Seventy years ago, the United States entered the Second World War. That same year, the Willys MA was conceived and produced to help our servicemen in the great global effort that would help restore some semblance of balance to the world. And now, a great piece of U.S. history is going on a special display for the remainder of the year at the Walter P. Chrysler Museum.

We know the vehicle restoration business can be quite serious and takes tremendous dedication, so how do these facts sound? According to Chrysler, the MA78621 going on display is just one of approximately 45 accounted-for Willys from the 1941 model year in the world. Of those 45, only 20 are restored, and eight are located in the U.S. This particular example was discovered rusting in a farmer's field near Fort Lewis, Washington, in 2001 and restored the following year.

We can thank George and Bernadette Hollins of Palos Park, Illinois, for retaining the MA78621 in their private collection and loaning it to the museum. The Hollins' records indicate the Willys was delivered to the U.S. Army on July 5, 1941, from the old Willys-Overland plant in Toledo, Ohio. They believe it was one of four sent to the 15th Infantry in Fort Lewis. Imagine how new the MA78621 must have looked and felt back then...

Museum goers can catch MA78621, along with a bevy of other historic Jeeps, at the Walter P. Chrysler Museum's exhibit titled 70 Years of Jeep. All types of photos, memorabilia, and information will be shown to celebrate the history of Jeep. The exhibit will run from April 19 through December 31.

Other vehicles on display include:

  • 1943 Jeep MB
  • 1945 Jeep CJ-2A
  • 1949 Jeep Station Wagon
  • 1950 Jeep M38
  • 1950 Jeepster
  • 1964 Jeep Gladiator Fire Truck
  • 1973 Jeep CJ-5
  • 1984 Jeep Cherokee
  • 1986 Jeep CJ-7
  • 1987 Jeep Wrangler
  • 1991 Jeep Grand Wagoneer
  • 1997 Jeep Dakar Concept
  • 1998 Jeepster Concept
  • 2000 "Tomb Raider" Jeep Wrangler
  • 2001 Willys II Concept
  • 2003 "Sahara" Jeep Wrangler
  • 2004 Jeep Rescue Concept
  • 2004 Jeep Treo Concept
  • 2005 Jeep Gladiator Concept
  • 2005 Jeep Hurricane Concept
  • 2008 Jeep Renegade Concept

Source: Chrysler