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BRC-40 Bantam Reconnaissance Car


Statistics

Country of Origin/Used by: USA, Great Britain and Soviet Union 
First Produced/Service Dates: 1941
Manufactured by: American-Bantam Company
Crew: 1+3
Armament: (1) .30 cal Machine Gun or (1) .50 cal HMG
Engine: 4-Cylinder Gasoline (Continental)
Miscellaneous Info: The BRC-40 was the definitive result of Bantam's effort to build a 1/4 ton military utility vehicle, with 2,572 being produced. Aside from some of the early test vehicles, nearly all the Bantams were used by the USSR and the United Kingdom as part of the Lend-Lease Program.  The BRC-40 followed their initial Bantam Reconnaissance Car No. 1 and the subsequent pre-production Bantam Mark 2 Recon Cars (also referred to as the "Model 60"), of which 69 or 70 were built.  

Although being a capable design, the BRC-40 was not produced in nearly the same numbers as the later Willys MB/ Ford GPW Jeeps. This situation occured due to many reasons, one of the most important being the US Government's concern that American-Bantam as a very small company, would have difficulty producing the number of Jeeps needed for the war effort.  As a result of this concern, even after the Bantam Mark 2 was approved for further production and testing, the US Government allowed Willys-Overland Motors and Ford Motor Company to submit two pilot vehicles for feasibility testing; both passing the trials.  As a side note, the Checker Motors Corporation (affiliated with Checker Taxi) also attempted to enter the competition by constructing the BRC-40 with parts provided by Bantam, but only 3 vehicles were completed when Checker was eliminated from participating further.  One notable variant of the BRC-40 was the T2/T2E1 37mm GMC.  The vehicles were extensively tested, but never adopted for service by the US Military.

The decision was then made to allow Bantam, Willys and Ford to each produce 1,500 vehicles in their latest design version, which would be put through further tests and trials; the best design being selected as the US Military's standard 1/4 ton 4x4 utility vehicle.  The three vehicle designs: the Bantam BRC-40, Ford GP and Willys MA, are often referred to as the "pre-standardized" Jeeps.  After the final tests were completed, the vehicle design finally selected for standardized production by the US was the Willys MA (with Ford GP design features being incorporated into it).  That vehicle became the ubiquitous Willys MB/Ford GPW Jeep
Data Sheet Available:   Bantam BRC-40 Data Sheet from Dave Haugh

Photos

Reference Source/Provider
    Bantam BRC-40 Recon Car Photos David Doyle - Memphis, Tennessee USA
Bantam BRC-40 Recon Car Photos Dave Haugh - Content Editor
  Bantam BRC-40 Recon Car (with Field Radio) Photo Dave Haugh
Bantam BRC-40 Recon Car Photos Erik Hendriks - Sittard, Holland
Bantam BRC-40 Recon Car Photos (Photographed at the U.S. Veterans Memorial Museum - Huntsville, Alabama USA) Patrick Keenan - Editor
      Bantam BRC-40 Recon Car Photos U.S. Library of Congress
British Bantam BRC-40 Recon Car Photo Imperial War Museum
    Bantam BRC-40 Recon Car Photos (constructed by Checker Motors Corporation) Dave Haugh

References Available

Online

Reference Source/Provider
Bantam BRC-40 Vehicle Information and Photos Andy's French Military Jeep Site
Bantam BRC-40 Vehicle Information and Photos CJ3B.Info
Bantam BRC-40 Vehicle Information and Photos The M38A1 Restoration Site
Bantam BRC-40 Vehicle Information and Photos Tanks Encyclopedia
Bantam BRC-40 Vehicle Information and Photos US Veterans Memorial Museum
Bantam BRC-40 Vehicle Photos Toadman's Tank Pictures

