Old 4-Wheel-Drive Vehicles

IT WAS ON June 27, 1940 that the U.S. Army's Ordnance Technical Committee issued specifications for a small military vehicle which would soon make history. In G.I. parlance it would be called a "Truck, Viton, 4x4, reconnaissance." But it was meant to be a general-purpose car which would travel over terrain no other car ever negotiated before. With a world war impending, American manufacturers were urged to submit pilot models immediately for testing. What followed was a frantic race from proving grounds to car plants and back to proving grounds again. Perhaps never before were any vehicles given such severe and exhaustive tests. But the winner was a "go-anywhere-do-any- thing" machine which weighed a little more than a ton, which could carry 800 pounds and which was submitted by the Willys Overland Company of Toledo, Ohio.


Of course that car was the original Jeep, a name given by Katharine Hillyer, a staff writer for the Washington Daily News, after a wild test ride for the press one day.

Post-war Development

Original 4-wheel-drive vehicle was the Willys military jeep, still used by outdoorsmen nationwide. These Colorado hunters are scouting tor sign during an autumn elk hunt.

Baja Trip

The time was early April, the vehicle was an International Scout and the starting place was San Diego.

Pan American Highway through Central America

That trip was enough to whet any sportsman's appetite, and the next spring the trip was the length of the Pan American Highway through Central America.

Manufacturers and Engineering of 4WDs

An even half-dozen manufacturers are selling 4WDs on the American market today. Four of these are U.S. makers: Kaiser, which makes the Wagoneer and Jeepster; International Harvester, which makes the Scout; Ford, which makes the Bronco; and Chevrolet, which makes the Blazer.

Sporting Use

Although some owners sleep in their station wagons as well as travel in them, most find it wisest to invest in a tent. That saves all the reshuffling of equipment every morning and night to clear a space for a bed. And even though the new-model wagons are very roomy, there is no excess sleeping space.


Few sportsmen can resist "customizing" their wagons—to make them more convenient to use outdoors. It's easy, for example, to fasten rod brackets to the ceiling; these hold several fishing outfits set up and ready to use.

Into the Wilderness

The main reason for any sportsman to own a 4WD is that it will take him to fishing and hunting areas which he might not otherwise reach. Consider the typical American deer hunter.