President and World War II Supreme Commander Dwight D. Eisenhower was given this Willys Jeep along with a castle apartment in 1946 by the National Trust of Scotland, which was apparently properly grateful for his efforts keeping Hitler off their island. The thing is beautiful like a Koenigsegg is "quick."
A Facebook page "Ike's Jeep" has been set up celebrating the ancient off-roader; which is perfectly
preserved restored. No, really. Look at that engine bay!
Ike's Jeep says the Willys has been in the possession of "a collector" for thirty-six years (since '78) on a farm north of London. Obviously the 4x4 isn't doing much farm work. Normally I think a lot of us like to see trucks get used, but given the historical and symbolic significance of this particular vehicle I can appreciate the fact that it's been relegated to monument-status.
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I just want very carefully lower my ass into the seat and run my hands over the wheel. Then wipe the wheel with a cleaning cloth.
Here's a more complete history of the Jeep, straight from the Jeep's Facebook page which also includes an amazing photo gallery you really ought to have a look at:
On a farm just north of London in a small hamlet of Buckinghamshire is a car collector who has owned Dwight D. Eisenhower's jeep for thirty-six years.
After the war ended, Eisenhower, then Allied Supreme Commander, was gifted an apartment at Culzean Castle for life, along with a Willy's Jeep by the National Trust for Scotland as a gesture of gratitude for his war efforts commanding Scottish troops into battle in Europe.
Eisenhower had a love and affinity for Scotland and was deeply honoured by such generosity. He always considered Culzean his second home and later, when he was President, his second "White House".
On October 5, 1946, the Freedom of the Burgh was conferred on him by the townspeople. Eisenhower is quoted saying he would always consider himself a true Minnieboler, if not by birth, at least by adoption.
The jeep presented to Eisenhower was purchased specifically for Eisenhower during his stays at the castle. A bronze plaque was mounted and a special plate was made: 'ESF 43', Eisenhower's Special Forces'. His jeep has now been carefully taken apart, piece-by-piece, and sympathetically restored and is an icon of World War II.
Willy's Jeeps were manufactured from 1941-1945 for World War II as a light cross-country reconnaissance vehicle including the army' specifications for four wheel drive, fold-down windshield, handles to pull it out of the mud and many more unique, well-thought out details.
To Eisenhower the presentation of the iconic jeep by the National Trust for Scotland was an important tribute to him and the jeep itself. The jeep is not only a symbol of the triumph, but an integral part of the success of winning the war.
Images: Ike's Jeep