• Restoration project GPW 231072

On April 16 2010, a boy's dream came true. With the purchase of GPW 231072 (October 20, 1944), a former USMC amb jeep was transported to the home of Cor Geluk in The Netherlands. For a long time we thought USMC amb jeeps had ceased to exist and we had to make do with the wonderful photos of them in Yasuo Ohtsuka’s book: Jeeps over the Pacific. That is until this one was put on offer on Ebay, by Mike Peeters from NY. The jeep was in such a condition that a complete restoration was necessary. Before Mike purchased it, it was used for years as a snowplow, on Patten Hill Farm in Antrim, New Hampshire, and that is probably the reason why the jeep still had the original ambulance modified closed right side of the body.

photo 10 arrival in NL april 2010

Arrival in the Netherlands April 2010

  • Original Details matter

Before starting the restoration we carefully removed all postwar additions to the body. After that we meticulously photographed all remaining original details. Since the jeep's design was signifcantly altered to serve as an ambulance, and no original drawings or specifications are known to exist, a lot of information was to be discovered by 'jeep archeology'. The biggest and most obvious change is the closed up passenger side. (Photo 11, 12)

Because of this the grab handle also had to be repositioned.  (Photo 13)

In the rear of the body a little hinged door is made (Photo's below 14, 15), requiring the jerry can bracket to be repositioned. (Photo 16)

photo 14 little hinged door in the rear of the body photo 15 little hinged door in the rear of the body photo 16 new position jerry can bracket

Due to the addition of the superstructure,  the windshield had to be placed at a more straight angle. This was realized by lowering the windshield brackets on the body. (Photo 17)

In the right rear of the body, a part of the body was cut out to take the stretcher guiding rails to be put in place. (Photo 18, 19)

On the body several holes could be found where the brackets supporting the superstructure  were once placed. In the same area we found the holes for the hold down hooks. 

(Photo's below 20, 21, 22, 23 - position brackets superstructure + hold down hooks)

photo 20 position bracket + hook photo 21 position bracket + hook photo 22 position hook photo 23 position bracket

The last detail we found on the body was a repositioned bracket to keep the hand crank in its place.  (Photo 14)

With the jeep came a original GPW rear seat. The seat was still put sideways, in the original ambulance configuration, over the left tool box.

photo 25 correct position rear seat

Photo 25 correct position rear seat

In order to be able to still use this tool box, a hole had been cut out in the seat.  (Photo 26)

The seat was mounted with three bolts on the body and an extra piece of steel strip was welded on to keep the rear of the seat fastened on the superstructure. (Photo 27)

On the side of the body a odd looking spare tire bracket had been welded. This turned out to be a part of the original spare tire bracket which was mounted on top of the hood. (Photo's 28, 29 - part of the original spare tire bracket)

photo 28 part of the original spare tire bracket

Photo 28 - part of the original spare tire bracket

This bracket was mounted with a hinge on the hood. The four bolts used to fasten the hinge on the hood were still in place. (Photo 30)

The other side of the bracket was mounted on the grill. The two holes for this bracket were also still there.  (Photo 31)

Under the hood the radiator guard was used to make an extra strip that would support the hood when put in the opened position.

Photo 32 detail reinforcement radiator guard

  • credits

This project did only get this far with the help of:

  • my wife Beatrice, son Lucas and daughter Sibil;
  • Yank Reenactment members: Harry vd Bogert, Frank de Koning;
  • Sheet metal worker and mechanic Freek Koster;
  • USMC Amb jeep owners Frank Steele, Andrew Lang and Maarten Sliphorst;
  • military vehicle restorer Rene Pijper;
  • military vehicle collector Jaap Rietveld;
  • Writer Yasuo Ohtsuka;

Photo's below 84, 85, 86, 87 - at work

photo 84 in the garage of freek photo 85 moving body and superstructure (2) photo 86 moving body and superstructure photo 87 cor + freek photo 88 freek at work