told me "Bobby" you wouldn't have wanted one of those Jeeps anyways, because all of the Jeep rubber parts in those crates were damaged/disintegrated over the storage period and would all have to be replaced before you could use the Jeep. So maybe that may explain why the new $50 Crate Jeeps were not desired for vehicles that were going to be actually assembled and operated, compared to running/maintained used surplus vehicles.

 

I just thought I would add a little more perspective to this myth.

 

Bob

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"No bastard ever won a war by dying for his country. He won it by making the other poor, dumb, bastard die for his country" George Pattons speech to the Third Army.

 

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As a coincidence Ebay Auction 264271367871 contains a photo of a Jeep partially assembled and in a crate like shipping container. The auction description addresses the question of the discussed Jeeps in Crates subject and they dismiss them as a rumor or scam. I know what my Grampa told me, but you be your own judge with the available information.

 

Bob


"No bastard ever won a war by dying for his country. He won it by making the other poor, dumb, bastard die for his country" George Pattons speech to the Third Army.

 

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Always looking for uniquely marked helmets, WWI and WWII American Field Service items, WWII and earlier USMC items and named or numbered medals and medal groups.


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There were never any $50 jeeps in a crate. A simple search on this forum will show you that even beat up jeeps were fetching quite a bit more at surplus auctions in 1946. This is a lie put out to sell information on how to buy a jeep, yes a pamphlet that you can get from the government for free. Now maybe the M151s you could get for $50. after they had been cut in to an "X" and were totally worthless. Yes Jeeps were crated for shipment during the war, but I have yet to see any proof of one being purchased by a civilian, I have heard stories from families and even heard that part of a crate was found with a Jeep that was sold recently, but not one scintilla of proof the government ever sold crated Jeeps to the public, why would they???? There were literally hundreds of thousands of surplus Jeeps, those would go firs, not crated Jeeps. After 40 years being in this hobby, I have never seen a crated Jeep so I can assure they do not exist (unless you want to dive on shipwrecks where there are thousands of them). One other point, why would all the rubber parts be damaged? I have found several Jeeps that still have their WWII issue radiator hoses and gas tank padding, sorry, I don't believe any of it.


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I can add some info, pertaining to the jeep trailers. UHaul after the war ended up with tens of thousands of Bantam 1/4 ton trailers straight from the government. They modified them for civilian use, and a few are still to be found in fields and wrecking yards. My understanding on the crated Jeeps was they were sold in huge lots ( thousands) to private companies which in turn sold them one at a time to the general public. They uncrate them, got them running, then put them up for sale. Makes sense, why sell one at a time to JQ Public when you could sell lots of thousands to resale companies?

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