IKE’S JEEP1944 Willys-Overland Military Jeep
Registration No. ESF 43
Chassis No. MB348835
Engine No. 348835
In October 1946 General Dwight D. Eisenhower, Supreme Allied Commander and future President of the United States was gifted with this Jeep and the keys to an apartment in Culzean (Culane) Castle by the National Trust for Scotland. The gifts were in recognition of his war efforts and his brilliant strategies for Operation Overlord, D Day. The gift is recorded by a brass plaque on the dashboard of this superbly presented Jeep which is now on the market for the first time in 42 years.
Eisenhower or ‘Ike’ famously stated that “most vital to our success in Africa and Europe were the bulldozer, the Jeep, the 2t truck and the C-47 airplane…” The Jeep was truly integral to winning the war and stands as an iconic symbol of that triumph.
Eisenhower had a great love for Scotland and considered Culzean as his second home and, later when he became President, as his second ‘White House’. It was related how he often drove the leather seated and auspiciously registered ESF 43 (Eisenhower’s Special Forces 43) around the estate and into the village of Maybole. Ike also played golf at nearby Turnberry (now owned by President Donald Trump) and may well have driven himself there in the Jeep.
After Eisenhower stopped coming to Culzean in the late 1960s, the Jeep was used around the estate by the head forester until a broken half-shaft meant it was consigned to a store until sold to Mr T Lyle of Kirkcudbright in 1975. Mr Lyle carried out works and subsequently offered it at auction in April 1978 along with a current MOT recording 31,200 miles. The current owner was the successful bidder and, being the main Jeep distributor in England, used ESF 43 for many shows and promotions.
During his long term ownership the owner has meticulously researched the Jeep on both sides of the Atlantic resulting in a fascinating archive of material including copies of letters from ‘Ike’ to his aide de camp Colonel James Gault of the Scots Guards and other contemporary letters discussing the generous gifts.
The Jeep has taken part in some extremely prestigious events including the 2014 WW2 Memorial Parade at Goodwood Revival and the 2005 Anniversary of D Day at Culzean Castle where Eisenhower’s grand-daughter Susan was photographed at the wheel.
Around 2014 the vendor decided to undertake a full restoration of the Jeep with the assistance of his skilled staff and his well equipped workshop. The work has been carried out to fantastic standard with no detail too small to be ignored and has utilised all of the original parts with some very minor exceptions. Everything was refurbished and re-used even down to the canvas strips under the bonnet and the rivets holding them in place. The bodywork is stated to be entirely original with the exception of a small plate in the floor, during the restoration process a 1944 silver Quarter Dollar was discovered, perhaps dropped by the great man himself? The Dollar has been preserved and is mounted to the dashboard of the 33,000 mile Jeep, a shining memento on a fantastically presented and truly historic vehicle that is absolutely ready to drive away and take part in the forthcoming events in May commemorating the 75th Anniversary of the end of WW2.
This unque vehicle will be auctioned at Cheffins Cambridge Vintage Sale
Saturday 18 July 2020
Estimate: £120,000 - £150,000
For further information please contact Tom Godsmark at Cheffins.
Telephone number: 01353 777767 opt.2 or firstname.lastname@example.org