M201, Willys MB and Ford GPW Differences

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Hotchkiss M201 Willys MB Ford GPW
On the M201, the mounting plate surrounding the reflector is over one third of the reflector diameter, with four mounting holes around the circumference. Some of the reflectors are red, while others are orange. The Willys MB's and Ford GPW's reflectors varied. Some were round reflectors in an elliptical mount, with two fixing holes, while others were circular with two fixing holes, but they had a plain, smaller mounting flange than the M201 type.
Screen Rests
On the M201, it had electric wipers. They couldn't be stopped in a precise position allowing the screen to fold down to rest on the wooden hood blocks. Instead, the wooden screen rests were replaced with metal loops mounted to the windscreen around the wiper arms. On the Willys MB and Ford GPW, even those with vacuum or electric wipers, they only had the wooden hood blocks fitted, some with a rubber insert and some with a rope insert for the screen to rest on.
On the M201 springs, they were made with ten leaves on the front springs and eleven leaves on the rear springs. The clamps around the leaves were a one piece steel clip, crimped on the bottom of the spring. The springs on the Willys MB and Ford GPW had eight leaves on the front spring and nine on the rear spring. The Willys springs had the leaves fastened together with a crimped metal clamp, while the Ford GPW springs used a U shaped clamp with a bolt through. The GPW leaves were also tapered in section on each side of the centre one third of the width of the leaf.
Engine Starter Switch
On my M201, the starter switch is a rubber covered button on the dash above the speedo. I have seen them in various other places on M201's. On the MB and GPW, the starter switch was floor mounted during the war. On the centre picture, the floor starter has been removed, and the floor welded up. This could happen to MB's or GPW's if used by the French Army post war if they had gone through the French Army rebuild program.
Steering Wheel
The Hotchkiss steering wheel had broad plastic spokes, a large centre hub, and was moulded in black plastic. The early Willys design also featured broad spokes and a large hub but was moulded in green plastic. I've seen the same style on Ford GPW's. The design was later changed to a wheel with three thin wire spokes, supporting a plastic circumfrential hand grip. This same wheel type was used on airborne Jeeps, but with an additional mechanism around the hub which allowed it to be a quick release fitting.
Dash Switches

There are also differences in the look & number of switches. On the M201, there is a large metal contact next to the screen clamp for the wiper motor circuit ( A ). Below and left is the wiper switch ( B ). The Blackout Switch ( D ) on the M201 killed the power to all driving and brake lights to black out the vehicle when needed. The light switch ( C ) was a rotary type switch.

The centre picture shows a Willys MB switch array. The light switch ( C ) on this MB is also a rotary type switch.

The Ford GPW switch layout is similar, but this Jeep has the Push/Pull type light switch ( C ).

A) Wiper motor screen contact
B) Wiper Switch
C) Light Switch
D) Blackout Switch / Blackout Light Switch
E) Choke, Ignition & Throttle
F) Panel Light Switch

Cowl Pillar
On the M201, the cowl pillar inside the body panel has a sharp kink. On the MB and GPW, the rear edge of the pillar is curved.
Rear Body Panel Brace

On the 201, the rear body brace, beside the seat mounts, often has two stamped flutes which the Willys brace does not have. However not all M201's have these flutes. They seem to be more common on later built M201's. The Willys MB brace has no flutes and is not folded over on top of the locker. The Ford GPW brace has no flutes and is not folded over on top of the locker.


The early Hotchkiss wheels were a two piece riveted steel unit. These were later replaced with a similar wheel with welded halves. The original Willys MB units were also riveted and had a very similar profile, but not identical. Later in production, Willys changed to split rim wheel, bolted together for easy tyre replacement. The Ford GPW also used Split rims.


The tyres varied on the Jeeps too. Wartime tyres were 6.00 x 16 bargrips. The earliest M201's also used Bargrips, but later used a 6.50 x 16 brick tread pattern made by Kleber or Goodyear.

Wipers & Wiper Motors

Hotchkiss fitted electric wipers operated by arms driven by a single centrally mounted motor, although I have found a single motor mounted directly to the wiper. The MB and GPW Jeeps varied from hand operated single wipers, dual hand operated wipers with a linking bar, vacuum wipers and twin electric motor wipers.

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