Printed

Reference Author
All-American Wonder: The Military 1/4 Ton 4x4 Truck -Volumes 1-3 (Victory WW2 Publishing) Ray Cowdery (Vol. 1 & 2) & Fred Crismon (Vol. 3)
"Bantam BRC-40" (In British Service) (June 2011 Issue of Military Machines International Magazine) Mark Askew
"Bantam In Detail" (July 2011 Issue of Military Machines International Magazine) Ian Young
Bantam Jeeps: In Detail (R059) (Wings and Wheels Publications -WWP)  
  "Birth of a Legend" (modeling the 1/35 Miniart BRC-40 Bantam Jeep" (January 2014 Issue of Airfix Model World Magazine) Paul Cawte
"Early Willys Jeeps" (Wheels & Tracks #9)  
Essential Military Jeep (Bay View Books) Graham Scott
Jeep Genesis: The Rifkind Report  (ISO-Publications) Herbert Rifkind
Jeep Goes to War: A Pictorial Chronicle (Courage Books) William Fowler
Jeep: Warhorse, Workhorse & Boulevard Cruiser (Motorbooks International) David Featherston

Jeeps: 1941-45 (Osprey Publishing- New Vanguard #117)

Steve Zaloga
"Meet the Ancestors" (April 2012 Issue of Military Machines International Magazine) Mark Askew
Military Jeep: 1940 Onwards (Ford, Willys & Hotchkiss) (Haynes Publishing - Enthusiasts' Manual) Pat Ware
Military Jeeps: 1941-1945 (Brooklands Book Distribution, Ltd.) T. Richards
Pre-Standardized Jeep Walkaround (5711) (Squadron-Signal Publications)

Review by Patrick Keenan at the Armor Modeling and Preservation Society (AMPS) Website
David Doyle
Rare WW2 Jeep Photo Archives: 1940-1945 (Jeep Promotions, Ltd.) Mark Askew
U.S. Military Wheeled Vehicles (Crestline Books) Fred W. Crismon
Warbaby: The True Story of the Original (Bantam) Jeep (Points North Press) William Spear
World War II Jeep In Action (First Edition) (Squadron Signal Publications) David Doyle
World War II Jeep In Action (Second Edition) (Squadron Signal Publications)

Review on WarWheels by Andrew Renshaw
David Doyle

Hobby Modeling

Kits and Accessories

Model Kit Manufacturer Scale Other Information
BRC-40 Bantam Jeep Model Kit - US Army Version with Crew (35014) MiniArt 1/35 Injection Molded Plastic
BRC-40 Bantam Jeep Model Kit - "Soviet Command Car with Crew" (35048) MiniArt 1/35 Injection Molded Plastic
BRC-40 Bantam Jeep Model Kit - "British Staff Car with Crew" (35050) MiniArt 1/35 Injection Molded Plastic
Bantam 40 BRC (Russian) Model Kit (35212) MiniArt 1/35 Injection Molded Plastic; Upgraded kit with Photo Etched Details, Crew and Weapons.
BRC-40 Bantam Jeep Model Kit Asuka Model (Was: Tasca Models) 1/24 Injection Molded Plastic.
       
Aftermarket Item Manufacturer Scale Other Information
Bantam BRC-40 Instruments and Placards (AR35309) Archer Fine Transfers 1/35 For Miniart Kits
Bantam BRC-40 Front Grill Set (FP-8) Kamizukari 1/35 Laser cut "paper" (really closer to cardboard); For Mini-Art kits
Bantam BRC-40 Wheel Set (B35044) Miniarm 1/35 Resin; For Miniart Kits
Bantam BRC-40 Jeep Basic Detail Set (VMD35002)   Minor Model 1/35 Photo-Etched Brass; For Miniart Kits
Bantam BRC-40 Jeep Complete Update/Detail Set (VMD35003)   Minor Model 1/35 Photo-Etched Brass; For Miniart Kits. This product is also offered with some of the other Minor stuff in combination sets
Bantam BRC-40 Jeep Workable Leaf Springs (VMD35004)   Minor Model 1/35 Photo-Etched Brass; For Miniart Kits. This product is also offered with some of the other Minor stuff in combination sets

Model Photos

Reference Source/Provider
1/35 MiniArt BRC-40 Bantam Jeep (British Markings) Dennis Sliney - Enfield, New Hampshire USA